Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Happy Birthday John Le Carre'--The Espionage Thriller Master

Monday was spy master novelist John le Carre's 84th birthday.  In the exact opposite of Ian Fleming's James Bond character, le Carre's spies are world-weary, grizzled veterans.  Even though the spy thriller has changed from mostly English, male authors writing about the Cold War, John le Carre' is still popular and still relevant to today's readers. His The Spy Who Came in from the Cold is considered by many to be the greatest spy novel ever written.  He has reinvented his novels over the last 40 plus years and brought them into the 21st century, most recently with A Delicate Truth, featuring jihadist terrorists.  So, to honor this fantastic author, we will be highlighting spy thrillers for the next few weeks.  This week we will be focusing on the classics and female authors and spies.

The Classics

Len Deighton--The Ipcress File--number one in the Harry Palmer series--cool sixties spy.

Ian Fleming--Casino Royale--First in the James Bond series--dashing British agent.

Frederick Forsyth--The Kill List--latest stand-alone features an American agent.

Graham Greene--Our Man in Havana--MI6 operative in Cuba.

John le Carre'--The Spy Who Came in from the Cold--Alec Leamas is a British agent in early Cold War Berlin.

The Ladies

Charles Cumming--A Foreign Country--number one in the Amelia Levene series--head of British Intelligence--latest is A Colder War.

Gayle Lynds--Masquerade--number one in the Liz Sansborough series--CIA operative--latest is a stand-alone The Assassins.

Jason Matthews--Red Sparrow--number one in the Dominika Egorova series--Russian agent--latest is Palace of Treason.

Charlie Newton--Traitor's Gate--a pre-WWII historical thriller featuring Saba, an idealistic Palestinian woman and Eddie, an American chemical engineer.

Stella Rimington--At Risk--number one in the Liz Carlyle series--British MI5 operative--latest is Close Call.  The author is a former head of MI5.

Olen Steinhauer--The Cairo Affair--a stand-alone featuring Sophie, a murdered diplomat's wife in Egypt--latest is All the Old Knives--a stand-alone featuring Celia, a former CIA agent.

Elizabeth Wein--Code Name Verity--a British POW is forced by the Gestapo to write about her plane crash and her country's war plans. A fantastic young adult book that also appeals to adults.



Who is your favorite espionage author?

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