Political and spy thrillers typically involve government agencies such as the FBI or CIA. Political corruption, terrorism, and warfare are common themes. They can also include espionage and conspiracy theories.
It's an immensely popular subject, and some of the genre's notable authors are listed below with brief descriptions of their work.
Vince Flynn's Mitch Rapp series features a CIA counter-terrorism operative working to thwart foreign terrorist attacks on the United States by any means necessary. This series is full of action, suspense, and violence, and will keep you on your toes until the very end. The movie American Assassin is based on Flynn's book.
Start with American Assassin.
Start with The Innocent.
In Brad Meltzer’s Culper Ring novels, archivist Beecher White discovers secrets about American history that may threaten the modern-day presidency. Meltzer has written several nonfiction historical books and TV series, and that research also informs his novels.
Start with The Inner Circle.
Gayle Lynds' individual novels usually have female protagonists who unravel conspiracies and thwart criminal masterminds. She’s also written three of the novels in Robert Ludlum’s Covert-One series, opens a new window, about a top-secret team protecting the world against terrifying conspiracies.
Start with The Book Of Spies.
Jack Higgins' books are set in locations around the world, often during wartime. Sean Dillon is a Black Ops specialist who faces deadly villains to accomplish his goal. Violence is a prominent feature in the series.
Start with Eye of the Storm.
Brad Thor’s main character, Scot Harvath, is a former Navy SEAL turned Secret Service agent who works to foil terrorist plots.
Start with The Lions of Lucerne.
Drawing on his experience as a political consultant, Joel C. Rosenberg writes about terrorism and the Middle East, flavored by his view of Biblical prophecy.
Start with The Last Jihad.
Brad Taylor is an Army Special Forces veteran. His hero, Pike Logan, is a member of the Taskforce—a secret group formed by the U.S. government but working outside the law. These action-packed books will have you on the edge of your seat rooting for the good guys.
Start with One Rough Man.
Along with his own popular Gray Man series, Mark Greaney also wrote seven books in Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan series. The Gray Man books follow Court Gentry, a former CIA agent turned legendary freelance assassin. Jack Ryan, meanwhile, rises from Marine to CIA agent to the President of the United States, all while fighting for national security with the help of special operative John Clark.
Start with The Gray Man.