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Old 10-27-2009, 05:13 PM   #16
GA Russell
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Adam Hall was the first name that came to my mind because I enjoyed The Quiller Memorandum so much.

I've never read anything of Eric Ambler's, but I have always gotten the impression that he had the best reputation of writers of the genre.

I enjoy very much John Gardner's Boysie Oakes books, such as The Liquidator. I might call them a guilty pleasure because they aren't that great but I enjoy them anyway.

I most strongly recommend Martin Waddell's Otley Victorious, which was the most enjoyable book I have ever read. Otley was a series of books, the first of which (just called Otley) wasn't nearly as good. I'd like to read the others.

Len Deighton was mentioned above. I don't think I have ever read anything of his, but I have been meaning to one day read one or more of his Harry Palmer books such as The Ipcress File.
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Old 10-27-2009, 05:21 PM   #17
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Wow. You guys covered the core of the genre awesomely! I'd propose adding David Baldacci for his Camel Club series and others, though he could be considered straight political thriller rather than espionage.
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Old 10-28-2009, 01:32 PM   #18
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Great suggestions, everyone... thanks so much.

Now I have to determine the order to read them, based not just on quality but also on availability and price. Looks like I have a bit of research to do!
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Old 10-28-2009, 03:48 PM   #19
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Oh, I forgot Trevanian. Now there's a great underestimated writer. I've read all of those and Shibumi and The Eiger Sanction really stand out. (Don't blame Trevanian for the Eiger Sanction movie, heh)
I second Trevanian, his ' the Summer of Katya' is one of the best books I ever read (but NO espionage book )

I'm suprised Allan Folsom isn't mentioned, his ' The Day After Tomorrow' is awsome.
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Old 10-29-2009, 10:03 AM   #20
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If you like Tom Clancy, try Larry Bond. Otherwise, probably don't.
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Old 11-04-2009, 08:53 PM   #21
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I would add Helen MacInnes. She's a good storyteller, with likeable intelligent characters.
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Old 02-18-2010, 08:46 PM   #22
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John Maxim's world of Bannerman and relations... Hard to find in paper-back, let alone ebook format.

Imagine a US government run assassin deciding to hang it up and retire peacefully with 30 of his friends, in small-town USA. There is a web of books with related characters, but they all meet in the Bannerman books.
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Old 02-25-2010, 05:04 PM   #23
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I just discovered (and bought) Daniel Silva's Gabriel Allon series. I'm surprised that he's not mentioned. I wonder if that means I'm going to be disapointed?
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Old 02-25-2010, 05:17 PM   #24
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No, you won't be disappointed in the Gabriel Allon series. They are excellent (actually, the first few are just very good and then they get better as Allon's character is more fully fleshed out). Be sure to read the books in order!
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Old 02-25-2010, 09:04 PM   #25
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This is a great thread! Many thanks to dougbiss for posting the question and many more thanks to everyone for the great leads. My planned reading list has just become significantly longer.
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Old 07-30-2010, 01:15 PM   #26
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Hi all,

Some great recommendations on here. I'll suggest Alan Furst if you like period/historical stories, though his plots sometimes give way to characters and setting. Also, much underrated is Charles McCarry -- his Paul Christopher novels are great.

As if you don't have enough to read

Steve

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Old 07-30-2010, 02:12 PM   #27
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Seeing this thread again, it occurs to me that no one has mentioned John Buchan, who invented the modern spy genre.

Harry has placed a Buchan omnibus in the MR library.

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...ghlight=Buchan
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Old 07-30-2010, 11:07 PM   #28
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Donald Hamilton is good.
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Old 08-08-2010, 06:20 AM   #29
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Barry Eisler and Joseph Finder are excellent writers of that genre you wouldn't want to miss out on either.
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Old 08-08-2010, 06:38 AM   #30
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Definitely give John le Carré a try, he's the Grandmaster of Espionage. His novels are more literary than action, though. His early stuff is a little shaky as he hadn't found his voice until the mid-1970s. He was at his peak starting with Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy in 1974 and on until the late 1980s with The Russia House in 1989. Anything you choose from that time period will be brilliant. Be warned: The Honourable Schoolboy and Smiley's People are sequels to Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, so there are some spoilers--read them in order. He's been pretty good since the end of the Cold War, but the Cold War was his forte. Of his post-Cold War novels, The Night Manager, Our Game, The Tailor of Panama, and The Mission Song are pretty decent.

Also give Alan Furst a try. He writes about espionage during World War 2. He's a very spare writer, but his atmosphere alone launches him into the realms of Literature. He's very, very good.

If you can track down a copy, also try The Turn-around by Vladimir Volkoff. It's out of print now, but hopefully some enterprising e-book publisher will resurrect it. It's the only other espionage novel I've read that even comes close to le Carré in terms of narrative, character, and themes, and I've read Trevanian, Len Deighton, Eric Ambler, Adam Hall, Daniel Silva, and Tom Clancy.

Graham Greene wrote The Quiet American (very good) and The Human Factor (good). While dealing less with espionage, The Honourary Consul and The Comedians were good as well. I'm not much of a fan of his other thrillers, but you can give them a try. I think they are very similar to Eric Ambler's.

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