T Nation

Espionage Book Recommendations

Im looking for some suggestions for novels that are based around the espionage/spy world. I would really like something thats based along the same lines as the kind of splinter cell stories, 1 guy infiltrating areas/buildings/organizations etc and putting together the big picture.

I know there are books based on splinter cell but i read them and didnt think that much of them so if anyone has any suggestions i would love to hear them. Thank You!

Robert Ludlum
John LeCarre
Jack Higgins
Frederick Forsyth
Ken Follett

are some fairly prolific authors who mostly work in that genre.

If you want non-fiction, but in my opinion more interesting than a novel (and very educational to boot), read See No Evil by Robert Baer. He’s an ex-CIA operative who spent time in Iraq, Beirut, India, etc., etc. He has a lot of interesting stories about different operations he worked on, and what he thinks is wrong with the modern-day CIA. (The book came out in 2002).

He’s interviewed a lot on TV news programs, talk shows and such. I think he left the CIA sometime in the mid- to late '90s.

Well, if you like Splinter Cell, go back to the source. Tom Clancy.

It’s a little on the old side, but I read The Cardinal in the Kremlin a few years ago and loved it.

Most other Clancy books I’ve read weren’t as centered around espionage, although I think my favorite book of his was Red Storm Rising (about World War 3 with Russia… I keep meaning to go back to it).

Speaking of Splinter Cell, it’s funny you bring it up… I just started playing the original on my PC again… I forgot how good it was!


It’s not purely espionage per s?, but Without Remorse by Tom Clancy is an awesome read. It has a definite lone wolf, First Blood kind of feel to it.