The best books on industrial espionage

Who picked these books? Meet our 13 experts.

13 authors created a book list connected to industrial espionage, and here are their favorite industrial espionage books.
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The Nature-Printer

By Simon Prett, Pia Östlund,

Book cover of The Nature-Printer: A Tale of Industrial Espionage, Ferns and Roofing-Lead

Chris Thorogood Author Of Weird Plants

From the list on to immerse you in plants.

Who am I?

My life has always been intertwined with plants. As a kid I would explore the old cemetery behind our back garden, where I would climb trees and swing from branches, pretending I was in the rainforest. I amassed quite a collection of natural history books too. I’d pore over them, memorise the names of the plants they contained, and copy the pictures, scribble them all down on paper; I think I always knew I would write and illustrate books myself one day. Today, as a botanist, I am fortunate to see beautiful plants in their natural habitats all around the world. I seek to capture the beauty I see in words. 

Chris' book list on to immerse you in plants

Discover why each book is one of Chris' favorite books.

Why did Chris love this book?

This little book is a thing of beauty and I just find it spell-binding. Talented artist and printmaker Pia Östlund describes how she makes a curious discovery: a set of prints in the library of Chelsea Physic Garden in London. This leads her to rediscover the lost technique of nature-printing, while her co-author Simon Prett explores the history of this little-known art. Little snippets about fern hunting and facsimiles of fern fronds and seaweeds make this irresistible – the kind of book I’d dip into on a lazy Saturday morning over coffee, then struggle to dip back out of!  

By Simon Prett, Pia Östlund,

Why should I read it?

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


By Joseph Finder,

Book cover of Paranoia

Kayla Perrin Author Of We'll Never Tell

From the list on surprise suspense twists.

Who am I?

I’m absolutely passionate about suspense stories, especially ones with killer twists. Maybe it’s all the crime shows I watch, but the motives for crimes are so wide and varied, and I love when the unexpected is explored in fiction. I’m also intrigued by stories about missing people and the myriad of reasons behind why they go missing–especially when things aren’t always what they seem. Whether it’s the missing who return years later or hints of them suddenly appear, I can’t help but get wrapped up in a story that keeps you on the edge of your seat guessing what might happen next! I try for great twists in my novels.

Kayla's book list on surprise suspense twists

Discover why each book is one of Kayla's favorite books.

Why did Kayla love this book?

I picked this book up because it was super cheap in hardcover. It had an interesting premise with a suspense set in the business world between two competing companies. Not typically my thing, but I gave it a chance because of the price. Once I started to read it, Joseph Finder became one of my favorite authors. I could not put this down and read it in three days. It had me on the edge of my seat as the main character has to infiltrate another company, and OMG, the twist at the end! I loved this book so much that I decided to attend the Thrillerfest conference in Phoenix that year because Joseph Finder would be there. Yep, that’s how much I loved the book. I met him and gushed like a fool!

By Joseph Finder,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From the writer whose novels have been called "thrilling" (New York Times) and "dazzling" (USA Today) comes an electrifying novel, Joseph Finder's Paranoia, a roller-coaster ride of suspense that will hold the reader hostage until the final, astonishing twist.

Now a major motion-picture starring Harrison Ford, Liam Hemsworth, and Gary Oldman.

Adam Cassidy is twenty-six and a low-level employee at a high-tech corporation who hates his job. When he manipulates the system to do something nice for a friend, he finds himself charged with a crime. Corporate Security gives him a choice: prison - or become a spy in the…

Moroccan Traffic

By Dorothy Dunnett,

Book cover of Moroccan Traffic: Send a Fax to the Kasbah

Alana Woods Author Of A Legal Affair

From the list on suspense intrigue thrillers.

Who am I?

I'm a career editor living in the place I love most in the world, Australia's federal capital, Canberra. It's a small city encircled by mountains and populated with so many trees it's affectionately known as The Bush Capital. I love reading most genres but contemporary suspense intrigue above all. I know these books generally fall under the larger Thriller genre but I often feel that's a misnomer, and I think that applies to my novels. I love the range of stories this genre encompasses: it can take you anywhere in the world, into any situation, and follow any type of person as they attempt to come to grips with, and usually right, the wrongs of the world.

Alana's book list on suspense intrigue thrillers

Discover why each book is one of Alana's favorite books.

Why did Alana love this book?

Dorothy Dunnett is my all-time favourite author. In her lifetime she wrote the most amazing historical fiction (two series and one stand-alone novel) but she also wrote a contemporary suspense intrigue series featuring the same hero tackling new situations in each one: The Johnson Johnson series. Why do I love her writing? For several reasons. The stories are convoluted and gripping, requiring 100% of your attention, the language is beautiful and transports you, the research she did was phenomenal and her wit was razor sharp. She has a fanatical global fanbase that I'm part of.

By Dorothy Dunnett,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In Morocco with her pushy and eccentric mother, Wendy Helman, upwardly mobile Executive Secretary, finds herself at the centre of kidnappings, explosions, murders and vintage car chases across the High Atlas from Marrakesh to Taroudant.

The Informationist

By Taylor Stevens,

Book cover of The Informationist

Julie C. Gilbert Author Of Money Makes It Deadlier

From the list on sassy or determined female leads.

Who am I?

I’m a multi-genre writer who loves hearing the characters’ voices and getting their stories out there in the world. A lot of my characters are shaped by their gifts, whether they have supernatural ones or not. The things that happen to them shape who they are and how they react to future events. I exist on sarcasm, sass, and hot tea, so many of my characters do too.

Julie's book list on sassy or determined female leads

Discover why each book is one of Julie's favorite books.

Why did Julie love this book?

It’s been a while since I read this book, but I remember thinking every place described felt real. It hits all the right notes of thriller with a fallible yet strong heroine who gets the job done, sometimes at great personal cost. Michael is as close to a shapeshifter as normal humans can be. She can become anybody. (Content warning – contains strong language)

By Taylor Stevens,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Governments pay her.
Criminals fear her.
Nobody sees her coming.

Vanessa “Michael” Munroe deals in information—expensive information—working for corporations, heads of state, private clients, and anyone else who can pay for her unique brand of expertise. Born to missionary parents in lawless central Africa, Munroe took up with an infamous gunrunner and his mercenary crew when she was just fourteen. As his protégé, she earned the respect of the jungle's most dangerous men, cultivating her own reputation for years until something sent her running. After almost a decade building a new life and lucrative career from her home base in…


By William Gibson,

Book cover of Neuromancer

Seth W. James Author Of Ethos of Cain

From the list on cyberpunk that launched and defined the subgenre.

Who am I?

Growing up in the ‘80s, I discovered cyberpunk just when the subgenre acquired its name and was instantly hooked. While its style and action were certainly engaging, it was cyberpunk’s message about the surveillance state, corporate power, fascism, and corruption, which contrasted so violently from mainstream science fiction, that kept me turning pages. 40 years later, after writing novels for 25 years, completing 12 books, I’m still fascinated by what cyberpunk can do. In an age where Humanity is mortally threatened by climate change and inequality, we need cyberpunk now more than ever, with its action and adventure and a little something for us to think about, too.

Seth's book list on cyberpunk that launched and defined the subgenre

Discover why each book is one of Seth's favorite books.

Why did Seth love this book?

Without a doubt, Neuromancer is the most recognizable, well-known, and highly regarded cyberpunk novel—and rightfully so. 

Published in 1984, Neuromancer was directly inspired by City Come A-Walkin’ and then surpassed it, deepening the technical elements, exploring the ever-more-important aspects of computer networks and hacking (Gibson having coined the phrase, “cyberspace”), and solidifying the literary style of cyberpunk. 

For me, though, the fact that Gibson was responding to Shirley enriches both novels. I love the concept of one artist responding to another’s work; from Horace to Shakespeare, to Dryden to Pope, to Hammett to Chandler, the best art is inspired by art, and the same is true in cyberpunk. It’s a microcosm of the human condition and, come to think of it, so is Neuromancer.

By William Gibson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The book that defined the cyberpunk movement, inspiring everything from The Matrix to Cyberpunk 2077.

The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.

William Gibson revolutionised science fiction in his 1984 debut Neuromancer. The writer who gave us the matrix and coined the term 'cyberspace' produced a first novel that won the Hugo, Nebula and Philip K. Dick Awards, and lit the fuse on the Cyberpunk movement.

More than three decades later, Gibson's text is as stylish as ever, his noir narrative still glitters like chrome in the shadows and his depictions of…

The Warehouse

By Rob Hart,

Book cover of The Warehouse

Kate Rauner Author Of Glory on Mars

From the list on science fiction worlds so real, you'll believe.

Who am I?

Growing up, I loved discovering how things work. That led me to a career in engineering, but I never left a certain quirkiness behind. Why else would I have raised llamas for thirty years? Or loved the stories I find in science fiction? Especially books that start in a real place occupied by believable people, then demand a leap of faith, a reach beyond what's known today. We have so much to learn – about planets and people – that possibilities spiral out into the universe. I hope you enjoy the books on my list as much as I have.

Kate's book list on science fiction worlds so real, you'll believe

Discover why each book is one of Kate's favorite books.

Why did Kate love this book?

You and I may already have one foot in this near-future world with its chilling look inside the warehouse of a retail giant: Amaz… uh, Cloud. The company is named Cloud. Can powerful bosses possibly be benign overlords? Is a miserable existence good enough in a wretched world? Hmm, maybe not.

I loved the characters – a reluctant hero and a cold-blooded spy who join forces as an unlikely couple searching for the truth behind a colossal global company. I never guessed the ending, and that's always a plus.

By Rob Hart,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Cloud isn’t just a place to work. It’s a place to live. And when you’re here, you’ll never want to leave.

“A thrilling story of corporate espionage at the highest level . . . and a powerful cautionary tale about technology, runaway capitalism, and the nightmare world we are making for ourselves.”—Blake Crouch, New York Times bestselling author of Dark Matter

Film rights sold to Imagine Entertainment for director Ron Howard! • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Financial Times • Real Simple • Kirkus Reviews

Paxton never thought he’d be working for Cloud, the giant…