The best terrorism books 📚

Browse the best books on terrorism as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

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Book cover of Incendiary

Incendiary

By Chris Cleave

Why this book?

If ever there was a book that cast a spell over me, it was Incendiary. The novel is written as a letter to Osama Bin Laden; the letter writer is a woman whose husband and son were killed in a terrorist attack. How male author Chris Cleave manages to speak in the voice of a heartbreakingly traumatized, possibly drunk woman is a true act of ventriloquism. I could imagine the whole thing performed on a black box stage as a monologue and it would be riveting. The heroine's rage is understandable throughout the course of the story. What…

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The best weird and wonderful books to read in one weekend

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Book cover of The Kill Artist

The Kill Artist

By Daniel Silva

Why this book?

This novel kicked off one of the most successful espionage franchises since James Bond. Gabriel Allon, along with the rest of Silva’s cast of characters, is so unique, so meticulous, that the reader feels as if you know him personally. Rich in research and detail, Silva’s book moves at a torrid pace. Once you read The Kill Artist, you’ll burn through the entire series.

From the list:

The best novels for classic espionage thrills & intrigue

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Book cover of The Great Terror: Stalin's Purge of the Thirties

The Great Terror: Stalin's Purge of the Thirties

By Robert Conquest

Why this book?

No book exposed the horrors of Josef Stalin’s purges more graphically and with greater power than Robert Conquest’s epic, The Great Terror. The book chronicled how a paranoid Stalin, convinced his power was threatened by his rival Leon Trotsky and his allies, unleashed a wave of terror by his country’s NKVD—a forerunner of the KGB--  that decimated the Soviet leadership and its military with millions of Russians executed or marched to Siberian prison camps. While Stalin’s henchmen staged mock “trials” in Moscow, marked by phony confessions, extracted by torture, liberal apologists in the West sought to justify Stalin’s lunatic…

From the list:

The best books about Russian espionage

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Book cover of The Eleventh Day: The Full Story of 9/11

The Eleventh Day: The Full Story of 9/11

By Anthony Summers, Robbyn Swan

Why this book?

With this year’s 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington, this book, published on the 10th anniversary, is a useful reminder of the events of that day and the subsequent investigations of why it happened.

The civil case against Saudi Arabia for alleged complicity with the 19 hijackers, 15 of whom were Saudi, continues, albeit with little publicity. That is likely to change. Osama bin Laden’s own legal reckoning was less formal of course – the Saudi whose name has become synonymous with terrorism died in a hail of bullets from U.S. Navy SEALs. (I can…

From the list:

The best books to understand modern Saudi Arabia

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Book cover of The Lion's Game

The Lion's Game

By Nelson DeMille

Why this book?

John Corey is a wise-cracking NY cop who joins an FBI task force where he works with FBI Agent Kate Mayfield to take custody of a Libyan terrorist known as the Lion. The Task Force is at JFK waiting for the terrorist who is flying in from Libya on a 747. When they lose communication with the pilot, they realize something is wrong. The rest is a rollercoaster ride all the way to the end. You will not be disappointed.

From the list:

The best thrillers with an international villain

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Book cover of I Am Pilgrim: A Thriller

I Am Pilgrim: A Thriller

By Terry Hayes

Why this book?

This book took me completely by surprise. I’d never heard of it, nor was I familiar with the author. It was one of those books that’s like finding a pot of gold. The pacing is excellent; the character development unique and well done. I found this book to be quite different, and engrossing, for reasons I cannot describe. Be warned, it’s not for the faint of heart.

From the list:

The best novels for classic espionage thrills & intrigue

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