Since I've been collecting spy novels, and you know my delight in a good list of books, I thought I would see what I have on hand and whether I would have a varied enough stack to create a new Thursday Thirteen. Apparently so. Although my reading is pretty well planned out for the rest of the month, I'd like to start another spy novel, but I'm not sure which to choose.
- The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, John Le Carre - Le Carre's third novel but the one that made a name for him. A story about a spy who wants to pacl it in for good, but is convinced to take on one last mission.
- The Quiet American, Graham Greene - "Into the intrigue and violence of Indo-China comes Pyle, a young idealistic American sent to promote democracy. As his native optimism starts to cause bloodshed, his friend Fowler, a cynical foreign correspondent, cannot stand aside and just watch."
- Above Suspicion, Helen MacInnes - She wrote a slew of novels of international intrigue. Above Suspicion was her first, which is about a married couple from Oxford who unwittingly get mixed up in a dangerous political situation. It was published in 1941.
- Greenmantle, John Buchan - Another Richard Hannay adventure, this one moves through Germany to Constantinople to the Russian border.
- The Unlikely Spy, Daniel Silva -"In this debut novel, veteran journalist Silva mines the reliable territory of World War II espionage to produce a gripping, historically detailed thriller. In early 1944 the Allies were preparing their invasion of Normandy; critical to the invasion's success was an elaborate set of deceptions--from phony radio signals to bogus airfields and barracks--intended to keep Hitler in the dark about when and where the Allied troops would arrive. Catherine Blake is the beautiful, ruthless spy who could bring the whole charade crashing down; Alfred Vicary is the brilliant but bumbling professor Churchill has tapped to protect the operation."
- The Riddle of the Sands, Erskine Childers - "Erskine Childer's lone masterpiece, the first modern spy thriller and recognizably the brilliant forerunner of the realism of Graham Greene and John Le Carre."
- From Russia with Love, Ian Fleming - "Russia's lethal SMERSH organization has targeted 007 for elimination, and has the perfect bait in the irresistible Tatiana Romanova, who lures him to Istanbul promising the top-secret Spekter cipher machine. But when Bond walks into a trap, a deadly game of cross and double-cross ensues..."
- The Spies of Warsaw, Alan Furst - "War is coming to Europe. French and German intelligence operatives are locked in a life-and-death struggle on the espionage battlefield. At the French embassy, in Warsaw, the new military attaché, Colonel Jean-François Mercier, a decorated hero of the 1914 war, is drawn into a world of abduction, betrayal, and intrigue in the diplomatic salons and back alleys of the city. At the same time, the handsome aristocrat finds himself in a passionate love affair with a Parisian woman of Polish heritage, a lawyer for the League of Nations. Risking his life, Colonel Mercier must work in the shadows, amid an extraordinary cast of venal characters, some known to Mercier as spies, some never to be revealed."
- Restless, William Boyd - "It is the summer of 1976 in Oxfordshire, England, and someone is tying to kill Sally Gilmartin. The only preson she can trust is her daughter, Ruth, a young single mother struggling with her own demons. Now Sally must tell her daughter the truth: she is actually Eva Delectorskaya, a Russian emigre recruited for the British Secret Service in 1939, after the murder of her brother, also a spy."
- The Birds Fall Down, Rebecca West - This is perhaps not one of my more traditional choices. "Top-drawer spies..A gripping study of betrayal and double-agents set among aristocratic Tsarist exiles."
- Enigma, Robert Harris - This is perhaps only peripherally of the genre. It's set during WWII in Oxford as the British try and break Germany's enigma code.
- Black Out, John Lawton - Another peripheral story, though it sounds like a great thriller. "A well-connected young police officer named Frederick Troy tries to find out why scientists working on a secret project are disappearing and dying. Their fate has something to do with one of the nastier villains in recent fiction, a rogue American OSS agent, but it isn't until the war is over that Troy discovers the truth in ruined Berlin."
- Secret Asset, Stella Rimington - This is the second Liz Carlyle thriller by MI5's first woman director.
Only three women authors. It seems this is a genre dominated by men. Who am I missing? Any classic spy novels that I should have on my list? I'm as curious about women spies as men, and Id like books that are perhaps more nontraditional as well as the books you would expect to see. Suggestions welcome. Now to choose my next read . . .