I thought it might be fun and informative for us to share reviews and opinions on spy novels that we read when not reading Fleming and to compare, were appropriate with Bond.
I'd like to start the ball rolling by highlighting the terrific John Rain novels by Barry Eisler.
In my opinion, Rain is the best anti-hero to grace the pages of spy fiction since Fleming created Bond, O'Donnell gave us the Blaise franchise and Adam Hall launched us into the wonderful world of Quiller.
Eisler's books are a rarity. He succeeds in being highly literate whilst delivering an abundance of thrills in a style that is cool and original.
So fare, Eisler has published six Rain books and although they can be read out of sequence there is a narrative that runs throughout that make them best read in chronological order.
Start your relationship by reading the first, " Rain Fall" and meet the Jazz loving, single malt connoisseur who specialises in hits that present as death by natural causes.
The books are hip and achingly cool. The Tokyo settings and the noir atmosphere will grip you from the get go and the plot, involving a very believable take on the corruption permeating modern Japan, will both inform you and thrill you in equal measure.
In addition, spy aficionados will love the trade craft and bone crunching combat scenes they are both bang up to date and completely authentic (little wonder as Eisler is ex-CIA and holds a black belt in judo).
"Rain Fall" is a truly brilliant book and the entree to a quality series. Savour it and tell your friends - Rain is the coolest hit man to walk the streets and if he were alive, this is what Fleming would be writing today!
What recommendations have you other agents out there got for the Fleming starved reader?