That’s right – Bond, James Bond. Or anything about spies, real or imagined. Usually seen as super-cool and very secretive, they have been fodder for lots of great stories. Here are some titles and authors to get you started.
John le Carre has set the standard for writing excellent, intriguing spy stories. His most well-known book, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, considered a masterpiece, delves into the intricate, complicated world of spycraft at the height of the Cold War. Others by le Carre to read include Smiley’s People, Agent Running the in Field, The Constant Gardener and The Spy Who Came in from the Cold.
Other authors that deliver lots of action and intrigue include the Jack Ryan series by Tom Clancy (starting with The Hunt for Red October taking place on nuclear submarine), The Jason Bourne series by Robert Ludlum (the first being The Bourne Identity where a CIA agent has lost of his memory).
The Cold War provided a huge amount of material for spy novels, what with the paranoia and secrecy and fear of that time, but wars have also been fertile ground. Ken Follet’s Eye of the Needle, about a German spy in World War II, is a favorite of many. Or read the excellent The Alice Network by Kate Quinn that details the exploits and sacrifices of women spies in World War I.
Other authors to consider include Alan Furst, Fredrick Forsyth, Vince Flynn and Daniel Silva. And, oh yes, Ian Fleming.
I am planning on reading Code Name Helene by Ariel Lawhon, based on the real-life story of Nancy Wake, a socialite who spied on the Nazi’s and became a deadly member of the French Resistance.
As of this writing, the library is still closed to the public. When we open again (soon, I hope!) there will be displays at each building with lots of titles to choose from. Also, be sure to look at our collection of e-books with Overdrive. You’ll find lots of titles about spies – simply type “spy novels” or “spies” in the search bar on Overdrive!