100 books like Rise and Kill First

By Ronen Bergman,

Here are 100 books that Rise and Kill First fans have personally recommended if you like Rise and Kill First. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Secret War Against Hitler

Danny Orbach Author Of Fugitives: A History of Nazi Mercenaries During the Cold War

From my list on covert operations making your blood boil.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an Israeli military historian, addicted to stories on the unusual, mysterious and unknown. While many of my fellow scholars are interested in the daily and the mundane, I have taken a very different course. Since childhood, I've been fascinated by decisions human beings make in times of crisis, war, and other situations of partial knowledge and moral ambiguity. Therefore, I wrote on coups d’etat, military undergrounds, covert operations, and espionage. After graduating with a PhD from Harvard University, I began teaching world military history, modern Japanese history, and the history of espionage at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. For me, reading about covert operations is both a hobby and a profession.

Danny's book list on covert operations making your blood boil

Danny Orbach Why did Danny love this book?

In this gripping memoir, Fabian von Schlabrendorff recounts his way into the heart of the German conspiracy against Hitler. After the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union, he fell under the influence of Colonel Henning von Tresckow, “a natural enemy of National-Socialism and one of the most outstanding figures in the German resistance.” Working as a team, Tresckow, Schlabrendorff, and their co-conspirators planned to kill Hitler during a visit to the eastern front in March 1943 with a bomb camouflaged as three wrapped bottles of liqueur. As recounted in Schlabrendorff’s memoirs, he and Tresckow concocted several other assassination attempts with carefully concealed bombs, suicide bombers, and sharpshooters. When the dust settled, the author was one of the only members of the inner circle who survived to tell the tale.  

By Fabian von Schlabrendorff, Andrew Chandler,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Secret War Against Hitler as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the few survivors of the German Resistance, von Schlabrendorff traces his anti-Nazi activity from his student days in the 1920s, through Hitler's rise to power, to the war and his involvement in the July 20, 1944, plot. He vividly recalls the double life of the Resistance leaders during World War II, the futile secret meetings of the conspirators, and their efforts to enlist the aid of weak and vacillating German generals.


Book cover of Hunting Evil

Danny Orbach Author Of Fugitives: A History of Nazi Mercenaries During the Cold War

From my list on covert operations making your blood boil.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an Israeli military historian, addicted to stories on the unusual, mysterious and unknown. While many of my fellow scholars are interested in the daily and the mundane, I have taken a very different course. Since childhood, I've been fascinated by decisions human beings make in times of crisis, war, and other situations of partial knowledge and moral ambiguity. Therefore, I wrote on coups d’etat, military undergrounds, covert operations, and espionage. After graduating with a PhD from Harvard University, I began teaching world military history, modern Japanese history, and the history of espionage at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. For me, reading about covert operations is both a hobby and a profession.

Danny's book list on covert operations making your blood boil

Danny Orbach Why did Danny love this book?

Guy Walters’ book is perhaps the best account of the Nazis who escaped after the Second World War and the attempts to hunt them down. Unlike most writers in this field, Walters relies on thorough archival research. A sharp and critical thinker, he debunks countless myths, including the story of Odessa, the supposedly global organization that helped former SS members to escape, and the inflated accounts of the Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal. After reading the first page, I could hardly lay this book down. This deep, thoughtful, and often blood-boiling series of unhappy endings leave you deeply immersed, and sometimes make you want to yell in rage over the injustice of it all. 

By Guy Walters,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Hunting Evil as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

At the end of the Second World War some of the highest ranking members of the Nazi party escaped from justice. Some of them are names that have resonated deeply in twentieth-century history - Eichmann, Mengele, Martin Bormann and Klaus Barbie - not just for the monstrosity of their crimes, but also because of the shadowy nature of their post-war existence, holed up in the depths of Latin America, always one step ahead of their pursuers.

The nature of their escape was as gripping as any good thriller. They were aided and abetted by corrupt Catholic priests in the Vatican,…


Book cover of Operation Mincemeat : The True Spy Story that Changed the Course of World War II

Danny Orbach Author Of Fugitives: A History of Nazi Mercenaries During the Cold War

From my list on covert operations making your blood boil.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an Israeli military historian, addicted to stories on the unusual, mysterious and unknown. While many of my fellow scholars are interested in the daily and the mundane, I have taken a very different course. Since childhood, I've been fascinated by decisions human beings make in times of crisis, war, and other situations of partial knowledge and moral ambiguity. Therefore, I wrote on coups d’etat, military undergrounds, covert operations, and espionage. After graduating with a PhD from Harvard University, I began teaching world military history, modern Japanese history, and the history of espionage at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. For me, reading about covert operations is both a hobby and a profession.

Danny's book list on covert operations making your blood boil

Danny Orbach Why did Danny love this book?

Some espionage stories are so absurd as to defy belief, and yet they are true. This masterpiece by Ben Macintyre tells the story of such a plot: the story of Operation Mincemeat, a successful British attempt to deceive the Germans by planting false documents on a dead body, then dropping it on Spanish shores and into the clutches of Germany’s many spies. For me, this successful deception story was fascinating not only because of the breathtaking pace of events, but mainly due to its curious literary dimension. In order to make the deception work, the British designed the life story of “William Martin,” an officer that never was, using their literary skills to create a credible character of an English military gentleman. As Macintyre shows, they played exactly into the stereotypes of the German enemies on “Britishness.” Elaborating on this process, this book is a fascinating espionage story of double…

By Ben Macintyre,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Operation Mincemeat as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One April morning in 1943, a sardine fisherman spotted the corpse of a British soldier floating in the sea off the coast of Spain and set in train a course of events that would change the course of the Second World War. Operation Mincemeat was the most successful wartime deception ever attempted, and certainly the strangest. It hoodwinked the Nazi espionage chiefs, sent German troops hurtling in the wrong direction, and saved thousands of lives by deploying a secret agent who was different, in one crucial respect, from any spy before or since: he was dead. His mission: to convince…


Book cover of Spies of No Country: Secret Lives at the Birth of Israel

Danny Orbach Author Of Fugitives: A History of Nazi Mercenaries During the Cold War

From my list on covert operations making your blood boil.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an Israeli military historian, addicted to stories on the unusual, mysterious and unknown. While many of my fellow scholars are interested in the daily and the mundane, I have taken a very different course. Since childhood, I've been fascinated by decisions human beings make in times of crisis, war, and other situations of partial knowledge and moral ambiguity. Therefore, I wrote on coups d’etat, military undergrounds, covert operations, and espionage. After graduating with a PhD from Harvard University, I began teaching world military history, modern Japanese history, and the history of espionage at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. For me, reading about covert operations is both a hobby and a profession.

Danny's book list on covert operations making your blood boil

Danny Orbach Why did Danny love this book?

The life of a spy is psychologically difficult as he must keep loyalty to his own country, while secretly blending in with that of the enemy. For the Middle Eastern Jews who spied for Israel during its war of independence, the heroes of Matti Friedman’s excellent book, life was even more difficult, by upbringing and background their identity was interwoven with that of the enemy. In this book, Friedman follows these spies and covert warriors through a breathless sequence of assassinations and espionage operations against the Arab foes besieging Israel from all sides. Aside from being taken over by the plot, I love this book because it raises intriguing questions of identity during times of crisis and war, still relevant in the turbulent region of the Middle East and beyond. 

By Matti Friedman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Spies of No Country as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“Wondrous . . . Compelling . . . Piercing.” —The New York Times Book Review

Award-winning writer Matti Friedman’s tale of Israel’s first spies has all the tropes of an espionage novel, including duplicity, betrayal, disguise, clandestine meetings, the bluff, and the double bluff—but it’s all true.

Journalist and award-winning author Matti Friedman’s tale of Israel’s first spies reads like an espionage novel--but it’s all true. The four agents at the center of this story were part of a ragtag unit known as the Arab Section, conceived during World War II by British spies and Jewish militia leaders in Palestine.…


Book cover of Mossad: The Greatest Missions of the Israeli Secret Service

Balakrishna Kamath Author Of The Ace of Shadows

From my list on thrilling spy adventures and awesome mysteries.

Why am I passionate about this?

Balakrishna Kamath has to his credit a 39-year-long service in one of India’s premier Intelligence agencies. His long service has taken him to many places and enabled him to gain considerable experience in handling challenging operations. The coveted national-level honors - The Indian Police Medal and President's Police Medal, he had received during his service, would indicate the distinction he has earned in his career. After his retirement, he has written two novels – The Velvet Gloves (November 2018) and The Ace of Shadows (March 2022). These novels dwelling on intelligence operations have been recently signed for adaptation into web series. 

Balakrishna's book list on thrilling spy adventures and awesome mysteries

Balakrishna Kamath Why did Balakrishna love this book?

The book captivatingly provides more than a peek into the legendary secret service organization – Mossad and its secretly executed high-stake operations. What would stun anyone is the sheer bravery of the Mossad agents who carry out their life-threatening assignments with clockwork precision. They are also men of flesh and blood, only they have steel nerves. They are the guardians of the Israeli nation and they do it literally with their sweat and blood. The readers would certainly get to feel the heartbeat of these amazing men on their onerous duty. Cannot miss reading this book.

By Michael Bar-Zohar, Nissim Mishal,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Mossad as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Mossad is universally recognised as the greatest intelligence service in the world. It is also the most enigmatic, shrouded in a thick veil of secrecy. Many of its enthralling feats are still unknown; most of its heroes remain unnamed.From the kidnapping of Eichmann in Argentina and the systematic tracking down of those responsible for the Munich massacre to lesser-known episodes of astonishing espionage, this extraordinary book describes the dramatic, largely secret history of Mossad and the Israeli intelligence community.Examining the covert operations, the targeted assassinations and the paramilitary activities within and outside Israel, Michael Bar-Zohar and Nissim Mishal detail the…


Book cover of Jet

Alan McDermott Author Of Run and Hide

From my list on thrillers that kept me reading all night.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I was at school, reading was a chore. We were given books that held no interest and told to dissect the author’s words to find a deeper meaning. It put me off reading for years. It wasn’t until I came across a thriller that I discovered my love of books, and I’ve been hooked ever since. There’s nothing like mounting tension to get you flipping the pages, and I try to do that in my books. 

Alan's book list on thrillers that kept me reading all night

Alan McDermott Why did Alan love this book?

A cracking action thriller. A friend recommended this to me, saying my pulse would rise within the first few pages. He wasn’t wrong. It shot up and barely came down. Jet is an Israeli agent who wants out, but it’s never that easy. Such a good first book that the author wrote about 20 more in the series. Guess who read them all!

By Russell Blake,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Jet as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Code name: Jet Twenty-eight-year-old Jet was once the Mossad's most lethal operative before faking her own death and burying that identity forever. But the past doesn't give up on its secrets easily. When her new life on a tranquil island is shattered by a brutal attack, Jet must return to a clandestine existence of savagery and deception to save herself and those she loves. A gritty, unflinching roller-coaster of high-stakes twists and shocking turns, JET features a new breed of protagonist that breaks the mold. Fans of Lisbeth Salander, SALT, and the Bourne trilogy will find themselves carried along at…


Book cover of Fire Strike

Mike Handcock Author Of Truthseekers: The Biggest Question in World History

From my list on archeological adventures with action, mystery and ancient knowledge.

Why am I passionate about this?

I first picked up a Clive Cussler book over ten years ago. I previously only ever read nonfiction. I was hooked. I always thought these action-adventure archeological-style novels would be toilet paper, but I was wrong. These books made me want to write them. For years before, I had studied the Egyptians, Sumerians, Incas, Mayans, and Templars. You name it and I knew about it, so I took my own experience and excitement and started creating my own books. The recommendations I have here are from some of the best of the best in the genre if you like sitting on the edge of your seat, twists and turns, and some really interesting history that most of us don’t know.

Mike's book list on archeological adventures with action, mystery and ancient knowledge

Mike Handcock Why did Mike love this book?

Clive Cussler sold a hundred million books, but for me Juan Cabrillo is by far my most favourite character. Why - because he speaks to me personally. I loved this book because it was written after Clive died, but it’s as good if not better than his early ones. Cabrillo is a team guy, and I love that. He always does the hardest stuff himself. As a leader, that speaks to me.

In this book, we deal with the Saudis as well as Mossad, the US Military, and private groups. How often do we find ourselves in these situations of having to keep everyone happy whilst playing one off against another? In this book, Cabrillo also has to deal with AI-induced soldiers as well as manage to complete the mission. It’s got everything in this book. History, modern opponents, high technology, and very real characters that you either love or…

By Mike Maden,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fire Strike as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Juan Cabrillo and the crew of the Oregon are back in an explosive new installment of the #1 New York Times bestselling series.

Juan Cabrillo and the crew of the Oregon are back in an explosive new installment of the #1 New York Times bestselling series.

Praise for Clive Cussler-

'The Adventure King' Sunday Express

'Just about the best in the business' New York Post

'Cussler is hard to beat' Daily Mail


Book cover of Romerica: Roman Artifacts in America

Mike Handcock Author Of Truthseekers: The Biggest Question in World History

From my list on archeological adventures with action, mystery and ancient knowledge.

Why am I passionate about this?

I first picked up a Clive Cussler book over ten years ago. I previously only ever read nonfiction. I was hooked. I always thought these action-adventure archeological-style novels would be toilet paper, but I was wrong. These books made me want to write them. For years before, I had studied the Egyptians, Sumerians, Incas, Mayans, and Templars. You name it and I knew about it, so I took my own experience and excitement and started creating my own books. The recommendations I have here are from some of the best of the best in the genre if you like sitting on the edge of your seat, twists and turns, and some really interesting history that most of us don’t know.

Mike's book list on archeological adventures with action, mystery and ancient knowledge

Mike Handcock Why did Mike love this book?

There is nothing like a good evil villain - one whom you don’t know whether to love, hate, feel sorry for, or simply hope they get killed off.

This is book 11 of David S. Brody’s Templar in America series. (yes, I have read them all). I love how, in each of his books, he postulates a new group who came to America before Columbus. Each book is smothered in proof. This book is about Rome in America and why ancient Jews may have run to America to hide away.

I love the way that David ages his characters by book, and in this case, the main protagonist, Cam, is starting to feel his years. Every one of us has to overcome bureaucracy, work with people we don’t like, and get the job done, sometimes at great personal risk.

This book spoke to me personally about my journey to find…

By David S. Brody,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Romerica as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A dying millionaire hires historian Cameron Thorne to help raise what he claims is a Roman-era ship wrecked off the coast of Massachusetts’ Plum Island. Roman coins and artifacts scattered around New England and the Ohio River Valley appear to confirm legends of early Romans crossing the Atlantic. It seems like a harmless assignment until a sultry Mossad agent threatens Cam’s life. Why would the Mossad care about ancient Roman artifacts? The answer, it turns out, could destabilize the Middle East for generations to come. Based on actual historical artifacts, and illustrated. Publishers Weekly says of the author, "BRODY DOES…


Book cover of Men in the Sun and Other Palestinian Stories

Rebecca Gould Author Of Erasing Palestine: Free Speech and Palestinian Freedom

From my list on Palestinian liberation.

Why am I passionate about this?

The year I spent in Palestine from 2011 to 2012 was the first time in my life that I encountered racism firsthand. Growing up in America, I was aware of my country’s racist history and I knew that my country’s history was indelibly marked by prejudice. But in Palestine I witnessed racism in action. It reminded me of segregation in the American South. Every aspect of daily life in Israel and in the territories it occupied is segregated: buses, roads, lines waiting to pass through checkpoints. After I witnessed a Palestinian man being refused entry into an Israeli tourist site simply because he was Palestinian, I knew this was a book I had to write.

Rebecca's book list on Palestinian liberation

Rebecca Gould Why did Rebecca love this book?

There is no better place to start learning about Palestine than with the stories of Ghassan Kanafani, a writer and militant activist who was assassinated by Mossad, the Israeli Secret Service, in 1972.

Kanafani combined activism with a powerful ability to recreate the Palestinian experience of displacement and forced migration. In one of his most moving and disturbing stories, Men in the Sun, Kanafani tells of three Palestinian migrant workers who travel from the refugee camps of Iraq to Kuwait in the hopes of finding work.

The story was made into a film called The Dupes by Egyptian director Tawfiq Saleh in 1973.

By Ghassan Kanafani, Hilary Kilpatrick (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Men in the Sun and Other Palestinian Stories as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This collection of important stories by novelist, journalist, teacher, and Palestinian activist Ghassan Kanafani includes the stunning novella Men in the Sun (1962), the basis of the film The Deceived. Also in the volume are "The Land of Sad Oranges" (1958), "If You Were a Horse . . ." (1961), "A Hand in the Grave" (1962), "The Falcon" (1961), "Letter from Gaza" (1956), and an extract from Umm Saad (1969). In the unsparing clarity of his writing, Kanafani offers the reader a gritty look at the agonized world of Palestine and the adjoining Middle East.


Book cover of Three Days to Never: A Novel

Tone Milazzo Author Of The Faith Machine

From my list on spies in strange places.

Why am I passionate about this?

Spies are everywhere across the panorama of fictional tropes, in fantasy, science fiction, horror, and historical fiction. Spies are like salt. No matter the genre, drop a little espionage into the mix, and it tastes better. There’s an inherent complexity to a spy, a dichotomy baked into the profession, simultaneously a criminal and an agent of the government. A spy could be a one-man-army, a smooth-talker, or someone inside your computer network, but no matter who they really are, they’re never who they seem. The spy plays with identity, loyalty, and integrity in ways that the worst of us do but is safely compartmentalized in fiction for our enjoyment.

Tone's book list on spies in strange places

Tone Milazzo Why did Tone love this book?

Tim Powers is my #1 role model. His secret history novels take a figure or incident from history that happens to be surrounded by unexplained weirdness, then explain all these strange, loose threads through the supernatural. His work scratches the itch for both history buffs and the (harmlessly) conspiracy-minded.

To call Three Days to Never a supernatural thriller would be reductionist. Powers casts a wide net when gathering story elements; Einstein’s fictional, time-traveling family is the centerpiece, but Mossad agents, a collective of magicians, and Charlie Chaplin’s legacy are all thrown into the mix. All are seeking the secret to time travel.

Powers writes free from the limitations of the genre. Breaking the boundaries imposed by marketing and showing the reader what’s possible when the imagination is unbound.

By Tim Powers,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Three Days to Never as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Three Days to Never by Tim Powers is a whip-smart scientific thriller cum fantasy novel that posits: what happened to Albert Enistein’s scientific discoveries that haven’t been unveiled? The answer lies in a old Charlie Chaplin movie, the Mossad, and an ancient European faction that will go to any lengths to keep past sins secret.

A young tween and her college professor father must quickly unveil the mystery of a potential weapon more deadly than an atomic bomb or our world—past, present, and future will be destroyed.

In this edition that includes additional insights from the author, background material, suggestions…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in the Mossad, Israel, and Jewish history?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about the Mossad, Israel, and Jewish history.

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