6 Must-Read (or Listen To) Spy Thrillers

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6 must-read or listen to spy thrillers

I am an avid reader and have a running list of favorite spy thrillers. While I love to read, I don’t often have enough time to do it. I spend a lot of time commuting and what better way to make good use of that time but to listen to audio books? I always thought listening to audio books was silly and why not just read a book? Then I had children and next to no time to myself. That’s when I discovered Audible.com.


I have had an Audible.com membership for years. They have varying levels of membership but they’re all very reasonable. You accrue a monthly number of “credits” that you can then use to “buy” books. One credit typically equals one book. As a member they also run a lot of specials for getting more credits at low prices.

Audible offers various membership plans, both monthly and annually. Right now they are offering a special of a 30-day free Audible trial and you get two free audiobooks. It’s a good way to try it out with no obligation to buy.

When I do have time to read, I read non-fiction but for listening time it’s all about fiction for me. I love a good story, one that will draw me in and make me look forward to the next time I’m in the car. It makes running errands so much more enjoyable. Over time I have compiled a list of my favorite authors. They are authors I follow and whenever they have a new release, it immediately goes on my Audible.com list.

I pre-order every book by these authors.  They are automatically delivered to my library when the books are released. Pre-ordering is a time-saver. I don’t have to remember when the books are being released to go back into the app to order them, they just magically appear in my library. It’s always a pleasant surprise when I open the app and find my much waited for new releases ready and waiting!

Favorite Spy Thriller Authors

I love a good spy novel but at the same time love a good romance tome as well. My interests vary from the mindless to the complicated. If you can tell a good story, chances are you’ll snag my interest. I tend to find an author I like who have series around a certain character then listen to the entire series. Below are some of my favorite authors and their respective series.

Daniel Silva – Gabriel Allon series – This is by far one of my most favorite series. I listened to one of his earliest in the series (there are 18 books in the series) and was hooked immediately. The novels are based around the character, Gabriel Allon, who is an expert art restorer as well as an Israeli spy.

The Israeli spy organization, the Mossad, recruited him as part of Operation Wrath of God in 1972, an operation that was formed to seek revenge for the Munich Olympics massacre of eleven Israeli athletes. The group tracked down and killed all those involved. After that operation was complete, Gabriel within the ranks of “The Office” as his ultra secret section of the Mossad was called.

One day while working on a project in Vienna, his wife and young son were killed in a car bomb meant for him. After that he went into seclusion in England, keeping to himself and remaining incommunicado with the outside world. He remained that way until one day when the head of The Office, Ari Shamron, came calling.

There are currently 18 books in the Gabriel Allon series, each one more intriguing than the next. If you like a good spy thriller, start with this one. You won’t be able to put it down or stop listening. The first book in the series is entitled: The Kill Artist

Brad Thor – Scot Harvath series – Scot Harvath is the key operative in this thriller series from Brad Thor. He is a former Navy Seal turned Secret Service Agent turned counter-terrorism agent. He is a handsome, finely muscled former Olympic level skier who tracks down terrorist threats around the globe.

This series is written beautifully, keeping you on the edge of your seat throughout. There is enough humor to take the edge off but make it that much more interesting of a story. There are currently 17 books in the Scot Harvath series and I have listened to every single one. The first of the series is entitled The Lions of Lucerne and you will not be disappointed!

Vince Flynn – Mitch Rapp series – The Mitch Rapp series began with American Assassin which sets the stage for this series. Mitch was a college lacrosse player with the world in front of him until tragedy struck on 9/11. His girlfriend was killed in the 9/11 attacks. Her death changed the direction of Mitch’s life to that of a clandestine counter terrorism operative in the most secret of groups working outside the normal chain of command.

This group is so secret that they don’t exist, at least not in the eyes of the United States government. American Assassin starts off with Mitch’s training and inaugural operations as a member of the country’s most secretive group of clandestine operatives in the history of the United States.

Vince Flynn started the Mitch Rapp series and completed 12 of the 15 Mitch Rapp series prior to his death. After his death Kyle Mills picked up the mantle and continued the Mitch Rapp series in Vince Flynn’s stead. While not an exact replica on Vince’s style, Kyle Mills keeps the Mitch Rapp story alive and well.

Brad Taylor – Pike Logan series  The first book in the Pike Logan series, One Rough Man, tells the story of Pike Logan, a former member of an elite group of operatives from across clandestine, intelligence, and special forces known as the Taskforce. The highest levels of government created this group.

This group worked to stop the worst terrorist threats throughout the world. Most operations operated outside the bounds of United States law. They did the dirty work, the work that nobody else could or would do.

After personal tragedy struck, Pike left the Taskforce. Soon thereafter he accidentally crossed paths with two people set on destroying the world based on their extreme ideology. Unfortunately for them, Pike could not look the other way and set about saving the world from destruction. And this is just Book 1. There are currently 11 books in the Pike Logan series, each one more riveting than the last.

Alex Berenson – John Wells series – This series starts off with The Faithful Spy which has John Wells coming home after years of being deeply undercover in Afghanistan as a CIA operative. While undercover in the mountains of Afghanistan he became a Muslim and started questioning the American agenda.  Upon his return, the CIA is unsure they can trust him anymore.

John Wells has returned to the United States because of an impending terrorist threat.Only his boss at the CIA believes in him and together they must stop what could be the worst terrorist attack ever seen on American soil. The Faithful Spy is the first in a series of (currently) 12 books in the John Wells series.

Andrew Peterson – Nathan McBride series – Nathan McBride is a former CIA operative who, after a botched mission in Nicaragua, leaves the CIA. After exiting the CIA, Nathan starts up his own private security business, putting to use his unique skillset.  Then one day his friend and business partner Frank Ortega asks him for a favor.

A deeply undercover federal agent, who happens to also be Frank’s grandson, has gone missing and Frank trusts only Nathan to get him back. First to Kill is the first novel of 7 to date in the Nathan McBride series. This series is fast moving and will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout. If you enjoy an action packed thriller, this is the series for you.

I have listened to every single book in all six of these series and can’t recommend them highly enough. Whether you read them or listen to them, each book has a way of drawing the reader in and making you feel like you’re in the middle of the action. If you are a fan of spy thrillers, these series are all must reads!

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