Best Modern Spy Novels | 10 Real Book on Spy

Spy fiction is a genre of literature whose plot device is based on some undercover activities. It was introduced in the early twentieth century. Intelligence agencies were established when the major powers of the world started conspiracy amongst each other. During World War II, these intelligence agencies took a new turn by developing fascism and communism. Here are some of the best modern spy novels which you can enjoy in your leisure.

Intelligence agencies send spies to various parts of the world to gather information on rogue states, international criminal organizations, global terrorist networks, and many others. All these themes they put into the spy fiction genre and make it an adventurous novel.

10 Best Modern Spy Novels

All of these spy novels are adventurous, which will make you inquisitive. I think you will enjoy every book.

1. The Spy and the Traitor, by Ben Macintyre

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The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the... The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the... 15,518 Reviews $18.00 $12.99

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Benedict Richard Pierce Macintyre, popularly known as Ben Macintyre, is a British author and historian. He is also a columnist and Associate Editor on The Times. He has worked as a correspondent for the newspaper in Paris, New York, and Washington. Also, he wrote many best intelligence books that made him popular in the cultural world.

The Spy and the Traitor is one of the best modern spy novels. The protagonist of this novel, Oleg Gordievsky, is one of the topmost Russian intelligence agents. He joined Russian Intelligence in 1968 and gradually became their best agent in London. But he also started working secretly for the MI6 from 1973 onwards. Soviet leadership was growing very powerful at that moment. They did not trust the United States with their nuclear power, which almost caused a world war. Gordievsky started exposing Russian spies and helped the West to sabotage many of Russia’s plots. This is one of the best CIA books, non-fiction.

The CIA was very grateful to MI6, but they could not find the top-level source who was helping them. The CIA assigned Aldrich Ames to look for this agent. Ultimately Gordievsky got exposed and was doomed. This novel centers around the three-way gameplay of Gordievsky in America, Britain, and the Soviet Union. It tells the story of how an agent betrayed his own nation just to change the world’s future. It is the new york times’ best spy novel. Also, this is a new york times bestseller book.

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2. The Last Man, by Vince Flynn

Vincent Joseph Flynn or Vince Flynn was an American author. He wrote novels on political thrillers, mostly based on Mitch Rapp, a fictional character. Mitch Rapp got very popular, and CBS films decided to make an action-thriller movie franchise based on the character. He is most popular for writing on a psychological thriller book.

Mitch Rapp is one of the CIA’s topmost agents. He has been assigned with a mission of hunting for another CIA asset, Joe Rickman. Rickman headed the underground operation in Afghanistan. But suddenly, he gets kidnapped, and his four bodyguards are killed.

Rapp has to find Rickman by all means as the master of Black Ops carries some secrets within himself. If the secrets get into the wrong hands, then the result could be disastrous. But Rapp is not the only person looking for him; a special agent from the FBI is also hunting for Rickman. He blames Rapp for this whole catastrophe. Now Rapp has to be very careful and cold-blooded to complete his mission.

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The Last Man: A Novel (13) (A Mitch Rapp Novel) The Last Man: A Novel (13) (A Mitch Rapp Novel) 6,228 Reviews $12.51

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3. Gunmetal Gray (Grayman), by Mark Greaney

Mark Greaney is an American novelist. He is well known for his collaboration with Tom Clancy in writing his final three books. Greaney is also the no.1 NYT Bestselling author.
Court Gentry gets back to the CIA after about five years of running. CIA assigns him with a mission where some Chinese agents try to kill him in Hong Kong. But Court does not have any clue why he is being hunted. He travels to Southeast Asia in search of the answer and gets a lead to Donald Fitzroy. Fitzroy is an old friend to Court. But Fitzroy has been held hostage by the Chinese.

Fitzroy is on a mission to find Fan Jiang. The fan is an ex-member of an ultra-secret computer warfare unit China uses for its own security systems. Fitzroy had sent two teams to rescue fans, but they went missing. The Chinese are alert for the next operation. But they did not know that Court was heading to get the fan and the intel for the US. This is one of the best modern spy novels. If you read this real book on the spy, you will get a great adventure throughout the reading.

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Gunmetal Gray (Gray Man Book 6) Gunmetal Gray (Gray Man Book 6) 4,791 Reviews $9.99

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4. The Secrets We Kept, by Lara Prescott

Lara Prescott is a former animal protection advocate and a political campaign adviser. Her writings have been published in several journals and magazines, including The Southern Review, Crazyhorse, and The Hudson Review. She received her MFA from the University of Texas. She wrote the best novel of the 21st century.

Irina is a young Russian-American secretary. The CIA chose her to smuggle Boris Pasternak’s Doctor Zhivago into the USSR. The poetry is banned here, but the CIA wanted to publish it throughout the world. Sally Forrester mentors Irina on this mission. She is a seasoned spy who has to bring out the secrets from powerful men with her charm.

Irina learns how to sneak in highly classified documents without letting others know. This book is one of the best modern spy novels that portray Pasternak’s love story and his mistress, Olga Ivinskaya. And she is the inspiration for Doctor Zhivago’s Lara.

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The Secrets We Kept: A novel The Secrets We Kept: A novel 3,783 Reviews $1.99

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5. True Fiction, by Lee Goldberg

Lee Goldberg is an American author, publisher, screenwriter, and producer. He is well known for producing several TV crime series, such as Diagnosis: Murder, Hunter, Martial Law, SeaQuest, etc. This is one of the best thriller books ever she wrote.

The CIA has recruited Ian Ludlow to plan out a terrorism scenario. This will prepare the government in times of emergencies. One of those plans seems to come true, and Ian finds himself in grave danger. A passenger plane crashes onto the Waikiki beach. From his wit, Ian can tell that this terrible incident was not an accident. Rather it was planned in a cold head.
Ian needs to find out the culprit behind this criminal activity. Ian looks for clues and comes across Margo French, an eyewitness of this terrible incident. But they are hunted by assassins and some global intelligence networks. And they won’t rest until they kill Ian and Margo. This is one of the best spy novels of all time.

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True Fiction (Ian Ludlow Thrillers, 1) True Fiction (Ian Ludlow Thrillers, 1) 5,659 Reviews $15.95

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6. Agent Running in the Field, by John Le Carre

David John Moore Cornwell is a British author famous for modern spy novels. He mostly goes by his pen name John Le Carre. He used to work for both the Security Service (MI5) and the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6). Many of his novels have been adapted for movies.
Nat worked as an agent runner in Britain’s Secret Intelligence Service. He takes retirement from his job and comes back to London with his wife, Prue. But all of a sudden, his office starts receiving threats from the Moscow Centre. So the Intelligence wants Nat to go on this last mission. Nat’s mission is to take over a non-operational substation in London General, full of spies. Nat is accompanied by Florence, who is watching the Russian Department and a Ukrainian oligarch. He wrote many best spy novels.

Nat is very passionate about playing badminton. Every Monday, he plays with Ed, who works in some media agency. But Nat never had any idea that Ed would betray him. He entraps Nat, Prue, and Florence in the labyrinth of political anger. Agent Running in the Field is another one of the best modern spy novels.

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Agent Running in the Field: A Novel Agent Running in the Field: A Novel 6,440 Reviews $31.00 $20.76

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7. Red Sparrow, by Jason Matthews

Jason Matthews is an ex-officer of the Operations Directorate at CIA. He has served the CIA for thirty-three years in many overseas locations. He worked as a recruitment officer for agents against Soviet-East European, Middle Eastern, and other targets. This is a real book on spies.

Dominika Egorova is a Russian high-level state intelligence officer. She has been trained to be a “Sparrow.” A Sparrow is a trained spy in the art of seduction. Their job is to extract information from top-level intelligence agents and others. She is set on the mission to get information from a CIA officer, Nathaniel Nash. Nash is in charge of the CIA’s highly classified information of the Russian Intelligence. She also wrote various spy books for kids.

Nash and Egorova are assigned with the same mission. They get stuck in the web of lascivious attraction. As a result, it threatens their career and threatens the security of America’s infiltrator in Moscow. You can read this book if you search for the best spy books for non-fiction.

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8. Leaving Berlin, by Joseph Kanon

Joseph Kanon is an American author. He is well-known for modern spy novels and thrillers based on the plot of WW2. Several of his books have been published in 24 different languages. He has received The Anne Frank Human Writers Award for his writings.

Leaving Berlin is one of the best modern spy novels whose plot centers in Berlin, 1948. The city is still in ruins, even four years after the war’s end. Alex Meier is a young Jewish writer who fled to America before the war started. But his youth politics made him a victim of the McCarthy witch-hunt. The American government gives the order to deport him back to his country. This is when the CIA offers Alex a chance to stay again in America. He has to work for them as an agent in Berlin.

But things start to fall apart from the beginning itself. Someone is kidnapped, an East German agent gets killed, and Alex finds himself wanted. But to worsen the situation, Alex realizes that his actual assignment is to spy on the only woman he has loved his entire life. This leaves Alex in the moral dilemma of whether to betray, survive, or murder.

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Leaving Berlin: A Novel Leaving Berlin: A Novel 1,385 Reviews $16.39

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9. The Alice Network, by Kate Quinn

Kate Quinn is the bestselling author of the New York Times and USA Today. She is famous for writing historical fiction. She wrote many books on the Empress of Rome Saga and the Italian Renaissance. Her books have been translated into multiple languages.

The Alice Network centers around two women; a female spy drafted by the Alice Network in France and an American college girl. Charlie, the college girl, is pregnant, unmarried, and is thrown out of her family. She then goes to London to find out about her cousin Rose. Rose had disappeared during World War II in Nazi-occupied France.

The story then goes back to 30 years, when Eve Gardiner is recruited as a spy by the Alice Network. She is sent to France to fetch highly classified information from within the enemies. She is trained by Lili, who manages a vast network of secret agents and goes by the name “Queen of Spies.”

The Alice Network was disposed of because of a betrayal. This haunts Eve even after thirty years. She keeps herself aloof from everyone and stays drunk most of the time. Then she meets Charlie. And both of them start to hunt the truth no matter what happens.

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10. George Washington’s Secret Six, by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger

Brian Kilmeade is an American television and radio presenter. He works for Fox News and co-hosts Fox & Friends, a morning Fox show. He also hosts the Fox News Radio program. Kilmeade has co-authored many non-fiction books.

Don Yaeger is a renowned American sports journalist. He has authored and co-authored several books that have been listed on the New York Times Best Seller list. He is also an award-winning leadership speaker and business leadership coach.

Everyone thought that the American Revolution would soon be over when George Washington badly retreated from New York City in 1776. But George Washington never gave up. He formed a top-secret group which was called the Culper Spy Ring. He knew it was not that easy to defeat the British with his military power. That is why he formed this secret intelligence network to intrude on New York City.

The Culper Spy Ring consisted of six spies – a Quaker merchant, a tavern keeper, an impetuous young stevedore, a cranky Long Island bachelor, a coffeehouse owner, and a cryptic woman. This book is one of the best modern spy books that portray some of the real American heroes.

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The life of a spy or intelligence agent is very hard. Their presence is always at stake. And if somehow their identity is leaked, then they become a big threat to their family itself. That is why not everyone can become a spy. These best modern spy novels will help readers understand precisely how a spy deals with threats and risks in their daily lives. By reading these books, pass your spy time adventurously.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is an Intelligence Agency?

The government of individual countries owns intelligence agencies. They are accountable for collecting, analyzing, and manipulating information for law enforcement, national security, and the military. They are also responsible for securing foreign policy objectives.

Intelligence agencies gather information through various means. These may include undercover activities or spying, communication interruption, cryptanalysis, and assessing information from public sources.

Sometimes they also collaborate with other organizations to extract information. When they collect and disseminate the information, it is known as intelligence analysis. It is also called an intelligence assessment. Some of the world’s renowned intelligence agencies are CIA, FBI, MI5, MI6, RAW, CBI, Mossad, ISI, FSB, MSS, etc.

2. What are the functions of a secret Intelligence Agency?

Intelligence agencies provide the following services for the government –

  • One of the main functions of an intelligence agency is to warn the government of imminent threats of crises.
  • It determines the intentions of the potential enemies and serves both national and international crisis management.
  • It informs the national defense forces and military Intelligence about the upcoming threats.
  • The secret intelligence agency protects its own classified information as well as those of other state agencies.
  • It takes direct action when there is a national emergency and also helps international security.
  • It defends itself against other national and international intelligence agencies; in other words, counter-intelligence.
3. How to become a spy?

To become a spy, you should fulfill the following basic requirements:

  • No criminal records
  • Not having drug addiction or any kind of substance abuse.
    University-level education
  • Always be prepared for traveling.
  • Must be a native citizen
  • In addition to these, you should have some other skills and qualifications that are important to qualify as a spy –
  • Master some foreign languages
  • Keep yourself physically and mentally fit
  • You cannot tell anyone that you are applying
  • Leadership quality
  • Hard-working
4. What is the top list of intelligence agencies?
Some of the well-known and top intelligence agencies around the world are listed below:
  • Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) – USA
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) – USA
  • Security Service / MI5 – UK
  • Secret Intelligence Service (SIS) / MI6 – UK
  • Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) – India
  • Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) – India
  • HaMossadleModi?inuleTafkidimMeyu?adim / Mossad – Israel
  • Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) – Pakistan
  • Federal Security Service (FSB) – Russia
  • Ministry of State Security (MSS) – China
  • National Security Intelligence (NSI) – Bangladesh
5. What is pulp fiction about?

Pulp fiction is explained in chronological order with three interrelated stories. Pulp Fiction is an American crime movie that was written and directed by Quentin Tarantino. Lawrence Bender produced it in 1994.

The pulp fiction full movie starred John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman, Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Amanda Plummer, Maria de Medeiros, etc. The movie depicts the stories of several criminals n Los Angeles.

The title of the movie refers to the pulp magazines and hard-core crime novels popular during that time. This type of magazine was mostly famous for its graphic violence and punchy dialogue.

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