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The Very Best Espionage Novels

The Very Best Espionage Novels

Uncover dark mysteries and twisted terrors with this collection of the best espionage novels out there.

Prepare to meet the world’s most dangerous man . . .

It is the fall of 1951, and the Korean War is raging. Twenty-six-year-old Nicholai Hel has spent the last three years in solitary confinement at the hands of the Americans. Hel is a master of hoda korosu, or “naked kill,” is fluent in seven languages, and has honed extraordinary “proximity sense”-an extra-awareness of the presence of danger. He has the skills to be the world’s most fearsome assassin and now the CIA needs him.

The Americans offer Hel freedom, money, and a neutral passport in exchange for one small service: to go to Beijing and kill the Soviet Union’s commissioner to China. It’s almost certainly a suicide mission, but Hel accepts. Now he must survive chaos, violence, suspicion, and betrayal while trying to achieve his ultimate goal of satori-the possibility of true understanding and harmony with the world.

Riske is a freelance industrial spy who, despite his job title, lives a mostly quiet life above his auto garage in central London. He is hired to perform the odd job for a bank, an insurance company, or the British Secret Service, when he isn’t expertly stealing a million-dollar watch off the wrist of a crooked Russian oligarch.

Riske has maintained his quiet life by avoiding big, messy jobs; until now. A gangster by the name of Tino Coluzzi has orchestrated the greatest street heist in the history of Paris: a visiting Saudi prince had his pockets lightened of millions in cash, and something else. Hidden within a stolen briefcase is a secret letter that could upend the balance of power in the Western world. The Russians have already killed in an attempt to get it back by the time the CIA comes knocking at Simon’s door.

Coluzzi was once Riske’s brother-in-arms, but their criminal alliance ended with Riske in prison, having narrowly avoided a hit Coluzzi ordered. Now, years later, it is thief against thief, and hot on their trail are a dangerous Parisian cop, a murderous Russian femme fatale, her equally unhinged boss, and perhaps the CIA itself.

In the grand tradition of The Day of the Jackal and The Bourne Identity, Christopher Reich’s The Take is a stylish, breathtaking ride.

The November Man returns… After twenty years in the Cambodian jungle, Father Leo Tunney has staggered out–with a secret of global importance.

What does Father Leo Tunney know?

Washington, Moscow, Vatican City and an international bank want to find out–at any cost.

So does a cool, clever U.S. agent: Deveraux–code name, the “November Man.” And one other: A beautiful young journalist who has her own way of prying answers from a tortured priest…a woman who might outwit them all…or become the ultimate pawn in a deadly game that could destroy the balance of world power!

What if everything about your life was a lie?

Evan Casher is a successful documentary filmmaker with a perfect life–until the day his mother is brutally murdered. Suddenly pursued by a ruthless circle of killers, Evan discovers his entire past has been a carefully constructed lie. With only one chance at survival and no one he can trust, Evan must discover the shocking truth about his family–and himself…

The president learned long ago that the CIA could not be trusted. And so he created his own group of deadly efficient men to gather independent intelligence: a watchdog organization to keep the CIA in check. R Section was born.

“There are no spies . . . “

Until he heard those four simple words, Devereaux thought he’d left his days in R Section behind. He was no longer The November Man, an American field officer in the vice-grip of duty and danger–and the most brilliant agent R Section had ever produced. When he receives the cryptic message from Hanley, his former handler, Devereaux has no idea he’s about to be reactivated into a mission to save both his life and R Section itself. He’s not aware that a beautiful KGB agent has been ordered to stalk and kill him-or that Hanley is now in a government-subsidized asylum for people with too many secrets. And he doesn’t know that zero hour ticks closer for an operation to catch a master spy . . . with Devereaux the designated pawn.

What The November Man doesn’t know can kill him.

An attack on a Japanese warship brings Japan and China to the brink of war. Meanwhile, top Covert-One operative Colonel Jon Smith is sent on a mission to recover mysterious material from the wreckage of the Fukushima nuclear reactor. When Smith fails to return, CIA agent Randi Russell heads off on an unsanctioned mission to find him. She quickly discovers that the missing samples may be evidence that Japan, led by hawkish military chief of staff Masao Takahashi, has been secretly developing next-generation weapon systems in preparation for a conflict with China.

If the Covert-One team can’t prevent General Takahashi from provoking a war, the entire world will be dragged into a battle certain to kill tens of millions of people and leave much of planet uninhabitable for centuries.

Young Jacqueline Bouvier’s first CIA assignment was supposed to be simple: Meet with a high-ranking Russian while he’s in Paris and help him defect. But when the Comrade ends up dead, and Jackie-in her black satin peep-toe stiletto heels-barely escapes his killer, it’s time to get some assistance. Enter Jacques Rivage, a French photographer and freelance CIA agent who seems too brash and carefree to grapple with spies, though he’s all too able to make Jackie’s heart skip a beat.

Together the two infiltrate 1951 high society in the City of Lights, rubbing shoulders with the likes of the Duchess of Windsor, Audrey Hepburn, and Evelyn Waugh. Jackie, no longer a pampered debutante, draws on her quick intelligence, equestrian skills, and even her Chanel No. 5 atomizer as a weapon to stay alive in the shadowy world of international intrigue-and to keep her date with a certain up-and-coming, young Congressman from Massachusetts . . .

General Boris Karpov, head of the feared Russian FSB, is dead. But Karpov has reached out from the grave with an unstoppable cyber operation he conceived before his murder, aimed at the heart of the United States–a way to steal the president’s nuclear launch codes. Who has taken over the operation? Karpov trusted only one man: Jason Bourne. But can Bourne be working against his own country? The U.S. Government is convinced of his treason, and is doing everything in its power to kill him. Flushed from cover and gravely wounded, Bourne’s only hope is to join forces with his bitterest enemy: a powerful Somali terrorist named Keyre, and his protoge, the Angelmaker. If he hopes to survive, Bourne has no choice but unravel the mystery of Karpov’s last legacy–a weaponized code that may bring about the unthinkable: a violent end to America.

From the author of The Covenant of the Flame and The Fifth Profession. Brendan Buchanan is an undercover intelligence operative who has impersonated more than 200 people in the last eight years. But now his multi-personality occupation threatens to destroy him.

If the good guys can’t save you, call a bad guy.

When viral video of an explosive terrorist attack on San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge reveals that a Federal witness long thought dead is still alive, the organization he’d agreed to testify against will stop at nothing to put him in the ground.

FBI Special Agent Charlie Thompson is determined to protect him, but her hands are tied; the FBI’s sole priority is catching the terrorists before they strike again. So Charlie calls the only person on the planet who can keep her witness safe: Michael Hendricks.

Once a covert operative for the US military, Hendricks makes his living hitting hitmen… or he did, until the very organization hunting Charlie’s witness — the Council—caught wind and targeted the people he loves. Teaming up with a young but determined tech whiz, Cameron, on the condition she leave him alone after the case, Hendricks reluctantly takes the job.

Of course, finding a man desperate to stay hidden is challenging enough without deadly competition, let alone when the competition’s shadowy corporate backer is tangled in the terrorist conspiracy playing out around them. And now Hendricks is determined to take the Council down, even if that means wading into the center of a terror plot whose perpetrators are not what they seem.

Villanelle (a codename, of course) is one of the world’s most skilled assassins. A catlike psychopath whose love for the creature comforts of her luxurious lifestyle is second only to her love of the game, she specializes in murdering the world’s richest and most powerful. But when she murders an influential Russian politician, she draws a relentless foe to her tail.

Eve Polastri (not a codename) is a former MI6 operative hired by the national security services for a singular task: to find and capture or kill the assassin responsible, and those who have aided her. Eve, whose quiet and otherwise unextraordinary life belies her quick wit and keen intellect, accepts the mission.

The ensuing chase will lead them on a trail around the world, intersecting with corrupt governments and powerful criminal organizations, all leading towards a final confrontation from which neither will emerge unscathed. Codename Villanelle is a sleek, fast-paced international thriller from an exciting new voice in fiction.