73 books like The Tears of Autumn

By Charles McCarry,

Here are 73 books that The Tears of Autumn fans have personally recommended if you like The Tears of Autumn. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of The Spy Who Came in From the Cold

Henry Rozycki Author Of Walk the Earth as Brothers

From my list on novels that describe what war does to young men.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am the child of Holocaust survivors who chose not to talk about it. The effects were clear and stark – my mother crying out with nightmares, my father doing everything in his power not to be noticed by authorities – but I was not allowed to know their sources. Though my lottery number was 76, I missed going to Vietnam by a year as the draft ended; I watched so many of my peers come back either damaged or at least profoundly changed. I never wish I experienced war in all its hellaciousness, but from early adolescence, I have wondered how I would have acted.

Henry's book list on novels that describe what war does to young men

Henry Rozycki Why did Henry love this book?

I have read virtually all of Le Carre’s books because I don’t believe anyone goes so deeply into the psyche of men who enlisted in the fight for perhaps noble reasons but who now continue on almost as automatons. They have not only lost their idealism, their morality and even humanity are either gone or hanging by a thread. It is what I imagine is the furthest edge of what can happen to young soldiers who don’t die—just keep soldiering.

I don’t think anyone has done it better.

By John le Carré,

Why should I read it?

15 authors picked The Spy Who Came in From the Cold 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 author of Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy; Our Kind of Traitor; and The Night Manager, now a television series starring Tom Hiddleston.

The 50th-anniversary edition of the bestselling novel that launched John le Carre's career worldwide

In the shadow of the newly erected Berlin Wall, Alec Leamas watches as his last agent is shot dead by East German sentries. For Leamas, the head of Berlin Station, the Cold War is over. As he faces the prospect of retirement or worse-a desk job-Control offers him a unique opportunity for revenge. Assuming the guise of an embittered…


Book cover of Night Soldiers

James Stejskal Author Of A Question of Time

From my list on spies by Americans who really know the score.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a military historian and an author. To get inspiration for my writing, I spent 35 years in Special Forces (as a "Green Beret") and as a CIA officer in strange places working with interesting people. I first wrote non-fiction but I needed US Government approval for everything. So, following the saying “Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth,” I tell my tales as “faction”—stories reflecting a reality most people don’t know or understand. I write about “Us Versus Them”—stories about teamwork—and the result is The Snake Eater Chronicles. I leave it to the reader to decide where fact ends and fiction begins.

James' book list on spies by Americans who really know the score

James Stejskal Why did James love this book?

Another master, Alan Furst’s 1st novel (of 15 so far) is a great place to start. His stories are so well researched you might think you were reading a travel guide.

Filled with intricate details of the conflict between Russia and Germany as World War II begins, Khristo Stoianev is a young man recruited to work for the Russian secret service, the NKVD. From his recruitment in Bulgaria through training and successive secret missions, Khristo must survive not only the Nazis, but his own employers, who decide he too must be killed.

Furst builds both the pace and tension as Khristo fights his way across Europe trying to escape. Relentless.  

By Alan Furst,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Night Soldiers as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Bulgaria, 1934. A young man is murdered by the local fascists. His brother, Khristo Stoianev, is recruited into the NKVD, the Soviet secret intelligence service, and sent to Spain to serve in its civil war. Warned that he is about to become a victim of Stalin's purges, Khristo flees to Paris. Night Soldiers masterfully re-creates the European world of 1934-45: the struggle between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia for Eastern Europe, the last desperate gaiety of the beau monde in 1937 Paris, and guerrilla operations with the French underground in 1944. Night Soldiers is a scrupulously researched panoramic novel, a…


Book cover of The Sympathizer

Devin Murphy Author Of The Boat Runner

From my list on books with super shady characters.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a total sucker for people who are so complicated I can’t get a read on them. This love comes from growing up without any extended family. When I heard little bits of my parents’ pasts, it felt like the world got more interesting, and I wanted to dig in to know everything there was to know about what shaped them and, by proxy, what shaped me. I’m drawn to shady characters who don’t want to give up the goods, as they present a joyful challenge by withholding mystery, and those types of characters are the ones I love to read and write about.

Devin's book list on books with super shady characters

Devin Murphy Why did Devin love this book?

I’ve never encountered such a duplicitous and complicated character as the Captain. Having to survive life in Vietnam before and during America’s entry into the war, and after as an immigrant in America, I kept thinking I understood why the character behaved the way he did. His actions made sense. Then I’d get what I thought was a glimpse at his heart and intentions and know I had him all wrong, only to turn the page and see a completely different facet of him again.

Over and over his past and present and desires for the future kept morphing him. The stunning thing about this story is I totally understood why he would be this complex as each section doled out enough clues how someone like him could be so strange and malleable and twisted up in the most odd and fascinating ways. 

By Viet Thanh Nguyen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE FOR FICTION 2016

It is April 1975, and Saigon is in chaos. At his villa, a general of the South Vietnamese army is drinking whiskey and, with the help of his trusted captain, drawing up a list of those who will be given passage aboard the last flights out of the country. The general and his compatriots start a new life in Los Angeles, unaware that one among their number, the captain, is secretly observing and reporting on the group to a higher-up in the Viet Cong. The Sympathizer is the story of this captain:…


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 Damascus Station

James Stejskal Author Of A Question of Time

From my list on spies by Americans who really know the score.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a military historian and an author. To get inspiration for my writing, I spent 35 years in Special Forces (as a "Green Beret") and as a CIA officer in strange places working with interesting people. I first wrote non-fiction but I needed US Government approval for everything. So, following the saying “Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth,” I tell my tales as “faction”—stories reflecting a reality most people don’t know or understand. I write about “Us Versus Them”—stories about teamwork—and the result is The Snake Eater Chronicles. I leave it to the reader to decide where fact ends and fiction begins.

James' book list on spies by Americans who really know the score

James Stejskal Why did James love this book?

A newcomer to fiction, David McClosky is another “former” who infuses his storytelling with details only an insider would know.

He tells an excellent tale, diving deep into the fractured regime of Bashar al-Assad's Syria and showing what harm the nasty world of despots and the dark world of spying can wreak on souls. The story intertwines a forbidden love affair between a CIA officer and his agent with collecting intelligence on Syrian chemical weapons and Washington bureaucrats trying to decide what to do next.

It is an excellent representation of what it’s like to serve in a denied area and, having served in Damascus, I can say the scenery is accurate, the personalities are spot on, and the tradecraft is good. I’m looking forward to Moscow X.

By David McCloskey,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Damascus Station as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

CIA case officer Sam Joseph is dispatched to Paris to recruit Syrian Palace official Mariam Haddad. The two fall into a forbidden relationship, which supercharges Haddad's recruitment and creates unspeakable danger when they enter Damascus to find the man responsible for the disappearance of an American spy.

But the cat and mouse chase for the killer soon leads to a trail of high-profile assassinations and the discovery of a dark secret at the heart of the Syrian regime, bringing the pair under the all-seeing eyes of Assad's spy catcher, Ali Hassan, and his brother Rustum, the head of the feared…


Book cover of Muir's Gambit: A Spy Game Novel

James Stejskal Author Of A Question of Time

From my list on spies by Americans who really know the score.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a military historian and an author. To get inspiration for my writing, I spent 35 years in Special Forces (as a "Green Beret") and as a CIA officer in strange places working with interesting people. I first wrote non-fiction but I needed US Government approval for everything. So, following the saying “Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth,” I tell my tales as “faction”—stories reflecting a reality most people don’t know or understand. I write about “Us Versus Them”—stories about teamwork—and the result is The Snake Eater Chronicles. I leave it to the reader to decide where fact ends and fiction begins.

James' book list on spies by Americans who really know the score

James Stejskal Why did James love this book?

Muir’s Gambit is a prequel to Beckner’s blockbuster movie Spy Game (with Brad Pitt and Robert Redford). 

Not your traditional “spy thriller,” it follows a dark thematic arc of two spies, fueled by whisky and cigarettes, talking on the front porch of a beach house after the assassination of a comrade.

It is layered with a gritty (and sometimes absurdist) intellectual/philosophical study of the moral cost of living a life of lies. All in search of a truth that is hidden from everyone but one man.

Told with flashbacks to events in Korea, Vietnam, Cuba, and Hong Kong, it is a story fraught with human emotion—love, heartbreak, grief, regret—and the fragility of memory. A story told with authentic tradecraft and serpentine strategy, it evokes—more than any other book I’ve read—the reality, challenges, and moral pitfalls of working in a clandestine intelligence organization.

Muirs Gambit is the 1st…

Book cover of The Berlin Exchange

James Stejskal Author Of A Question of Time

From my list on spies by Americans who really know the score.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a military historian and an author. To get inspiration for my writing, I spent 35 years in Special Forces (as a "Green Beret") and as a CIA officer in strange places working with interesting people. I first wrote non-fiction but I needed US Government approval for everything. So, following the saying “Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth,” I tell my tales as “faction”—stories reflecting a reality most people don’t know or understand. I write about “Us Versus Them”—stories about teamwork—and the result is The Snake Eater Chronicles. I leave it to the reader to decide where fact ends and fiction begins.

James' book list on spies by Americans who really know the score

James Stejskal Why did James love this book?

Okay, I like almost anything that is set in Berlin because I lived and “worked” there during the Cold War, but Canon really brings it in this tightly woven story of Martin Keller, a hapless former convict who has been co-opted to work for the CIA in East Berlin.

From the first page, paranoia sets in, as it must on anyone working against the Communist regime of East Germany, when Keller embarks on his own agenda to save himself and, more importantly, the family he loves.

Kanon re-creates the tension of a divided Berlin while his well-drawn characters try to escape the clutches of a morally corrupt government. Kanon is simply one of the best.  

By Joseph Kanon,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'A modern master at work' THE TIMES
'Heart-poundingly suspenseful' WASHINGTON POST
'Joseph Kanon owns this corner of the literary landscape' LEE CHILD

Berlin. 1963. The height of the Cold War and an early morning spy swap. On one side of the trade: Martin Keller, an American physicist who once made headlines, but who then disappeared into the English prison system. Keller's most critical possession: his American passport. Keller's most ardent desire: to see his ex-wife Sabine and their young son.

But Martin has questions: who asked for him? Who negotiated the deal? Just the KGB bringing home one of its…


Book cover of American Spy

Rayna Flye Author Of Secrets, Lies, and Sneaky Spies

From my list on female codebreakers, agents, and spies.

Why am I passionate about this?

I always wanted to be a spy, but as I scare easily and can’t keep a secret, it was never going to happen. My respect and fascination with the intelligence community has never abated however, and I will never pass up an opportunity to engage with spy-related content. From going to spy museums across the globe to attending lectures to watching the latest entertaining (and totally unrealistic) spy flick, I love it all. I channel that love into writing humorous spy novels that feature fun, fearless females and ripped-from-the-headlines scenarios.  

Rayna's book list on female codebreakers, agents, and spies

Rayna Flye Why did Rayna love this book?

I love this book because Wilkinson takes politics, race, romance, along with the good, the bad, and the ugly of the intelligence community and wraps it up in a bow of deeply evocative writing that kept me twisted up.

Just a quick teaser to show my love of her writing: “I unlocked the safe beneath my desk, grabbed my old service automatic, and crept toward my bedroom doorway, stealthy until I was brought to grief by a Lego Duplo that stung the sole of my foot.” [Insert sobbing emoji here for how much I love this line] Her writing had me jabbing my husband every few minutes, going, “Read this. READ THIS!”

I loved that each answer solved in the book simply raised more questions, and I was left wondering if the answers were even answers in the first place. The abrupt ending is the satisfyingly frustrating icing on the…

By Lauren Wilkinson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A BARACK OBAMA SUMMER READING 2019 PICK

SHORTLISTED FOR THE 2019 CENTRE FOR FICTION FIRST NOVEL PRIZE

'A whole lot more than just a spy thriller, wrapping together the ties of family, of love and of country' BARACK OBAMA

'There has never been anything like it' MARLON JAMES (GQ)

'A compelling read' MAIL ON SUNDAY

'Pacy and very exciting' DAILY TELEGRAPH
__________________________________

What if your sense of duty required you to betray the man you love?

It's 1986, the heart of the Cold War. Marie Mitchell is an intelligence officer with the FBI. She's brilliant and talented, but she's also…


Book cover of Cold Warrior: James Jesus Angleton - The CIA's Master Spy Hunter

Hugh Wilford Author Of The CIA: An Imperial History

From my list on history about the CIA.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a British-born American historian, currently residing in Long Beach, California. I’ve published four books on the CIA and lectured about it for the Great Courses. Why spies? I’ve always loved spy novels and movies but my historical interest was piqued years ago when I stumbled across the weird story of how the CIA secretly funded various American artists and writers in the so-called Cultural Cold War. Decades on, I’m still fascinated by the subject: there’s so much human drama involved, and it’s a great lens through which to examine recent American and world history.

Hugh's book list on history about the CIA

Hugh Wilford Why did Hugh love this book?

The history of the CIA features many fascinating personalities and there are several excellent spy biographies, Thomas Powers on Richard Helms, for example, or Randall Woods on William Colby. But the most complex and compelling of all figures in the Agency’s past must surely be the legendary head of counterintelligence, James Angleton. Again, there are numerous works on Angleton and his obsessive hunt for a top-level Soviet agent in the CIA, but I enjoyed and benefited most from Tom Mangold’s Cold Warrior, an astonishingly detailed and penetrating portrayal of America’s real-life George Smiley.

By Tom Mangold,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A biography of the spymaster who ran the CIA's counterintelligence operation for twenty years until his downfall


Book cover of For Your Ears Only

Robin King Author Of Remembrandt

From my list on spy books for Ally Carter fans.

Why am I passionate about this?

When I realized I didn’t have what it takes to join the CIA, I made it my life mission to find out everything it takes to be a spy—which, of course, made it necessary to watch every show and read every espionage story ever told. In the process, I discovered a passion for uncovering truth, as well as a love of writing. After writing three young adult spy novels, I feel like I’ve found the linguist, code breaker, and crime fighter in myself. My work for LitJoy Crate has given me the ability to know a good story when I read it, and then recommend that book to book lovers everywhere.

Robin's book list on spy books for Ally Carter fans

Robin King Why did Robin love this book?

I fell in love with the main character, Loveday (no pun intended), in the first few pages. She’s strong and tough, like all spies should be, and sarcastic—which is so fun to read.

I love her motivation as a spy, but she does have one flaw: she's in love with another member of the team and has been keeping him off missions to keep him safe. This makes me like her even more because she wants to protect him. Overall, the action, explosions, love story between Loveday and Vale, and the spy world had me reading until the very end.

I can’t wait to jump into the next book in the series.

By Emily Kazmierski,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked For Your Ears Only as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A spy caught between her duty, and her heart.

Known only to the CIA and her handler father, Loveday aspires to be the greatest teenage spy who ever lived. In a hidden bunker under a swanky hotel, she and her team train and execute missions without being noticed by the outside world.

When Loveday and her team are recruited for their first international mission, it's their big chance to prove their worth to the CIA. But when her comms specialist boyfriend, Vale lobbies for a shot at field work, Loveday is caught between duty and forbidden passion. She knows putting…


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