I had originally written this post on Quora, as the answer top the question “What are the best spy novels ever written?”
You can check out the original post here.
Here are two novels, written by former spies, that couldn’t be more different from each other, but rank among the greatest in the spy genre.
From Russia,with Love-Ian Fleming
In the fifth novel to feature the legendary Secret Service agent,Bond is marked for assassination by Soviet Counterintelligence agency SMERSH, and young clerk Tatiana Romanova, along with a Russian decoding device, is the bait to lure Bond into a trap, orchestrated by the ruthless Colonel Rosa Klebb.
From Russia, with Love is everything we love about Agent 007- edge-of-your-seat drama, femme fatales and powerful villains.
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold– John le Carré
Regarded as a masterpiece in the spy genre, this novel is as far as it gets from Bond-esque tropes.Set during the height of the Cold War, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold is about the core principle of spycraft- the flow of information. The tension is slowly and meticulously built up through an intricate plot, full of twists and turns. This is a must-read for all lovers of the spy genre.