The best spy novelists writing today

FROM ERIC AMBLER TO IAN FLEMING

During the 1930s, 40s, and 50s the genre blossomed with the novels of Eric Ambler, Graham Greene, and Helen MacInnes. These authors, all British, brought literary talent and a realistic approach to their writing. However, it was Ian Fleming who elevated the field in the public consciousness with the James Bond novels. He began with Casino Royale in 1953 and wrapped up the series 12 novels later in 1965 with The Man With the Golden Gun.

THE BEST SPY NOVELISTS ACTIVELY WRITING TODAY

More demanding readers with a taste for the spy genre have followed the career of the late John le Carré (1931–2020), whose 30 widely-read novels spanned the five decades from 1961 to 2021. And Le Carré’s many disciples are hard at work today, turning out spy fiction that is solidly based on historical events and a realistic portrayal of espionage tradecraft. Below, I’ve included seven such authors, all of whom are still actively writing today.

CHARLES CUMMING

Charles Cumming. Image: Jonathan Ring

ALAN FURST

Alan Furst. Image: Gordon M. Grant — Newsweek

ALEX GERLIS

Alex Gerlis. Image: Order of Books

MICK HERRON

Mick Herron. Image: Antonio Olmos — The Observer

DAVID IGNATIUS

David Ignatius. Image: Wikipedia

JOSEPH KANON

Joseph Kanon. Image: Andrew Nürnberg Associates

PAUL VIDICH

Paul Vidich. Image: Bekka Palmer — No Exit Press

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