The Mystery, Crime, and Thriller Group discussion

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Genre Discussions > Espionage thrillers

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message 1: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new)

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 8696 comments Mod
We don't have this topic under genre, so I'm adding it.


message 2: by Zoe (new)

Zoe Radley | 558 comments I love love love tinker tailor soldier spy by John Le carre


message 3: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new)

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 8696 comments Mod
I am a huge fan of Le Carre in general. Haven't loved all of them, but he's a wonderful writer!


message 4: by Zoe (new)

Zoe Radley | 558 comments I mainly liked it due to the film


message 5: by Feliks (last edited Nov 04, 2014 09:05AM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) Super! Thanks Nancy.

Espionage is my fave genre. I moderate three Goodreads groups in this realm.

And here is a sprawling espionage discussion containing reviews for classic authors going all the way back to the 1870s:
https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...-

Readers new to espionage will certainly find this useful, as I set out syllabus there specifically for beginners. 'What titles to start with'. There's another syllabus as well for women readers: (spy books written with more romance, character, and emotion).


message 6: by Zoe (new)

Zoe Radley | 558 comments ^ ooo thanks will be checking that out


message 7: by Zoe (new)

Zoe Radley | 558 comments ^ ooo thanks will be checking that out.


message 8: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new)

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 8696 comments Mod
Feliks wrote: "Super! Thanks Nancy.

Espionage is my fave genre. I moderate three Goodreads groups in this realm.

And here is a sprawling espionage discussion containing reviews for classic authors going all the..."



Just curious - why separate out "women readers" ?


message 9: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new)

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 8696 comments Mod
Feliks wrote: "Super! Thanks Nancy.

Espionage is my fave genre. I moderate three Goodreads groups in this realm.

And here is a sprawling espionage discussion containing reviews for classic authors going all the..."


You're very welcome.


message 10: by Feliks (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) Nancy wrote: "Just curious - why separate out "women readers" ? ..."

Well, at one point a female Goodreader entered that discussion and commented that she had never read any espionage titles because she thought it would not be to her taste. She felt such books would be cold, technical, action-oriented male books.

We all wondered how true this erroneous impression might be for other women readers, and so I banged out a quick list of spy books which might be effective to attract 'reluctant readers'.


message 11: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new)

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 8696 comments Mod
Ah - okay. Thanks.


message 12: by Skye (new)

Skye | 2105 comments There was a period of time when I read all of Helen Mac Kiness novels. I adored the espionage and reading about Interpol.


message 13: by Pam (new)

Pam Newberry (pamnewberry) | 20 comments So very glad this was added...Thanks, Nancy!

Feliks: I'm going to check out your other group. Sounds very interesting, especially the "quick list" to read.

Paul: Will definitely hunt down Furst's books.

Skye: Do you have to read Helen Mac Kiness' novels in order? By the way, I'm in the middle of "A is for Alibi" <-- excellent! :-) Thanks for turning me on to Grafton.


message 14: by Feliks (last edited Dec 06, 2014 01:48PM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) Howdy Pam

That link I provided was actually just a discussion thread attached to a book page. No need to join anything. Its simply attached to the Goodreads page for John LeCarre's "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy".

I do moderate three other 'cloak/dagger themed' Goodreads groups, though. Would be happy to have you participate, lurk, or contribute. (There's lots of women there, you wouldn't be the only girl :D)

If Nancy doesn't mind, I will linkie here:

https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...
[WWII Spy Novels]

https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...
[Espionage Aficionados]

https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...
['Spec Ops' Group

Yours to choose!

Feliks


message 15: by Pam (new)

Pam Newberry (pamnewberry) | 20 comments Feliks wrote: "Howdy Pam

I do moderate three other 'cloak/dagger themed' Goodreads groups


Thanks Feliks -- had checked it out and found the Espionage Aficionados. Just sent a request to join. So appreciate the info!


message 16: by Skye (new)

Skye | 2105 comments Pam wrote: "So very glad this was added...Thanks, Nancy!

Feliks: I'm going to check out your other group. Sounds very interesting, especially the "quick list" to read.

Paul: Will definitely hunt down Furst'..."


Pam wrote: "So very glad this was added...Thanks, Nancy!

Feliks: I'm going to check out your other group. Sounds very interesting, especially the "quick list" to read.

Paul: Will definitely hunt down Furst'..."


Pam wrote: "So very glad this was added...Thanks, Nancy!

Feliks: I'm going to check out your other group. Sounds very interesting, especially the "quick list" to read.

Paul: Will definitely hunt down Furst'..."


Pam; let me know what you think of Sue Grafton ( I love her); I never read Helen MacInness in any order. I just grabbed any and everything she wrote at the library.


message 17: by Feliks (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) Sue Grafton had a more lengthy and more diverse career than I originally gave her credit for--when she burst on the scene with the Kinsey Milhone series. Grafton had written a variety of works prior to that, including several screenplays as far back as the early 1970s. Impressive.


message 18: by Skye (new)

Skye | 2105 comments Feliks: I didn't know that. I am addicted to her Kinsey Millhone books because they are light and happy reading. Kinsey is unique in many ways, and the voice/tone pulls me in most of the time.


message 19: by Jim (new)

Jim Crocker | 176 comments Alan Furst stories are just great. I also like Olen Steinhauer and Philip Kerr.
The Tourist
Berlin Noir: March Violets / The Pale Criminal / A German Requiem


message 20: by Bill (new)

Bill | 5459 comments Paul wrote: "I am huge fan of Alan Furst. These books can be very "quiet" in that not a TON happens. For example, there is no kung fu in these things! They are very atmospheric and manage an authenticity (or, i..."

I've read 3 or 4 of the Alan Furst books, Paul and have enjoyed them very much so far.


message 21: by Skye (new)

Skye | 2105 comments Feliks; I will have to check out your other groups.


message 22: by Feliks (last edited Nov 12, 2014 01:28PM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) Would be glad to have ya.

By the way, for you cable-tv-series junkies: though there is not really a good fiction book-series associated with it, I will strongly recommend the superb BBC "Reilly: Ace of Spies" production to you.

It comes from this book, but its a rather dry biography: Reilly: Ace of Spies

So its a case where the movie adaptation is really the place-to-go for the story. Lush, luscious, gorgeous period-piece production starring the dashing and suave Sam Neill. A great way to learn about early spies and anarchists in the Gilded Age, without expending a lot of effort. Tuxedos, tiaras, ball gowns galore.


message 23: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new)

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 8696 comments Mod
I love that series. I have it on DVD.


message 24: by Feliks (last edited Nov 12, 2014 01:32PM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) You're right on top of things then. Some music, eh? In the opening credits? Lilting violins and oboes all over de place. And many of the character actors who had cameos in that series are found in many of the other BBC products of the day. The Jeremy Brett Sherlock Holmes series, for example. That's 'Watson' playing Stalin. David Suchet is in there. Tom Bell as my namesake (also where my avatar comes from )


message 25: by Bill (new)

Bill | 5459 comments Feliks wrote: "Would be glad to have ya.

By the way, for you cable-tv-series junkies: though there is not really a good fiction book-series associated with it, I will strongly recommend the superb BBC "Reilly: ..."


Thanks for posting about Reilly, Feliks. I bought that for my Dad a few years back but, the other day, for the life or me, I could not remember the name of it. Thanks again. :)


message 26: by Feliks (last edited Nov 13, 2014 01:27PM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) You're welcome! I wonder that they don't re-write it into a theatrical release someday.

I also think they should scrap the James Bond series altogether. That is, unless they go back to the beginning and do the films in the order of the books, as strict period-pieces each set in the time described by each novel. That's the only thing that makes sense. Bond simply doesn't work in the modern world anymore. It would be interesting to return to the much more intriguing world he began his career in. A world where white tuxedoes really worked.


message 27: by Bill (new)

Bill | 5459 comments That might be interesting, Feliks.


message 28: by Russell (new)

Russell Brooks (russellbrooks) I'm late joining the party. Wasn't aware that there was an espionage thread. That's my thing.


message 29: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new)

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 8696 comments Mod
Very nice!


message 30: by Barbara (new)

Barbara (barbarahagerty) | 8 comments I read lots of espionage for years, then without doing so consciously, I have seemed to transition into gritty crime fiction/thriller/horror. But I still love espionage, and Olen Stenhauer's The Tourist is at the top of my list.


message 31: by Russell (new)

Russell Brooks (russellbrooks) I started reading Vince Flynn several years ago. I then moved onto Joseph Finder and Barry Eisler.


message 32: by Feliks (last edited Dec 06, 2014 01:50PM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) I've lately been discovering that there are vast, enormous troves of spy fiction and international intrigue written between 1890 and 1930. Really incredible. Plus you get a chance to see where certain conventions of the genre--and influences handed down from one author to another--truly originated.


message 33: by Russell (new)

Russell Brooks (russellbrooks) Some of my research comes from reading spy novels written by other authors. Barry Eisler used to work for the CIA. I'll eventually get around to reading Valery Plame Wilson.


message 34: by Ian (last edited Feb 02, 2015 10:51AM) (new)

Ian | 9 comments I haven't read anything by Eisler yet, but he certainly has a following so I probably should. My favorites are Mark Greaney (The Gray Man series) and I've recently gone back and started reading a lot of John le Carré.


message 35: by Feliks (last edited Feb 02, 2015 08:37AM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) Adam Hall. Like I've been telling people lately: if you took just the tiny, all-too-brief action sequences from any LeCarre title and expanded them into their own full-length novels, they would read exactly like Adam Hall. His prose is as authoritative as LeCarre's but he simply writes highly-focused action instead of about the larger espionage sphere (institutions and bureaucracies). Can't recommend him highly enough. His thrillers exhibit the techniques of Hammett: 'action-writing' so swift that your eyes must move as fast as you can get them down the page.


message 36: by Ramla Zareen (new)

Ramla Zareen Ahmad | 36 comments Hi all, would like to share that Alistair MacLean and Helen MacInnes are my favourite authors of this genre...! :-)


message 37: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Richter (stephenofllongbeach) | 87 comments I too really like Olen Steinhauer. His first novel The Bridge of Sighs worked on so many different levels, it starts in a police station in an Eastern European city post WWII, and introduces you to the spies that inhabit the rest of his works.


message 38: by Nancy, Co-Moderator (new)

Nancy Oakes (quinnsmom) | 8696 comments Mod
Ramla Zareen wrote: "Hi all, would like to share that Alistair MacLean and Helen MacInnes are my favourite authors of this genre...! :-)"

I enjoy Alistair MacLean. My mom had all of his novels around when I was a kid and one day when I was really bored, I picked up Ice Station Zebra and read it. I went through the entire collection in about a month.


message 39: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Bergman (marshop) | 92 comments Feliks wrote: "Adam Hall. Like I've been telling people lately: if you took just the tiny, all-too-brief action sequences from any LeCarre title and expanded them into their own full-length novels, they would rea..."

I posted this question on the Tinker, Tailor thread.....What is opinion of Brad Thor? I heard him on a radio interview whereby he said that his mentor was Vince Flynn.


message 40: by Feliks (last edited Mar 08, 2015 05:40PM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) My specific opinion? Well I'm flattered to be asked; but I'm not very familiar with these moderns. They're too 'recent' to fall within my sphere-of-interest. Also--see--well it's like this...I like to be extremely sure of what I'm getting. There's nothing worse than finding myself in the middle of a novel and running into something I take objection to. If I read Adam Hall, or Len Deighton, Donald Hamilton, or anyone similar--I know these authors will not pander to current-day popculture. They won't give me some discordant, trendy, MTV reference or some other nonsense which distracts my concentration. They won't kow-tow either, to some current PC-cowardice. I generally just want the most adult, serious, and mature books possible. Lean, mean, uncluttered. No punches-pulled, no shirking. That's my feeling about it. I want pure escapism in a thriller ..and if a tough, violent plot is too offensive for today's modern tastes, then I will stick with classics.

But yeah a lot of readers do gravitate towards these newer guys.


message 41: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Bergman (marshop) | 92 comments Feliks wrote: "My specific opinion? Well I'm flattered to be asked; but I'm not very familiar with these moderns. They're too 'recent' to fall within my sphere-of-interest. Also--see--well it's like this...I like..."

Thanks for the input. I found Vince Flynn meets your particular taste...in fact, a liberal producer bought the rights to Memorial Day then decided it was too unbelieveable. It scared the hell out of me, knowing it is absolutely possible. His character, Mitch Rapp, is definitely not politically correct. He does what is needed to get the job done. Flynn died way too young, however I heard that another writer is going to continue his series


message 42: by Feliks (last edited Mar 08, 2015 05:59PM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) I'm sure that's all quite true. Thanks for the follow-up.

It is unfortunate and sad that such a promising author--someone revitalizing the genre--vanished at such an early point in his career. That's why groups like this one are so worthwhile--we need to find ways to keep this type of literature in the forefront for new readers, despite setbacks like losing Flynn.


message 43: by Patricia (last edited Mar 08, 2015 07:02PM) (new)

Patricia Bergman (marshop) | 92 comments Feliks wrote: "I'm sure that's all quite true. Thanks for the follow-up.

It is unfortunate and sad that such a promising author--someone revitalizing the genre--vanished at such an early point in his career. Th..."



Some years ago I saw an interview with Clancey who said, in his opinion, the cold war was the closest we've been to annihilation . I wonder, if he were alive today, what he would say about today's threats from the middle east, i.e., Isis, Iran, etc. I didn't read any of his last books so don't know if he addressed the Islamists.


message 44: by D.J. (new)

D.J. Adamson (djadamson) | 12 comments Since I am not up on most of Ho you mentioned...Ludlum fan here....I am going to the want to read section and making Flynn.

Dj


message 45: by Feliks (last edited Mar 08, 2015 09:43PM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) More power to ye. Me, I just finished another classic Adam Hall and my fingertips are verily buzzing. Just as I wished...

Review:
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 46: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Bergman (marshop) | 92 comments Feliks wrote: "More power to ye. Me, I just finished another classic Adam Hall and my fingertips are verily buzzing. Just as I wished...

Review:
https://www.goodreads.com/review/show......"



I am an aficionado of the thriller genre and am embarrassed to admit that I have not read Adam Hall. By the way, I am jealous of your review abilities. I am going to work on my expertise. I have heard practice makes perfect.


message 47: by D.J. (new)

D.J. Adamson (djadamson) | 12 comments Oh, okay, quit it. Now I have to go back and dd Hall, too.


message 48: by D.J. (new)

D.J. Adamson (djadamson) | 12 comments Which Hall and Flynn books should I red first?


message 49: by Feliks (last edited Mar 08, 2015 10:04PM) (new)

Feliks (dzerzhinsky) Ha. Thank you. Useless in so many other ways, my reviews alone save me from complete worthlessness around here.

I envy you reading your first Adam Hall. I suggest this one: The Sinkiang Executive or the one I just finished. They are truly freight-trains in pacing. They hurtle along from first page to last. Whereas, the first in the series is much slower and moodier. Its not necessary to start there. Each can be taken as a standalone.

And Hall is great in that if he mentions some minor factoid in passing--like the name of a defector--go and look it up and you see that he's mentioning an actual defection that really occurred, and he has woven it into his story. This is superb. I don't know how he did that kind of thing, he must have had excellent contacts like DeVilliers or he must have been a demon on research like Follett. But Follett was a reporter--how'd Hall come by these skills? Beats me. He was a RAF flight engineer at one point, that's all I can see.


message 50: by D.J. (new)

D.J. Adamson (djadamson) | 12 comments I will take your recommendation. Thank you.


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