Do you agree with a book reviewer for the UK Spectator by the name of Lewis Jones that American spy novelists are "unreadable"?
The English fascination with spies is gloriously reflected in our literature, from Kim to A Question of Attribution, and while their Egyptian and Israeli counterparts remain untranslated, and the Americans unreadable, English spy novelists rule.
Here is a selection of noteworthy spy novels published in 2011:
- Berquist, Drew. The Maverick Experiment. Author Berquist is a former spy. His hero Derek Stevens stalks the Taliban in Afghanistan.
- Boyd, Noah. Agent X. Former FBI agent Boyd introduced his hero Steve Vail in last year’s crime thriller The Bricklayer. Now, Vail must find Russian moles feeding intelligence to Moscow. Reviews haven’t been kind, but the Amazonians generally like it.
- Clancy, Tom with Peter Telep. Against All Enemies. Clancy/Telep introduce a new character, ex-Navy SEAL Max Moore. The Taliban and Mexican drug lords join forces.
- Coonts, Stephen. Deep Black: Death Wave. Hero Charlie Dean heads up a National Security Agency team to foil a sinister terrorist plot hatched from the Canary Islands. This is the 3rd installment of the Deep Black series.
- Cumming, Charles. The Trinity Six. The Cambridge 5 were Kim Philby, Anthony Blunt, John Cairncross, Guy Burgess, and Donald Maclean. But was there a sixth?
- Deaver, Jeffery. Carte Blanche. US writer Deaver pens the latest James Bond spy thriller. Bond must stop a terrorist attack that could kill thousands.
- Dunn, Matthew. Spycatcher. Superspy Will Cochrane chases a terrorist mastermind.
- Finder, Joseph. Buried Secrets. Nick Heller must discover who kidnapped the daughter of a hedge fund titan. Early reviews are very positive.
- Ignatius, David. Bloodmoney. Washington Post reporter Ignatius pens a story that asks who is killing the members of a CIA intelligence unit in Pakistan? The task of finding out what's going on falls on the heroine of this novel with the somewhat embarrassing name Sophie Marx.
- Jacobson, Douglas W. The Katyn Order. Spy thriller about the 1940 Katyn forest massacre of 20,000 Polish officers by the Soviet NKVD.
- Patterson, Richard North. The Devil's Light. Best-selling author Patterson crafts a timely story about CIA agent Brooke Chandler, who must stop an Al Qaeda nuclear plot.
- Rimington, Stella. Rip Tide. MI5 officer Liz Carlyle investigates pirates off the Somalian coast. Author Rimington was Director General of MI5.
- Silva, Daniel. Portrait of a Spy. Silva's superspy Gabriel Allon is faced with a series of bombings in Europe.
- Thomson, Keith. Twice a Spy. Billed as a combination of humor and suspense. Terrorists and a nuclear bomb disguised as a washing machine. Old former CIA with Alzheimer's saves the day?
- Thor, Brad. Full Black. Scot Harvath must save the United States from terrorists.
- Chadbourn, Mark. The Scar-Crow Men. Historical fantasy set in 16th Century England. Who is killing Queen Elizabeth I’s spies?
- Willig, Lauren. The Orchid Affair. Historical romance set in Napoleonic France.
Read “The Best Spy Fiction of 2010”
Read "The Best Spy Nonfiction of 2011"