When not reading Fleming - I would recommend ?

1568101115

Comments

  • 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.
    "Ordinary Thunderstorms" and "Waiting For Sunrise" although not perfect, are much better books than "Solo" and unfortunately are not a bench mark for his Bond stinker.

  • 007InVT007InVT Classified
    Posts: 893
    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?

    It definitely has a bit of a Fleming sweep to it. It's not over-written or bogged down in reality, although it deals with the realism of London rather than say Bond's London.

    I have not finished it yet, so we'll see how it finishes!
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 Quantum Floral Arrangements: "We Have Petals Everywhere"
    Posts: 28,694
    007InVT wrote:
    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?

    It definitely has a bit of a Fleming sweep to it. It's not over-written or bogged down in reality, although it deals with the realism of London rather than say Bond's London.

    I have not finished it yet, so we'll see how it finishes!

    Cool. I like writers that can blend the fantastical with the ordinary, something I think men like Fleming and Ludlum did very well. You'll have to tell us your thoughts on it once you're done.
  • edited December 2013 Posts: 802
    I've recently read the "The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter" and "How A Gunman Says Goodbye". They are the first two in a tartan noir trilogy by first time Scottish author Malcolm Mackay.
    Mackay is the new, hip kid on the UK thriller scene and he has already enjoyed uniformed acclaim from respected, established authors - Ian Rankin, Peter James and Val Mcdermid.
    The novels are crime noir and have nothing to do with the espionage world but if you enjoy the likes of Richard Stark, Elmore Leonard or the greatest ever UK noir writer, the late Ted Lewis, Mackay is for you.
    His prose is compelling and quite relentless and he's created a Glasgow underworld that is believable, chilling and populated with gangsters, their molls and bent cops whose only allegiance is to the green stuff.
    Personally,I thought they were great and can't wait for the third and final part of the trilogy to be published in January. That said there is zero redemption to be found here. If you like your heroes and your villains in black and white hats read something else. This is a dark world that Mackay has created.
  • edited December 2013 Posts: 267
    @villiers53, you certainly brought back memories when you mentioned Ted Lewis. What a fabulous writer he was.
    Unfortunately, with the exception of 'Jack's Return Home' (aka 'Get Carter'), all of his books are out of print. A great shame as I'm sure modern audiences would love 'Plender', 'GBH' and 'Billy Rags'. All really chilling noirs.
    Interestingly, a French production company recently released a terrific movie treatment of 'Plender' - I'd thoroughly recommend it.
    On the noir front, I recently read this year's 'Ian Fleming Dagger' winner, 'Ghostman' by Roger Hobbs. It was thoroughly awful - why on earth IFP chose that one over the likes of 'I Am Pilgrim', God knows? There again, how do they make any of their decisions?
  • 4EverBonded4EverBonded the Ballrooms of Mars
    Posts: 12,459
    I Am Pilgrim ought to be winning some awards. That is a very well written book indeed.
  • I've just finished reading Stuart Neville's 'Ratlines' and would heartily recommend it.
    Set in '63 it has a fabulous plot about Ireland's complicity in hiding Nazis.
    It's tough, bloody but highly literate — it is a heady cocktail of espionage and noir and introduces a new hero.
    I hadn't heard of Neville before but after reading 'Ratlines', I looked at his web site and he's clearly quite a force. Definitely one to go for!
  • Bentley wrote:
    @villiers53, you certainly brought back memories when you mentioned Ted Lewis. What a fabulous writer he was.
    Unfortunately, with the exception of 'Jack's Return Home' (aka 'Get Carter'), all of his books are out of print. A great shame as I'm sure modern audiences would love 'Plender', 'GBH' and 'Billy Rags'. All really chilling noirs.
    Interestingly, a French production company recently released a terrific movie treatment of 'Plender' - I'd thoroughly recommend it.
    On the noir front, I recently read this year's 'Ian Fleming Dagger' winner, 'Ghostman' by Roger Hobbs. It was thoroughly awful - why on earth IFP chose that one over the likes of 'I Am Pilgrim', God knows? There again, how do they make any of their decisions?

    Presumably, these are the same people who gave us Deaver, Faulks and Boyd. 'Nuff said.

  • Posts: 267
    Villiers53 wrote:
    I've just finished reading Stuart Neville's 'Ratlines' and would heartily recommend it.
    Set in '63 it has a fabulous plot about Ireland's complicity in hiding Nazis.
    It's tough, bloody but highly literate — it is a heady cocktail of espionage and noir and introduces a new hero.
    I hadn't heard of Neville before but after reading 'Ratlines', I looked at his web site and he's clearly quite a force. Definitely one to go for!

    @villiers53 I downloaded this after reading your piece and I'm a third thru' - bloody brilliant!
    Where do you get these recommendations from? With the trend towards ebooks I find it so difficult to get find new authors.

  • Bentley wrote:
    Villiers53 wrote:
    I've just finished reading Stuart Neville's 'Ratlines' and would heartily recommend it.
    Set in '63 it has a fabulous plot about Ireland's complicity in hiding Nazis.
    It's tough, bloody but highly literate — it is a heady cocktail of espionage and noir and introduces a new hero.
    I hadn't heard of Neville before but after reading 'Ratlines', I looked at his web site and he's clearly quite a force. Definitely one to go for!

    @villiers53 I downloaded this after reading your piece and I'm a third thru' - bloody brilliant!
    Where do you get these recommendations from? With the trend towards ebooks I find it so difficult to get find new authors.

    I've subsequentlyb bought his first novel ''The Ghosts Of Belfast' (aka 'The Twelve' ) which got rave reviews in press when it was published.
    That one is a real noir, revenge thriller and can't really be described as a spy story.
    It is quite unique because it features a haunted IRA killer and mixes elements of the supernatural in a way that is completely realistic and which I hadn't come across before.
    I am finding him (Neville) to be quite the best I've come across in a number of years and he was brought to my attention by the 'Theakstons Crime Awards' - I've discovered a number of authors via this festival. It's well worth following.
    'Ratliner' is Neville's fourth so he's clearly not a one hit wonder. Pleased you are enjoying it - pass the word.


  • 007InVT007InVT Classified
    Posts: 893
    0BradyM0Bondfanatic7 - I liked Ordinary Thunderstorms overall but the ending was an anti-climax.

    Boyd writes with pace and this characters are well drawn.

    Just started Trinity Six by Charles Cumming and I think I prefer this already. Sweet Tooth by Ian McKewan is worth reading too.
  • 007InVT007InVT Classified
    Posts: 893
    007InVT wrote:
    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.

    I'm loving this already. Will def pick up some more of him.


  • Posts: 14,816
    I'm reading Nothing Lasts Forever by Roderick Thorp, which inspired the first Die Hard movie. Not exactly spy fiction, but still, there are terrorists at the center of the plot.
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 Quantum Floral Arrangements: "We Have Petals Everywhere"
    Posts: 28,694
    Ludovico wrote:
    I'm reading Nothing Lasts Forever by Roderick Thorp, which inspired the first Die Hard movie. Not exactly spy fiction, but still, there are terrorists at the center of the plot.

    I remember hearing that inspired Die Hard. Without giving anything away, how close is it to the film? Is McClane the name of the protagonist?
  • Posts: 14,816
    Ludovico wrote:
    I'm reading Nothing Lasts Forever by Roderick Thorp, which inspired the first Die Hard movie. Not exactly spy fiction, but still, there are terrorists at the center of the plot.

    I remember hearing that inspired Die Hard. Without giving anything away, how close is it to the film? Is McClane the name of the protagonist?

    The protagonist is named Joe Leland and he is himself very different from McClane. He is much older, for start, a grandfather in his sixties, divorced, widower and recovering alcoholic. The narrative so far is very similar, but the tone, the characters are very different. It is a much darker story.
  • 0BradyM0Bondfanatic70BradyM0Bondfanatic7 Quantum Floral Arrangements: "We Have Petals Everywhere"
    Posts: 28,694
    Ludovico wrote:
    Ludovico wrote:
    I'm reading Nothing Lasts Forever by Roderick Thorp, which inspired the first Die Hard movie. Not exactly spy fiction, but still, there are terrorists at the center of the plot.

    I remember hearing that inspired Die Hard. Without giving anything away, how close is it to the film? Is McClane the name of the protagonist?

    The protagonist is named Joe Leland and he is himself very different from McClane. He is much older, for start, a grandfather in his sixties, divorced, widower and recovering alcoholic. The narrative so far is very similar, but the tone, the characters are very different. It is a much darker story.

    Interesting... You'll have to let us know what you think when you finish it.
  • Posts: 267
    007InVT wrote:
    007InVT wrote:
    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.

    I'm loving this already. Will def pick up some more of him.


    In my not so humble opinion, Cumming is the best of the new breed.
    'Typhoon' is an absolute masterpiece (as good as Le Carre's 'The Honourable Schoolboy' — there can be no finer praise) and both 'Trinity Six' and 'A Foreign Country' are excellent.
    Personally I didn't care for his Alec Milius novels - I think he was finding his way with them.
    It would certainly be great if they filmed 'Trinity Six' with Dominic West in the lead. I love him as an actor and he'd be perfect for the role (I think Cumming and he are old school friends).
    But spook fans, if you haven't tried Cumming, you are in for a treat. He really is as good as Len Deighton and Le Carre! Can't believe I've said that but it's true!
  • Posts: 14,816
    Ludovico wrote:
    Ludovico wrote:
    I'm reading Nothing Lasts Forever by Roderick Thorp, which inspired the first Die Hard movie. Not exactly spy fiction, but still, there are terrorists at the center of the plot.

    I remember hearing that inspired Die Hard. Without giving anything away, how close is it to the film? Is McClane the name of the protagonist?

    The protagonist is named Joe Leland and he is himself very different from McClane. He is much older, for start, a grandfather in his sixties, divorced, widower and recovering alcoholic. The narrative so far is very similar, but the tone, the characters are very different. It is a much darker story.

    Interesting... You'll have to let us know what you think when you finish it.

    Oh I certainly will. I wanted to have it as as Christmas read, it was long out of print until last year, for the 25th anniversary of the movie.
  • I have just finished reading "Ratlines" by Stuart Neville and would heartily recommend it.
    Set in Ireland in '63 it features Lieutenant Albert Ryan, the Directorate of Intelligence, who is asked to investigate the murder of three murdered Nazis who had been granted secret asylum after World War II.
    With JFK's planned visit just weeks away it is essential that Ryan finds answers.
    Neville is a fabulous writer and this, his first stand alone historical thriller will certainly appeal to fans of Le Carre, Cumming, Alan Furst but will also find favour with those who prefer their books tougher and faster moving as Neville has a great 'noir' feel to him.
    Anyway, I loved it to bits and for those of you that are still in the doldrums after reading Solo, this is the perfect pick me up!
  • MrcogginsMrcoggins Following in the footsteps of Quentin Quigley.
    Posts: 3,144
    Villiers53 wrote:
    I have just finished reading "Ratlines" by Stuart Neville and would heartily recommend it.
    Set in Ireland in '63 it features Lieutenant Albert Ryan, the Directorate of Intelligence, who is asked to investigate the murder of three murdered Nazis who had been granted secret asylum after World War II.I f
    With JFK's planned visit just weeks away it is essential that Ryan finds answers.
    Neville is a fabulous writer and this, his first stand alone historical thriller will certainly appeal to fans of Le Carre, Cumming, Alan Furst but will also find favour with those who prefer their books tougher and faster moving as Neville has a great 'noir' feel to him.
    Anyway, I loved it to bits and for those of you that are still in the doldrums after reading Solo, this is the perfect pick me up!

    I find myself once again having to say a big Thankyou to Villiers for giving me the stear to read Ratlines a great read most enjoyable .
  • 007InVT007InVT Classified
    edited February 2014 Posts: 893
    I've done quite a bit of reading since my last comment here; here's what I've enjoyed by star rating * to *****:

    Ordinary Thunderstorms by William Boyd ***
    Waiting for Sunrise by William Boyd ***
    Any Human Heart by William Boyd *****
    Solo by William Boyd ***
    The Snowman by Joe Nesbo ****
    The Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson ***
    The Letters of Ann Fleming by Mark Amory ***
    Roald Dahl: Storyteller by Donald Sturrock *****
    Trinity Six by Charles Cumming ****
    Sweet Tooth by Ian McKewan ***

    Next Up this month:

    A Foreign Country by Charles Cumming
    Anthony Blunt biography
    The Human Factor by Graham Greene
  • 4EverBonded4EverBonded the Ballrooms of Mars
    edited February 2014 Posts: 12,459
    Just posted this on another reading thread, but I wanted to share it here, too:

    Great news for fans of the book, I Am Pilgrim! This has been my favorite book to recommend in the past year. So well written and exciting.
    The author, Terry Hayes, has confirmed that 2 sequels with that main character are in the works, as well as his next book (not with Pilgrim). I liked his writing so much, I will definitely be buying these.
    Here is an excerpt from an online interview:

    Terry Hayes said: "Next is a book called “The Year of the Locust” – a REALLY intense thriller. Then I have the outlines for the next two Pilgrim books already done – I did them long before I finished this one so that I knew where I was going. That will complete his epic journey – a sort of Lord of the Rings of the espionage/ thriller genre! At least in its scope, if not in my abilities!"

    I found the interview online here, on an Australian reviewer's blog: http://readingwritingandriesling.wordpress.com/2013/07/30/in-conversation-with-terry-hayes-2/
  • 4EverBonded4EverBonded the Ballrooms of Mars
    Posts: 12,459
    Just posted this on the other reading thread, too, as I'd like to hear from someone who has read one of these books:

    Has anyone read the November Man series of spy thrillers by Bill Granger? I am just learning of them and will buy one or two. But I'd like to hear from someone who has read any of them. Pierce's film comes out this year, November Man; but there are a whole series (about 13 books) starring his character.
  • Just posted this on another reading thread, but I wanted to share it here, too:

    Great news for fans of the book, I Am Pilgrim! This has been my favorite book to recommend in the past year. So well written and exciting.
    The author, Terry Hayes, has confirmed that 2 sequels with that main character are in the works, as well as his next book (not with Pilgrim). I liked his writing so much, I will definitely be buying these.
    Here is an excerpt from an online interview:

    Terry Hayes said: "Next is a book called “The Year of the Locust” – a REALLY intense thriller. Then I have the outlines for the next two Pilgrim books already done – I did them long before I finished this one so that I knew where I was going. That will complete his epic journey – a sort of Lord of the Rings of the espionage/ thriller genre! At least in its scope, if not in my abilities!"

    I found the interview online here, on an Australian reviewer's blog: http://readingwritingandriesling.wordpress.com/2013/07/30/in-conversation-with-terry-hayes-2/

  • Just posted this on another reading thread, but I wanted to share it here, too:

    Great news for fans of the book, I Am Pilgrim! This has been my favorite book to recommend in the past year. So well written and exciting.
    The author, Terry Hayes, has confirmed that 2 sequels with that main character are in the works, as well as his next book (not with Pilgrim). I liked his writing so much, I will definitely be buying these.

    This is the best news of the day - can't wait!

  • 4EverBonded4EverBonded the Ballrooms of Mars
    edited February 2014 Posts: 12,459
    Yes, a few of us on here have read I Am Pilgrim; I hope the others find out the sequels are coming, as well as another thriller from the same author. Hayes can really write very well; his writing elevated the story. He is now one of my favorite authors.

    And I am hopeful for a film, too. Much to look forward to!
  • 007InVT007InVT Classified
    Posts: 893
    Loving 'A Foreign Country' right now by Charles Cumming.

    Also just heard that Colin Firth is in line to play the lead - Thomas Kell - in a trilogy. http://www.standard.co.uk/news/londoners-diary/move-over-bond-colin-firth-bags-role-as-the-next-big-screen-spy-8582946.html?origin=internalSearch

    Next book is 'A Colder War' - Can't wait!

  • 4EverBonded4EverBonded the Ballrooms of Mars
    Posts: 12,459
    I think Le Carre is one of the best ever. I cannot believe I have not read Greene yet. I will correct that this spring.
  • 007InVT007InVT Classified
    Posts: 893
    I think Le Carre is one of the best ever. I cannot believe I have not read Greene yet. I will correct that this spring.

    I just finished my FIRST Graham Greene novel called 'The Human Factor'. It was great - straight up MI6 spy novel, in the mould of Le Carre. Itching to read more Greene and possibly TSWCIFTG.


  • I just finished my FIRST Graham Greene novel called 'The Human Factor'. It was great - straight up MI6 spy novel, in the mould of Le Carre. Itching to read more Greene and possibly TSWCIFTG.
    [/quote]

    Congratulations @007InVT on getting into Graham Greene. Now you've broken the ice, you must read "Brighton Rock" - I think it's his best but frankly all his "entertainments" are good and he was doubtless a strong influence on Fleming.
    Another author I'm sure you would enjoy is Eric Ambler. Try his 'A Coffin for Dimitrio's'. It is fabulous.
    As for TSWCIFTC, if you haven't read it, it's a must for any spy aficionado and has to be in anybody's all time top five espionage novels.
Sign In or Register to comment.