Need some heart-pounding, page-turning thrills in the form of espionage and political thrillers? We’ve got you. Sometimes it’s nice to escape into the “good person saves the day” feeling after being left standing on the edge of a cliff for a few hundreds of pages of intense spycraft. Or maybe you just like action and fight scenes. Here are some great reads with all the things you want from the best thriller suspense books.
Hayley Chill is an Army veteran working for the White House chief of staff. Until he’s found dead in his home. It appears to be death by natural causes, but it’s a political thriller, so we all know it’s not that simple. And Chill is smart and capable, and she knows better than to ignore a footprint outside her dead boss's home! Follow her as she uncovers a conspiracy and hopefully saves the day.
Imagine minding your own business while robbing someone only to end up trapped in the closet and witnessing Secret Service agents murdering a billionaire’s wife. That’s exactly the bad luck—or karma—that finds Luther Whitney. On his way out, Whitney took evidence that places the President, who, by the way, recently harassed the murder victim, at the scene of the crime. He better hope former public defender Jack Graham can help him because the President is on a manhunt.
Four men meet weekly in Washington, D.C. to discuss all the political conspiracy theories they believe are happening, in hopes of finding a way to help. Not much has come of this until one night, during their meeting, they see a member of the Secret Service murdered and end up having to team up with the agency. Conspiracies abound.
Here’s a unique spy story in that the spy is reluctant to be one and is basically blackmailed by MI5. Jay is a young man in West London who sells pot and loves nothing more than his new BMW. When he gets into trouble with his supplier MI5, uses his predicament to force him to work for them because as a young Pakistani Muslim, he could be sent into an extremist group to report back information. As much as he wants no part of this—or any politics—Jay feels he has no choice, and off he goes. You get a great spy thriller and a coming-of-age story in one!
In this unique story written as a letter to her young sons, Marie Mitchell, a FBI intelligence officer, tries to explain recent events. We get a view of her time with the FBI and the special mission she is sent on when the U.S. meddles in Burkina Faso’s politics. If you like secret missions, character-driven suspense, and history that isn't usually featured in fiction, this one is an excellent read. Bonus: the audiobook is narrated by Bahni Turpin.;
Vince Flynn; Kyle Mills
Fans of the extreme and aggressive CIA counter-terrorism operative Mitch Rapp will be delighted by the news that he’s once again trying to stop ISIS, but this time there’s more at stake. The most divisive presidential election has a senator candidate who does not support the CIA, and there are fears she’ll be making drastic changes. Enter bioterrorism, the Mexican cartel, and a kidnapping, and Rapp will have his hands full.
James Patterson; Bill Clinton
by Ian Rankin
For fans of Ian Rankin who are completists, Westwind (originally published in the 90s) is one of his early novels that were out of print and has now been re-released. We open with a technician noticing that a spy satellite is no longer online in Britain. Then a space shuttle crashes in the U.S. It’s a thriller, so there is obviously a connection—especially since the only shuttle survivor and the technician are being sequestered in their respective countries—but what is going on, and why?
While the country mourns the death of the U.S. President, a sniper who seems to be out for blood starts by killing a U.S. Senator. Solving the murder will be a family affair, as Alex Cross is tasked by the new President to get with the FBI and solve this case, while his wife Bree Stone finds her new position as chief of DC detectives threatened if she can’t successfully close the case quickly.
A political thriller propelled by revenge, The Terminal List follows James Reece a Navy Seal who loses men in an ambush only to later discover that it was a set up by certain members of the American government. And then, of course, his wife and daughter have to die so he can be really mad and vengeful. Which is how he ends up with a list of 12 men to kill...
Gray Man (Court Gentry, who is a contract worker for the CIA) boards the CIA Gulfstream after being called to Langley. On the way, it stops to board CIA agents with a hooded prisoner who is to be handed over to MI6. But that never happens because there’s an ambush when they land and the prisoner is stolen. So expect a high body count and lots of action scenes.
by Marshall Karp
The NYPD's most elite task force must protect the city from a shadowy killer with a vendetta in this New York Times bestselling mystery.
The richest of New York's rich gather at The Pierre's Cotillion Room to raise money for those less fortunate. A fatal blast rocks the room, stirring up horrifying memories of 9/11. Is the explosion an act of terrorism . . . or a homicide?
A big-name female filmmaker is the next to die, in a desolate corner of New York City. Detectives Zach Jordan and Kylie MacDonald investigate. But the crimes keep escalating as a shadowy killer masterfully plays out his vendetta—and threatens to take down NYPD Red in the bargain.
What to Read Next
Jamie Canavés is a Book Riot contributing editor and Tailored Book Recommendations coordinator. She writes the Unusual Suspects mystery newsletter, never says no to chocolate or ‘80s nostalgia, and can hold a conversation using only gifs. Tweets: @Oh_Dinky.