Aspects of the genre
Looking at the spy novel sub-genre, we can consider it from several aspects:
What are the ‘best spy novels’ – a subjective list, certainly, but most readers’ lists would include some of these?
What are the ‘classics’, and helped define the sub-genre?
Which deserve a special mention? The ones in the articles below solidified the sub-genre and are used as reference points for comparison.
- The Best Spy Novels
The best spy novels from my perspective, presenting a spectrum of this entertaining thriller novel sub-genre. What are the best and can they be set at any time? Espionage has been prevalent through the eons of man’s existence.
- Classic Espionage Thriller Novels
Arguably the first of modern espionage thriller novels was ‘Riddle of the Sands’, 1903. It laid the ground with plot devices for modern thrillers. The true story was even stranger than fiction, and the Kaiser caught us napping.
- Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Spy craft and subterfuge, duplicity and double dealing – lying, deceiving, planning, cheating, executing. All ingredients of the classic espionage novel. This includes the video trailer of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy directed by Tomas Alfredson, with an all star British cast including John Hurt, Colin Firth, Benedict Cumberbatch, Gary Oldman and Kathy Burke.
- The Ipcress File
One of Len Deighton’s best books. Includes the video trailer of The Ipcress File – the Michael Caine version, with Sue Lloyd and Gordon Jackson. Spy craft and subterfuge, duplicity and double dealing – lying, deceiving, planning, cheating, executing. All ingredients of the classic espionage novel.