Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Nine top classic & contemporary spy novels

When Timothy Jay Smith quit an intriguing international career to become a full-time writer, he had a host of real life characters, places and events to inspire his stories. His first novel, Cooper’s Promise, in some ways is still the most autobiographical of his novels, though he was never an American deserter adrift in Africa. But he was in The Mining Pan bar and he did meet Lulay and he did stowaway on a barge that landed him in an African jail.

Now, in his third novel, The Fourth Courier, set in Poland in 1992, Smith looks back at the fall of communism in Eastern Europe, as witnessed through the eyes of an FBI Special Agent on assignment to stop a nuclear smuggling operation out of Russia. Smith’s newest book continues his style of page-turning thrillers steeped with colorful characters.

At CrimeReads he tagged nine notable spy thrillers, including:
Istanbul Passage by Joseph Kanon

During World War II, Istanbul was a center of international espionage. In Istanbul Passage, Joseph Kanon sets the story in the immediate aftermath of the war when the espionage community is beginning to pack up. An American businessman, Leon Bauer, has been drawn into their shadowy world by doing odd jobs to support the Allied effort. He’s asked to make one last exchange, which goes fatally awry. An American diplomat cum spy is killed, and Leon ends up hiding a possible war criminal wanted by both the Americans and Russians. Confronted with shifting loyalties and moral uncertainty, it’s the story of a man swept up in the dawn of the Cold War.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue