61 books like Six Days of the Condor

By James Grady,

Here are 61 books that Six Days of the Condor fans have personally recommended if you like Six Days of the Condor. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Book cover of The Quiet American

David Hagerty Author Of They Tell Me You Are Wicked

From my list on political crime fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up in Chicago in the waning days of Mayor Richard J. Daley’s machine, which politicized everything from schools to loading zones. Everyone—whether they were civil servants or small business owners—had to pledge loyalty to Da Boss, Hizzoner, or suffer the consequences. As a result, I’ve always gravitated to crime stories with a political element, one showing the effects of big conflicts on regular people. And I’ve written about the same. 

David's book list on political crime fiction

David Hagerty Why did David love this book?

Before the U.S. entered the war in Vietnam, Graham Greene forecast its disastrous consequences. His love triangle, set amid the escalating conflict, perfectly captures the naiveté of American interventionism overseas. I love the subtext of the tale, which is narrated by an embittered British journalist. Although it’s never spoken, we intuit that he is addicted to opium and living the life of a dissolute expatriate. Fowler watches in horror as a U.S. diplomat tries to steal both the woman and the country he has adopted. He claims impartiality and indifference until he cannot any longer.

By Graham Greene,

Why should I read it?

10 authors picked The Quiet American as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Graham Greene's classic exploration of love, innocence, and morality in Vietnam

"I never knew a man who had better motives for all the trouble he caused," Graham Greene's narrator Fowler remarks of Alden Pyle, the eponymous "Quiet American" of what is perhaps the most controversial novel of his career. Pyle is the brash young idealist sent out by Washington on a mysterious mission to Saigon, where the French Army struggles against the Vietminh guerrillas.

As young Pyle's well-intentioned policies blunder into bloodshed, Fowler, a seasoned and cynical British reporter, finds it impossible to stand safely aside as an observer. But…


Book cover of On the Beach

Justin Oldham Author Of Crisis at the Kodiak Starport

From my list on the environmental impacts of war.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was a child of the Cold War. When the 20th Century ended, many of my peers and I thought we’d put the specter of annihilation behind us. As much as I’ve always been a fan of all things post-apocalyptic, I must acknowledge that we now face new threats that are just as much of our own making as the nuclear nightmare was. When I think about the future, I don’t see or foresee a dark and dismal end. I envision a bright future that will be a lot harder to achieve than we ever thought. I look forward to creating heroes and heroines who can make that future possible.

Justin's book list on the environmental impacts of war

Justin Oldham Why did Justin love this book?

As dark and depressing as this Cold War cautionary tale is, the author’s use of creeping ecological doom in the aftermath of a world-shattering war was profound to me. The story is told from several points of view by characters who have different motivations. I found their choices to be just as understandable as they were heartbreaking. This isn’t a “happily ever after” story. Even so, I found myself appreciating the whole story, from start to end.

By Nevil Shute,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked On the Beach as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Pearson English Readers bring language learning to life through the joy of reading.



Well-written stories entertain us, make us think, and keep our interest page after page. Pearson English Readers offer teenage and adult learners a huge range of titles, all featuring carefully graded language to make them accessible to learners of all abilities.



Through the imagination of some of the world's greatest authors, the English language comes to life in pages of our Readers. Students have the pleasure and satisfaction of reading these stories in English, and at the same time develop a broader vocabulary, greater comprehension and reading…


Book cover of The Day of the Jackal

Rob Hart Author Of Assassins Anonymous

From my list on versatility of the assassin genre.

Why am I passionate about this?

Assassins are always compelling characters. They fit within that archetype of the gunslinger and the private eye and the ronin samurai, highly-skilled characters with a strict moral code who take the law into their own hands to deliver justice in an unjust world. But more than that, they’re fantastic vehicles for exploring the moral gray areas of the world. As a concept, it’s pretty straightforward: kill someone and collect a paycheck. But I’m always looking for books that do something new and special with the genre. 

Rob's book list on versatility of the assassin genre

Rob Hart Why did Rob love this book?

If you want to understand the assassin genre, then you can’t forget the classics, and this is an all-timer.

The Jackal is the assassin to end all assassins—mysterious, brutally efficient, and terrifying. Forsyth writes with a level of realism that’ll make you believe that if you cross the wrong person, someone like the Jackal could end up knocking on your door… 

By Frederick Forsyth,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked The Day of the Jackal as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The Day of the Jackal is the electrifying story of the struggle to catch a killer before it's too late.

It is 1963 and an anonymous Englishman has been hired by the Operations Chief of the O.A.S. to murder General De Gaulle. A failed attempt in the previous year means the target will be nearly impossible to get to. But this latest plot involves a lethal weapon: an assassin of legendary talent.

Known only as The Jackal, this remorseless and deadly killer must be stopped, but how do you track a man who exists in name alone?


Book cover of Fail-Safe

Bob Reiss Author Of The Last Spy

From my list on thrillers that affected the real world.

Why am I passionate about this?

This will sound corny but if writers aren’t dreamers, who is? As a journalist, I got to cover real events, but I was also concerned about what could happen. But how do you write about something you fear will happen, but hasn’t happened yet? How to drive across future consequences when you are limited by that moment’s reality? A journalist will quote leaders, or reports, and hope that does the trick. A novelist can bring characters to life who will one day have to live with a tragedy and their own choices. My short story collection Still Hungry will be published in January 2023.

Bob's book list on thrillers that affected the real world

Bob Reiss Why did Bob love this book?

As a Washington journalist time and again I watched sources rely too much on assurances that situations were under control, surprises would probably never happen and technology was utterly reliable. Airplane cockpits were safe. Climate change would never disrupt the world. Disease was under control. Fail-Safe terrified the world and helped ignite a global movement by asking the question, what if – in the nuclear age – the assurances we are fed are wrong. 

By Eugene Burdick, Harvey Wheeler,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the New York Times–bestselling authors, this “chilling and engrossing” nuclear-showdown thriller packs “a multi-megaton wallop” (Chicago Tribune).
 
Originally published during the Cuban Missile Crisis, this suspenseful novel takes off as a group of American bombers—armed with a deadly payload of nuclear weapons—heads towards Moscow, their motives unknown. Suddenly, a nuclear apocalypse looms closer than it ever has, and the lives of millions depend on the high-stakes diplomacy of leaders on both sides of the divide.
 
The basis for the classic 1964 movie starring Henry Fonda, this two-million-copy bestseller is not only a terrifying thriller, but a fascinating social commentary…


Book cover of Seven Days In May

Bob Reiss Author Of The Last Spy

From my list on thrillers that affected the real world.

Why am I passionate about this?

This will sound corny but if writers aren’t dreamers, who is? As a journalist, I got to cover real events, but I was also concerned about what could happen. But how do you write about something you fear will happen, but hasn’t happened yet? How to drive across future consequences when you are limited by that moment’s reality? A journalist will quote leaders, or reports, and hope that does the trick. A novelist can bring characters to life who will one day have to live with a tragedy and their own choices. My short story collection Still Hungry will be published in January 2023.

Bob's book list on thrillers that affected the real world

Bob Reiss Why did Bob love this book?

Like most readers, I’m scared these days about the future of our democracy. As a reporter I’ve covered trouble spots; like Somalia – where no law existed - and Sudan, where I was in a crowd fleeing at the mere sight of an airplane, fearing bombs. One of my friends lost his wife in a Washington car bombing. Others escaped danger during a Chilean coup. Seven Days in May imagined an attempted coup in the US, and although the setting was decades ago, some forces at play are the same, since human motivation never changes. This book sobered up the nation back then by reminding readers what happens when some of us....any of us...think they know better than everyone else and believe force is the way to go. We could use that reminder now.

By Fletcher Knebel, Charles W. Bailey II,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Seven Days In May as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Vintage hardcover


Book cover of Child 44

E.R. Yatscoff Author Of Fire Dream

From my list on gutsy crime thrillers and exotic adventure reads.

Why am I passionate about this?

My travels have been quite adventurous, purposely or by accident. I’ve visited 32 countries, 5 of them Communist. I look below the surface. I love the jungle and even Mexican police. My young reader novels have elements of crime. I knew and know a lot of tough guys and use elements of them in my characters. Crime weaved through much of my 32-year firefighting career. Firefighter crime thrillers are rare. Firefighters do come in contact with crime: bomb threats, meth labs, child abuse, arson of all sorts, murder, assaults, drownings, and as they say ‘much, much more’. I’m glad to be retired.

E.R.'s book list on gutsy crime thrillers and exotic adventure reads

E.R. Yatscoff Why did E.R. love this book?

So good it was made into a movie. The movie however didn’t catch the suspense, and the investigation took far longer in the book.

Set in Stalinist Russia, the book is depressing, as was Commie Russia. The investigator, Leo Demidov’s friend has a child gone missing and a cursory investigation by the state goes nowhere. Leo Demidov, a Moscow investigator looks into it and is told to lay off—or else—because he makes the state look incompetent.

He and his family are exiled far away from Moscow and scorned by everyone. But he continues and discovers 44 children have been murdered along a railway line. Suspense and peril in this story combined with a vengeful Communist bureaucracy and its astounding ego make for a real thriller.

I visited the USSR in the late 70s and that bureaucracy is not to be challenged in any way or form.

By Tom Rob Smith,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Child 44 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

OVER 2 MILLION COPIES SOLD

MOSCOW, 1953.
Under Stalin's terrifying regime, families live in fear. When the all-powerful State claims there is no such thing as crime, who dares disagree?

AN INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLER IN OVER 30 LANGUAGES

An ambitious secret police officer, Leo Demidov believes he's helping to build the perfect society. But when he uncovers evidence of a killer at large - a threat the state won't admit exists - Demidov must risk everything, including the lives of those he loves, in order to expose the truth.

A THRILLER UNLIKE ANY YOU HAVE EVER READ

But what if the…


Book cover of Our Man in Havana

Nick Davies Author Of El Flamingo

From my list on fast-paced escapism with a comedic edge.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm an actor turned journalist and writer. After a series of roles on low-budget movies and forgettable soap operas, I moved to Latin America to write about travel and life and all the heartbreak and humour it entails. El Flamingo follows the misadventure of a struggling actor who gets mistaken for a rogue assassin in Mexico and is forced to assume the mysterious identity in order to survive. It is a preposterous plot that could never happen in real life, yet the essence of it all was inspired by places I went, people I crossed paths with, and a sense of adventure that, to me, was authentic. 

Nick's book list on fast-paced escapism with a comedic edge

Nick Davies Why did Nick love this book?

This one is a classic in the satirical espionage genre; a fish-out-of-water protagonist, the story being set in Cuba and taking aim at the MI6 Intelligence Service during the Cold War years. While it embraces its initial silliness, it ultimately embeds an important message into the narrative.

By Graham Greene,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked Our Man in Havana as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

MI6’s man in Havana is Wormold, a former vacuum-cleaner salesman turned reluctant secret agent out of economic necessity. To keep his job, he files bogus reports based on Charles Lamb’s Tales from Shakespeare and dreams up military installations from vacuum-cleaner designs. Then his stories start coming disturbingly true…
 
First published in 1959 against the backdrop of the Cold War, Our Man in Havana remains one of Graham Greene’s most widely read novels. It is an espionage thriller, a penetrating character study, and a political satire of government intelligence that still resonates today. This Penguin Classics edition features an introduction by…


Book cover of The Thirty-Nine Steps

Ray C Doyle Author Of The Defector's Diary

From my list on mystery thrillers ripped from news headlines.

Why am I passionate about this?

I guess my real interest in writing about the good and bad in crime and politics and the good and bad characters involved started with my first job as a junior in a local newspaper. The 60s was a time of great change. I was in the right place at the right time and got involved in reporting local government politics. I graduated later to cover Britain’s role within the EU in Brussels. I was fascinated, not so much by the politics but by the politicians and fellow news reporters involved. They inspired the creation of my fictional character, Pete West, a hardboiled political columnist. 

Ray's book list on mystery thrillers ripped from news headlines

Ray C Doyle Why did Ray love this book?

Read as a teenager, this book hooked me into mystery thrillers. It has everything from murder to political intrigue to a spy ring.

The book is a chase thriller with twists, turns, and surprises. Written in 1930, the work had the feel of a ‘boy's own’ adventure story with a man on the run hunting German spies and clues leading to the 39 steps and victory.

Great story!

By John Buchan,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked The Thirty-Nine Steps as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Richard Hannay has just returned to England after years in South Africa and is thoroughly bored with his life in London. But then a murder is committed in his flat, just days after a chance encounter with an American who had told him about an assassination plot which could have dire international consequences. An obvious suspect for the police and an easy target for the killers, Hannay goes on the run in his native Scotland where he will need all his courage and ingenuity to stay one step ahead of his pursuers.


Book cover of The Kill Artist

Jonathan Payne Author Of Citizen Orlov

From my list on spy thrillers for readers of literary fiction.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a reader and writer of thrillers, especially espionage, but I also love literary fiction, including contemporary writers like Kazuo Ishiguro, Mohsin Hamid, and Amor Towles. And I enjoy reading classic writers including Gogol, Dostoyevsky, and Kafka. So, when it comes to reading thrillers, I gravitate towards those that are very well written, with precise prose and evocative imagery. This is my crossover list of the best five spy thrillers for readers of literary fiction. If you’re a literary reader interested in dabbling in a bit of espionage, these five books would be a great place to start.  

Jonathan's book list on spy thrillers for readers of literary fiction

Jonathan Payne Why did Jonathan love this book?

Silva’s novels about Gabriel Allon—a reluctant Israeli secret agent posing as an Italian art restorer—are my current favorite read and a serious contender for the best spy thrillers by a contemporary writer.

Each of the novels in the series works as a separate episode; in this case, Allon is lured into action to track down a Palestinian assassin.

But Allon is brought to life by recurring themes across the series, including the fact that his traumatized wife is permanently assigned to a psychiatric hospital by the car bomb that killed their son.

Silva’s meticulous writing and ingenious mixing of historical fact and fiction will appeal to literary readers. 

By Daniel Silva,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The Kill Artist as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Wily old Israeli intelligence chief recalls former agents in order to eliminate top Palestinian terrorist. One agent is now an art restorer, the other a fashion model. Ten years before on a mission to destroy the Arab Black September group they were briefly lovers. Now their pasts and their enemies come back to haunt them, as the terrorist murders ambassadors in Paris and Holland. Will the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks be his next target? And what motivates the terrorist? Is it politics, or is it possibly personal? Set mainly in London, but with forays into Paris, Amsterdam, the Middle East and…


Book cover of The Constant Gardener

Robert Craven Author Of A Kind of Drowning

From my list on spies, spying and cold war thrillers.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the author of six espionage books, 5 featuring allied spy, Eva Molenaar operating at the highest levels of Hitler’s Reich. The 6th The Road of a Thousand Tigers, is my homage to le Carre and Ian Fleming. I have loved the spy genre since I first read The Riddle of the Sands by Erskine Childers and grew up seeing every Bond movie since The Man with the Golden Gun at the cinema.

Robert's book list on spies, spying and cold war thrillers

Robert Craven Why did Robert love this book?

Published in 2001, The Constant Gardener is my favorite le Carre Novel. A British diplomat in Nairobi, Justin Quayle, is informed his activist wife, Tess has been killed in a remote part of Kenya along with a doctor friend. As Quayle investigates her life (in a similar way to Eric Ambler unfolds Dimitrios’s life), he uncovers her work exposing large pharmaceutical companies’ unethical experiments in the poorest regions of Africa. This leads to her brutal death and cover-up at a diplomatic and political level. It is an exceptional book that makes you rethink how medicine and the industry behind it operates. After the collapse of the USSR, le Carre seemed to struggle with his work, The Constant Gardener though, kick-started another two decades of great writing from him.

By John Le Carré, John le Carré,

Why should I read it?

5 authors picked The Constant Gardener as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'The book breathes life, anger and excitement' Observer

Tessa Quayle, a brilliant and beautiful young social activist, has been found brutally murdered by Lake Turkana in Nairobi. The rumours are that she was faithless, careless, but her husband Justin, a reserved, garden-loving British diplomat, refuses to believe them. As he sets out to discover what really happened to Tessa, he unearths a conspiracy more disturbing, and more deadly, than he could ever have imagined.

A blistering expose of global corruption, The Constant Gardener is also the moving portrayal of a man searching for justice for the woman he has barely…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in conspiracies, the CIA, and the KGB?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about conspiracies, the CIA, and the KGB.

Conspiracies Explore 41 books about conspiracies
The CIA Explore 125 books about the CIA
The KGB Explore 26 books about the KGB