When not reading Fleming - I would recommend ?

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  • My cousin wrote Bond fan fiction for several years with great success on those kind of sites, and has just published this year her first original novel. Based on a Bond-like character called Marcus Tyler, it is called "Dangerous to Know" and it is available on the Kindle for £0.77p, or $0.99 in the USA. I am trying to help her promote it, so apologies for posting what appears to be an ad on here, but I think you might enjoy it, and it is kind of relevant. If you would like to read it, click here:

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Dangerous-Know-007-like-Thriller-ebook/dp/B00E1G1LAM/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1381761798&sr=8-1&keywords=elaine+dex
  • SaintMark wrote:
    I am currently reading a few of Phillip Kerr concerning a policeman Bernie Gunther and he works for the Berlin Kripo (Kriminal Polizei, aka police) during the Nazi years in Germany and it is not only about the story but also about the living in Nazi-Germany that is brilliantly reasearched & written about. Well worth your time
    Excellent choice!
    Bernie is the business.
  • 4EverBonded4EverBonded the Ballrooms of Mars
    edited October 2013 Posts: 12,459
    Finished I Am Pilgrim. What can I say? One of the very best spy books I have ever read, not just because of the plot or main character but because it is beautifully written. This novel is so well worth your time! Excellent and far above other spy/espionage/thriller/crime writers today, in my opinion. Le Carre is the only one I also hold in such high regard. Highly recommended. Entirely satisfying. The way Hayes wrote this story was so compelling, drew me in completely - and I ended up feeling, of all things, refreshed. Genuinely fine writing can do that. Do yourself a favor and get this book. I ordered mine and it came as an oversized paperback; perfect.
  • edited October 2013 Posts: 4,622
    OK I Am Pilgrim is on my list. On @perilagukhan's recommendation I read the first two David Stone, Micah Dalton espionage adventures. They read like nastier Ludlum. Great reads. Not for the feint of heart. I will also be picking up the two most recent titles. He seems to have quit at 4. He, Stone, doesn't even seem to really exist. Stone is a pen name and there really isn't much info as to his actual identity. He does have an actual intelligence background so that may be why.
    Picked up the latest Frederik Forsythe (The Kill List, 2013). I've read 30 pages. It's awesome. His last book, The Cobra, was riveting. I am hooked on these new Forsythes. They are actually the first of his thrillers that I have sampled. Day of the Jackal being his most famous book I guess. Surprisingly he only has 16 titles, so each seems to be published with tender loving care.
    Forsythe it seems has developed a bit of the Vince Flynn/Mitch Rapp, Remo Williams attitude. These last two books (Cobra and Kill List) are both about super top-secret unsanctioned USA operations against the bad guys. Cobra takes down drug dealers. Kill List has "The Tracker" going after the worst of Al Queda and the like, and very off-book.
    The off-book "Kill List" itself is supposedly based on a real scenario too, according to Forsythe.
  • Finished I Am Pilgrim. What can I say? One of the very best spy books I have ever read, not just because of the plot or main character but because it is beautifully written. This novel is so well worth your time! Excellent and far above other spy/espionage/thriller/crime writers today, in my opinion. Le Carre is the only one I also hold in such high regard. Highly recommended. Entirely satisfying. The way Hayes wrote this story was so compelling, drew me in completely - and I ended up feeling, of all things, refreshed. Genuinely fine writing can do that. Do yourself a favor and get this book. I ordered mine and it came as an oversized paperback; perfect.

    I read "I Am Pilgrim" and "Solo" consequtively and it left me feeling very sad for Bond and all my fellow Fleming fans.
    I say that because Hayes' book sets today's standard in intelligent thriller writing. When you analyse his style with its restless changing of scenes, far away locations, capacity to describe the high and low life, all built around a plot that is as solid as a rock and which is populated with richly described good and bad guys, there is no doubt that Hayes' style owes a great debt to Fleming. That said he has moved the bar up to a completely new level and with Pilgrim he has given us a protagonist who is every inch today's Bond and leaves me furious that he (Pilgrim) is not British! It is so good that if he doesn't write a sequel - I'll throw myself off a cliff!
    "Solo", by comparrison is just a turgid retread that rips out all that was great with Fleming - the guns, girls, glamour and luxury that had us all dreaming and replaced it with a dysfunctionaly plotted story that is as dull as dish water and an alcoholic Bond who should be rushed into rehab!
    Hayes to write the next Bond novel? I don't think so - he has Pilgrim, he doesn't need Bond!
  • 007InVT007InVT Classified
    Posts: 893
    Does anyone have a preference for Len Deighton? I'm thinking of picking one up from the library and I suppose would start with The Ipcress File. Any others worth checking out?
  • timmer wrote:
    OK I Am Pilgrim is on my list. On @perilagukhan's recommendation I read the first two David Stone, Micah Dalton espionage adventures. They read like nastier Ludlum. Great reads. Not for the feint of heart. I will also be picking up the two most recent titles. He seems to have quit at 4. He, Stone, doesn't even seem to really exist. Stone is a pen name and there really isn't much info as to his actual identity. He does have an actual intelligence background so that may be why.
    Picked up the latest Frederik Forsythe (The Kill List, 2013). I've read 30 pages. It's awesome. His last book, The Cobra, was riveting. I am hooked on these new Forsythes. They are actually the first of his thrillers that I have sampled. Day of the Jackal being his most famous book I guess. Surprisingly he only has 16 titles, so each seems to be published with tender loving care.
    Forsythe it seems has developed a bit of the Vince Flynn/Mitch Rapp, Remo Williams attitude. These last two books (Cobra and Kill List) are both about super top-secret unsanctioned USA operations against the bad guys. Cobra takes down drug dealers. Kill List has "The Tracker" going after the worst of Al Queda and the like, and very off-book.
    The off-book "Kill List" itself is supposedly based on a real scenario too, according to Forsythe.

    Stone supposedly is writing a fifth--Requiem in Prague. Alas, it has been some time since his fourth, so I'm fearing the worst. Perhaps he has passed away.
  • Posts: 908
    007InVT wrote:
    Does anyone have a preference for Len Deighton? I'm thinking of picking one up from the library and I suppose would start with The Ipcress File. Any others worth checking out?

    You can never go wrong with any of his spy novels. Deighton and espionage just go together like gin and tonic, apple pie and vanilla ice, Laurel and Hardy, ...you get the picture. His prose is descriptive ,highly amusing and most of all always make you wonder,what is going on (even when rereading). He shares this quality with my all time greatest Dashiell Hammett which says it all. By the way, to those of you who enjoyed "I AM PILGRIM". If you are a fan of Mr. Hayes book you are likely to become a Deighton fan as well. His style owes a great deal to Hammett,Deighton (and Donald Hamilton as well, I guess). And best of all Deighton makes it incomparably harder to guess about the stories' development ( which so far seems to be Hayes weak point, to me at least).
  • Posts: 267
    Matt_Helm wrote:
    007InVT wrote:
    Does anyone have a preference for Len Deighton? I'm thinking of picking one up from the library and I suppose would start with The Ipcress File. Any others worth checking out?

    You can never go wrong with any of his spy novels. Deighton and espionage just go together like gin and tonic, apple pie and vanilla ice, Laurel and Hardy, ...you get the picture. His prose is descriptive ,highly amusing and most of all always make you wonder,what is going on (even when rereading). He shares this quality with my all time greatest Dashiell Hammett which says it all. By the way, to those of you who enjoyed "I AM PILGRIM". If you are a fan of Mr. Hayes book you are likely to become a Deighton fan as well. His style owes a great deal to Hammett,Deighton (and Donald Hamilton as well, I guess). And best of all Deighton makes it incomparably harder to guess about the stories' development ( which so far seems to be Hayes weak point, to me at least).

    @Matt_Helm is absolutely correct. Len Deighton is the espionage master.
    His best spy books are his first two "Spy with no name" novels( "The Ipcress File" and "Horse Under Water") and the complete Bernard Samson canon.
    Deighton's plots tend to be a little convoluted but they are well worth the effort as his writing is so rewarding.
    Back in the day, "Ipcress" with its fabulous Raymond Hawkey first edition artwork, was considered to be one of the hippest novels of the swinging '60s. Due in no small part to its working class hero and fabulous irreverent humour.
    Personally, other than humour, I don't quite see the connection between Deighton and Hayes. Judged by his only book to date, the fabulous "I Am Pilgrim," I would put him (Hayes) more into the Forsyth school albeit his writing style is more stylised and modern.
    If I had to compare Deighton with anybody, it would be with Le Carre.
  • 007InVT007InVT Classified
    Posts: 893
    Great feedback both,

    I'll start with 'Ipcress' and see how I go!
  • edited November 2013 Posts: 12,837
    Andy Mcnabs Nick Stone books are good. He's sort of a spy, he's worked for MI6 and the CIA before, but he's more of a mercenary. Cool books though.

    I'd still recommend these. I've just ordered the new one on Amazon and I can't wait.
  • chrisisallchrisisall Brosnan Defender Of The Realm
    Posts: 17,687
    Finished I Am Pilgrim. What can I say? One of the very best spy books I have ever read, not just because of the plot or main character but because it is beautifully written.

    I must get it then. Thanks!
  • Posts: 4,622
    Stone supposedly is writing a fifth--Requiem in Prague. Alas, it has been some time since his fourth, so I'm fearing the worst. Perhaps he has passed away.
    Well if he is writing a 5th, then it would seem he is very much alive. I can't imagine someone else assuming his pen-name. His style is too distinct.
    I was alluding to the fact that it seems he is quite anonymous. ie he uses a fake name and doesn't seem to have any profile, other than the sketchy info associated with his pen-name.

  • 007InVT007InVT Classified
    Posts: 893
    oo7 wrote:
    Mickey Spillane

    Any suggestions for him?
  • 007InVT007InVT Classified
    Posts: 893
    Villiers53 wrote:
    I'm currently reading "Mission To Paris" by Alan Furst and I would thoroughly recommend it.
    The guy (Furst) writes great thrillers set either in or just before WWII. In truth he's probably closer to Eric Ambler or Graham Greene than Fleming but I'm sure that Bond fans will dig him.
    By the way, who's this Rebekah Brooks chic that Bentley mentions?

    Where to begin with Graham Greene @Villers53?

    Orient Express? Our Man in Havana? The Quiet American?

    Itching to get started.
  • timmer wrote:
    Stone supposedly is writing a fifth--Requiem in Prague. Alas, it has been some time since his fourth, so I'm fearing the worst. Perhaps he has passed away.
    Well if he is writing a 5th, then it would seem he is very much alive. I can't imagine someone else assuming his pen-name. His style is too distinct.
    I was alluding to the fact that it seems he is quite anonymous. ie he uses a fake name and doesn't seem to have any profile, other than the sketchy info associated with his pen-name.

    But he's taking a long time to produce this fifth novel. Considerably longer than any of the others. That's what concerns me. I don't think for a second that somebody else will ghost a David Stone novel. He's really not a big enough name for that, I suspect.

  • edited November 2013 Posts: 4,622
    timmer wrote:
    Stone supposedly is writing a fifth--Requiem in Prague. Alas, it has been some time since his fourth, so I'm fearing the worst. Perhaps he has passed away.
    Well if he is writing a 5th, then it would seem he is very much alive. I can't imagine someone else assuming his pen-name. His style is too distinct.
    I was alluding to the fact that it seems he is quite anonymous. ie he uses a fake name and doesn't seem to have any profile, other than the sketchy info associated with his pen-name.

    But he's taking a long time to produce this fifth novel. Considerably longer than any of the others. That's what concerns me. I don't think for a second that somebody else will ghost a David Stone novel. He's really not a big enough name for that, I suspect.
    He may have passed away. It is possible, because he doesn't really exist in the public domain. David Stone is a pen name only. The real man is anonymous.
    I believe there is clearly a unique individual behind the Stone name. I've only read the first two books but the same Flemingish-like attitudes were sprinkled about liberally in both books.
    Yes odd if the new book is being held up, but because he hides his identity, its tough to know what's going on.

    In the meantime I have his third and 4th books to plough through yet.
    He's funny hard on Canadians. He took good shots in both of the first two books. He considers us quite frivolous in our politics and global relevance.
  • Creasy47Creasy47 In Cuba with Natalya.Moderator
    Posts: 40,442
    @0BradyM0Bondfanatic7, how was 'The Spy Who Came In From The Cold'? I know you posted that in October 2012 (and even then it had been a long time), but I constantly see the film version on blu-ray and I kind of want to pick it up. Trailers look fantastic and John Le Carre's work is great (from what I've seen of it, which isn't much, so.)
  • timmer wrote:
    timmer wrote:
    Stone supposedly is writing a fifth--Requiem in Prague. Alas, it has been some time since his fourth, so I'm fearing the worst. Perhaps he has passed away.
    Well if he is writing a 5th, then it would seem he is very much alive. I can't imagine someone else assuming his pen-name. His style is too distinct.
    I was alluding to the fact that it seems he is quite anonymous. ie he uses a fake name and doesn't seem to have any profile, other than the sketchy info associated with his pen-name.

    But he's taking a long time to produce this fifth novel. Considerably longer than any of the others. That's what concerns me. I don't think for a second that somebody else will ghost a David Stone novel. He's really not a big enough name for that, I suspect.
    He may have passed away. It is possible, because he doesn't really exist in the public domain. David Stone is a pen name only. The real man is anonymous.
    I believe there is clearly a unique individual behind the Stone name. I've only read the first two books but the same Flemingish-like attitudes were sprinkled about liberally in both books.
    Yes odd if the new book is being held up, but because he hides his identity, its tough to know what's going on.

    In the meantime I have his third and 4th books to plough through yet.
    He's funny hard on Canadians. He took good shots in both of the first two books. He considers us quite frivolous in our politics and global relevance.

    Stone is/was a Vietnam vet, which would put him probably in his late 60s or early 70s. Kind of young to be pushing up daisies, but far from unheard of.

  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 Quantum Floral Arrangements: "We Have Petals Everywhere"
    edited November 2013 Posts: 28,694
    Creasy47 wrote:
    @0BradyM0Bondfanatic7, how was 'The Spy Who Came In From The Cold'? I know you posted that in October 2012 (and even then it had been a long time), but I constantly see the film version on blu-ray and I kind of want to pick it up. Trailers look fantastic and John Le Carre's work is great (from what I've seen of it, which isn't much, so.)

    It has been years since I read "The Spy Who Came in From the Cold," but it was a thought-provoking read to say the least. I would love to reread it, which I will, and hopefully since I have grown a lot in the last few years in regards to analyzing fiction, I will like it more. It isn't a long read, so if you ever see it in a bookstore or online, snap it up for a great character study into the main character, Leamas.

    Le Carré is a fine writer, but he's not really my cup of tea in comparison to Fleming, Robert Ludlum and Vince Flynn, at least from the books I have dabble in of his. His stuff is extremely grounded, and can be very slow moving. After "The Spy Who Came in From the Cold" I read "My Kind of Traitor" which was remarkably unremarkable to say the least, and was extremely predictable. I tried to read "Tinker Tailor" my senior year of high school, but because that year was so stressful and the first part of the book is sloth-like, I had to put it down after a while. It just wasn't the right time to read it, but I will give it and Le Carré a chance another day. Regardless of my opinion on his books, the man is a genius level intellectual who has fascinated me for years. His life story is beyond interesting, and the various documentaries and interviews featuring him on YouTube are well worth checking out just to get a glimpse of the man behind the pen, so to speak.

  • 007InVT007InVT Classified
    edited November 2013 Posts: 893
    Creasy47 wrote:
    @0BradyM0Bondfanatic7, how was 'The Spy Who Came In From The Cold'? I know you posted that in October 2012 (and even then it had been a long time), but I constantly see the film version on blu-ray and I kind of want to pick it up. Trailers look fantastic and John Le Carre's work is great (from what I've seen of it, which isn't much, so.)

    The film is great:



  • 007InVT007InVT Classified
    edited November 2013 Posts: 893
    Charles Cumming looks a good bet for me.

    The Observer has described him as "the best of the new generation of British spy writers who are taking over where John le Carré and Len Deighton left off".

    http://www.amazon.com/Charles-Cumming/e/B000APOROK/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

    51S8%2B1uQ-AL._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_.jpg
  • 007InVT007InVT Classified
    Posts: 893
    Currently reading Charles Cumming's Trinity Six. Rather a gripping read. Reminds me somewhat of Anthony Hyde's classic The Red Fox although with less atmosphere, action and globe-trotting.

    I'm going to pick this one up.

  • 007InVT wrote:
    Villiers53 wrote:
    I'm currently reading "Mission To Paris" by Alan Furst and I would thoroughly recommend it.
    The guy (Furst) writes great thrillers set either in or just before WWII. In truth he's probably closer to Eric Ambler or Graham Greene than Fleming but I'm sure that Bond fans will dig him.
    By the way, who's this Rebekah Brooks chic that Bentley mentions?

    Where to begin with Graham Greene @Villers53?

    Orient Express? Our Man in Havana? The Quiet American?

    Itching to get started.

    Sorry for the delay, I missed this one.
    My favourite Greene books are Brighton Rock and The Quiet American.
    They are both amazing and they've encouraged me to walk in Greene's footsteps both in Saigon and the town that has the aura of permanently helping the police with their enquiries - Brighton.
    I envy you starting out with him - Greene was one of the twentieth centuries' greats.
  • Creasy47 wrote:
    @0BradyM0Bondfanatic7, how was 'The Spy Who Came In From The Cold'? I know you posted that in October 2012 (and even then it had been a long time), but I constantly see the film version on blu-ray and I kind of want to pick it up. Trailers look fantastic and John Le Carre's work is great (from what I've seen of it, which isn't much, so.)

    It has been years since I read "The Spy Who Came in From the Cold," but it was a thought-provoking read to say the least. I would love to reread it, which I will, and hopefully since I have grown a lot in the last few years in regards to analyzing fiction, I will like it more. It isn't a long read, so if you ever see it in a bookstore or online, snap it up for a great character study into the main character, Leamas.

    Le Carré is a fine writer, but he's not really my cup of tea in comparison to Fleming, Robert Ludlum and Vince Flynn, at least from the books I have dabble in of his. His stuff is extremely grounded, and can be very slow moving. After "The Spy Who Came in From the Cold" I read "My Kind of Traitor" which was remarkably unremarkable to say the least, and was extremely predictable. I tried to read "Tinker Tailor" my senior year of high school, but because that year was so stressful and the first part of the book is sloth-like, I had to put it down after a while. It just wasn't the right time to read it, but I will give it and Le Carré a chance another day. Regardless of my opinion on his books, the man is a genius level intellectual who has fascinated me for years. His life story is beyond interesting, and the various documentaries and interviews featuring him on YouTube are well worth checking out just to get a glimpse of the man behind the pen, so to speak.

    When you try him again, go for 'The Honourable Schoolboy' or his latest; 'A Delicate Truth'.
    If they don't convert you, I don't know what will — two of the best books I've ever read. Any genre!
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Das Boot Hill
    Posts: 45,489
    I reccomend "The Windchime Legacy" by Canadian Andre Mykel.
    And this is stretching the concept of "spy novels", but has anyone read Homer? If you have not read The Illiad or The Odyssey, yoy have missed out on world class Litterature. If you say Shakespeare was the best writer ever, you probably have not read Homer.
  • edited November 2013 Posts: 4,622
    Stone is/was a Vietnam vet, which would put him probably in his late 60s or early 70s. Kind of young to be pushing up daisies, but far from unheard of.
    Yes, who knows what's holding up the 5th book. Maybe just the usual writer's block or distractions with other things, that can hold up any writer.
    The fact that Stone hides his identity is very intriguing. It does give his persona a degree of mystery. You wonder who this guy is. How close was he to events possibly similar to what he chronicles.
    He's actually the closest author that I've read to Fleming. His first two efforts are rife with geo-political observations. Nothing remotely pc about his writing. Not even the vaguest lipservice. His narratives are not for sensitive types. He's not as "fancy" as Fleming though. Fleming had a unique flair. But he's every bit as irreverent, if that's even possible.
    His hero is much nastier than Bond but still an honorable bloke caught up in a cruel profession.
    I am looking forward to tracking down Stone books #'s 3-4. I like that each book continues the very dangerous adventures of highly trained clandestine operative Micah Dalton.

    Re Le Carre. I've read his last two books. " A Delicate Truth" is indeed quite good. It's reasonably well paced too. Some day I will visit the back catalogue. What turned me off him originally though was A Perfect Spy.
    I slogged all the way through that tome, just to see how it would resolve, but it was an exhausting read. I was afraid to dip toe in that water again.
    I've since picked up his recent efforts just to see what he might be all about in the contemporary context, and I must say, the two latest efforts were quite readable.
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 Quantum Floral Arrangements: "We Have Petals Everywhere"
    Posts: 28,694
    Villiers53 wrote:
    Creasy47 wrote:
    @0BradyM0Bondfanatic7, how was 'The Spy Who Came In From The Cold'? I know you posted that in October 2012 (and even then it had been a long time), but I constantly see the film version on blu-ray and I kind of want to pick it up. Trailers look fantastic and John Le Carre's work is great (from what I've seen of it, which isn't much, so.)

    It has been years since I read "The Spy Who Came in From the Cold," but it was a thought-provoking read to say the least. I would love to reread it, which I will, and hopefully since I have grown a lot in the last few years in regards to analyzing fiction, I will like it more. It isn't a long read, so if you ever see it in a bookstore or online, snap it up for a great character study into the main character, Leamas.

    Le Carré is a fine writer, but he's not really my cup of tea in comparison to Fleming, Robert Ludlum and Vince Flynn, at least from the books I have dabble in of his. His stuff is extremely grounded, and can be very slow moving. After "The Spy Who Came in From the Cold" I read "My Kind of Traitor" which was remarkably unremarkable to say the least, and was extremely predictable. I tried to read "Tinker Tailor" my senior year of high school, but because that year was so stressful and the first part of the book is sloth-like, I had to put it down after a while. It just wasn't the right time to read it, but I will give it and Le Carré a chance another day. Regardless of my opinion on his books, the man is a genius level intellectual who has fascinated me for years. His life story is beyond interesting, and the various documentaries and interviews featuring him on YouTube are well worth checking out just to get a glimpse of the man behind the pen, so to speak.

    When you try him again, go for 'The Honourable Schoolboy' or his latest; 'A Delicate Truth'.
    If they don't convert you, I don't know what will — two of the best books I've ever read. Any genre!

    I know "Schoolboy" is somewhat autobiographical, but I haven't heard much on "A Delicate Truth." After reading "Our Kind of Traitor" and finding it unremarkable I kind of got turned off by Le Carré's more contemporary novels.
  • 007InVT007InVT Classified
    Posts: 893
    I've actually picked up William Boyd's Ordinary Thunderstorms from the library, his espionage thriller. I'm enjoying it and I haven't read Solo yet, so am fairly objective about him thus far.

    OrdinaryThunderstormsnovel.jpg

    I enjoyed 'Restless' too.
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 Quantum Floral Arrangements: "We Have Petals Everywhere"
    edited November 2013 Posts: 28,694
    007InVT wrote:
    I've actually picked up William Boyd's Ordinary Thunderstorms from the library, his espionage thriller. I'm enjoying it and I haven't read Solo yet, so am fairly objective about him thus far.

    OrdinaryThunderstormsnovel.jpg

    I enjoyed 'Restless' too.

    What's his writing style? Is he more grounded and focused on reality like Le Carré or Ludlum and Flemingesque, adding some fanaticism and escapism to the mix?
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