When not reading Fleming - I would recommend ?

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  • Posts: 13,257
    Ludovico wrote: »
    I am reading Cobra by Deon Meyer at the moment, finishing it in fact. He's more crime fiction than spy fiction, but there's a lot of spy thriller elements in many novels, including this one. So I know I recommended Deon Meyer here before, but I recommend it again.

    Our friend Ludovico demonstrates consummate good taste with this recommendation.
    Deon Meyer is absolutely fantastic and definitely right at the top of the list when it comes to the new breed of thriller writers.
    Deft plotting and flawless characterisation are Meyer's hallmark.
    '13 Hours' and 'Trackers' are two great examples of his work - Fleming and Le Carre fans won't be disappointed!

    Thank you! Meyer is a great crime/thriller writer because he does not forget the story needs characters. And, I may add, character: his South Africa feels very genuine. I loved 13 Hours and Trackers. Can't wait to see more of Lemmer.
  • 4EverBonded4EverBonded Riding a white swan to Matera
    Posts: 12,211
    Yes I strongly recommend Ben McIntyre's books. Good mention, @Troy. They are excellent. My very favorite is Operation Mincemeat. Fleming is mentioned, yes.

    https://books.google.co.jp/books/about/Operation_Mincemeat.html?id=991oOoyimssC&source=kp_cover&redir_esc=y&hl=en
  • Ayn Rand is fantastic. Atlas Shrugged defines my life
  • Posts: 613
    a lot different than Fleming, but Frank Herbert's DUNE is one of my favorite books.
  • Posts: 519
    Ludovico wrote: »
    Can't wait to see more of Lemmer.

    Absolutely - Lemmer is my favourite Meyer character and I hope he uses him more.
    I visited South Africa a few years ago and fell in love with the place and certainly, Deon's descriptions make me constantly want to return.
    What's more, the post apartheid/Mandela hiatus makes for fertile ground when it comes to thrillers.
    As a Fleming fan, I always wonder what he would be writing about if he were operating today and I certainly think he would have been a huge Meyer fan.
    That said, I can't understand why writers like Lee Child are constantly topping the thriller charts with their simplistic wham, bam, thank you mam approach when writers of Meyer's quality remain relatively unknown ?
    OK, his plots may be a little complex and some of the Afrikaans names, expressions and anachronisms take a little getting used to (a glossary might help) but the concentration is so worth it.
    Discerning aficionados take note and follow Ludovico's great advice. Deon Meyer is fabulous!
  • Posts: 519
    Troy wrote: »
    I would strongly recommend Ben McIntyre' books telling true life stories of WW2 spies and agents, and Cold War spies. After reading these, you really understand where Fleming was coming from when he was inspired to write Bond

    A great recommendation @Troy - McIntyre is a great historical writer and I enjoy his books enormously.

  • Posts: 519
    I have just finished reading 'The Other Side Of Silence' by Philip Kerr and can't recommend it highly enough.
    It is the 11th book in the Bernie Gunther series but in reality you can read them in any sequence as Kerr doesn't write them in chronological order.
    This time it's 1956 and we find Bernie hiding out on the French Riviera but before long he is up to his neck in blackmail, murder and espionage in a tale that involves - amongst others - Somerset Maugham and Guy Burgess.
    Kerr is truly a fabulous writer his capacity to be able to introduce actual events and real people into his stories gives his novels an aura of realism that makes them all the more thrilling.
    His books will certainly appeal to Fleming fans but also those that love Deighton and Le Carre will not be disappointed.
  • LeonardPineLeonardPine The Bar on the Beach
    Posts: 3,429
    Long way from Fleming but crime writer Joe R Lansdale is well worth a look. His 'Hap & Leonard series are a joy. Features two tough down on their luck guys from East Texas and their various misadventures they invariably get involved in.

    Very funny in places with some sterling dialogue!
  • Posts: 519
    I've just finished 'Perfidia' by James Ellroy and can't recommend it highly enough.
    It is the first in a new LA Quartet that will act as a prequel to his previous LA books (The Black Dahlia, The Big Nowhere, LA Confidential & White Jazz) which in turn are followed by his underworld trilogy (American Tabloid, The Cold Six Thousand, Blood's A Rover).
    His objective is for his life's work to tell the story of America from Pearl Harbour to the early '70s through a coterie of flawed characters that include bent cops, corrupt politicians, pimps, hookers and junkies who's lives are intertwined with real people in a series of stories that are seamlessly linked with real events.
    Elroy's scope and execution are jaw dropping and, in my opinion, he is one of the most important writers of our time - any genre!
    He is not always easy to get into as he writes in a staccato style that is riddled with American period slang (Kindle'sword wise comes in very useful) but once mastered , he's as addictive as crack cocaine.
    'Perfidia' is a great place to start your relationship with Ellroy. Chronologically, it's his first book and although it features characters from his second LA Quartet and his underworld trilogy, they are all much younger and at the start of their journeys.
    The story itself centres around the horrific murder of a Japanese family, the bombing of Pearl Harbour and associated events. It is a 700 page opus that is set in real time, over a few days and it will leave you absolutely breathless.
    Elroy is a genius and I think 'Perfidia' is up there with 'American Tabloid' as his best work. Great stuff!
  • As a sexagenarian spy aficionado who was brought up on the greats I was firmly coming to the conclusion that I'd enjoyed the best but that the best were now behind me.
    Yes, there are some good writers today mainly working in the historic area of the genre - the likes of Kerr and Furst but when it comes to the great contemporary spy thriller, frankly it's been on life support for quite some while.
    In fact I just as I was getting to the stage that another review heralding the latest kid on the block as the new Greene, Ambler, Le Carre, Fleming or Deighton would have had me running for the sick bucket, I had the great fortune to come across Mick Herron's 'Slow Horses'.
    This book is genuinely the most important release in spy fiction since 'The Ipcress File' and has already breathed a whole new life into the genre.
    His story centres around a team of MI5 failures who have been banished to 'Slough House' for a number of professional or personal mistakes and who now live out their time handling the boring and mundane. They are the 'Slow Horses' of the title but needless to say, their lives are about to change when they become in the most fiendish plot that could, quite literally, have been ripped from today's headlines.
    In developing his 'Slow Horses' Herron has created a cast of characters that are truly Dickensian. They jump off the page and make you gasp, laugh and cry in equal measure. Some are quite despicable but despicable or not you actually care about them and I found myself rooting for the underdog in a way I last did when I read Deighton's terrific Sampson novels.
    The story is brilliantly plotted, topical and Herron's writing style has great pace and humour.
    He has just published the third in the series ' Real Tigers' and it's up for this years Ian Fleming Dagger Award but start with this one - you won't regret it. There is nothing slow about Herron's horses!
  • I am currently reading 'The Power Of The Dog' by Don Winslow and can't recommend it highly enough.
    I was encouraged to read it because of the stunning reviews accorded its recently published sequel, 'The Cartel' and I am completely gripped.
    It is a powerhouse of a book that covers 'The Drug Wars' over a thirty year period. The main protagonist is a former CIA agent, now working for the DEA called Art Keller who is locked in a life and death struggle with somebody he inadvertently promoted to be the drug lord of all time.
    As John Harvey said, "The Power Of The Dog" creates a vision of hell that's violent and bloody enough to hot-wire Dante upright in his grave".
    If you enjoyed 'I Am Pilgrim', you'll love Winslow's epic.

    See 'The Cartel' has won the 2016 'Ian Fleming Award' !

  • LeonardPineLeonardPine The Bar on the Beach
    Posts: 3,429
    Dragonpol wrote: »
    Give Dennis Wheatley a try.

    Love Dennis Wheatley's writing, @Dragonpol

    There's loads of his I haven't been able to get hold of but what I have read has been excellent. Absolutely love, To The Devil A Daughter.

    His writing style reminds me a lot of Fleming, with his attention to detail and his penchant for great villains.

    Any you can recommend?

  • As a sexagenarian spy aficionado who was brought up on the greats I was firmly coming to the conclusion that I'd enjoyed the best but that the best were now behind me.
    Yes, there are some good writers today mainly working in the historic area of the genre - the likes of Kerr and Furst but when it comes to the great contemporary spy thriller, frankly it's been on life support for quite some while.
    In fact I just as I was getting to the stage that another review heralding the latest kid on the block as the new Greene, Ambler, Le Carre, Fleming or Deighton would have had me running for the sick bucket, I had the great fortune to come across Mick Herron's 'Slow Horses'.
    This book is genuinely the most important release in spy fiction since 'The Ipcress File' and has already breathed a whole new life into the genre.
    His story centres around a team of MI5 failures who have been banished to 'Slough House' for a number of professional or personal mistakes and who now live out their time handling the boring and mundane. They are the 'Slow Horses' of the title but needless to say, their lives are about to change when they become in the most fiendish plot that could, quite literally, have been ripped from today's headlines.
    In developing his 'Slow Horses' Herron has created a cast of characters that are truly Dickensian. They jump off the page and make you gasp, laugh and cry in equal measure. Some are quite despicable but despicable or not you actually care about them and I found myself rooting for the underdog in a way I last did when I read Deighton's terrific Sampson novels.
    The story is brilliantly plotted, topical and Herron's writing style has great pace and humour.
    He has just published the third in the series ' Real Tigers' and it's up for this years Ian Fleming Dagger Award but start with this one - you won't regret it. There is nothing slow about Herron's horses!

    PussyNoMore has just finished reading all of Heron's 'Slough House' novels and his standalone called 'Nobody Walks' and can't recommend them highly enough.
    For those of us who genuinely love espionage fiction he is an absolute breath of fresh air.
    His books are definitely new, different and better. At long last we have something that is both thoroughly modern and up there with the greats. Fleming, Deighton, Herron and Le Carre can certainly be mentioned in the same breath.
    Some of our American brethren may struggle a little with the humour - it will be a bit like when a Brit reads James Ellroy - you have to get into the rhythm and then it's fantastic. He is as English as Deighton when it comes to his style.
    He has a new 'Slough House' novel called 'Spook Street' out in February and PussyNoMore
    will be at the front of the line or queue as Obama would say!
    Read Herron you won't regret it!
  • Agent_99Agent_99 enjoys a spirited ride as much as the next girl
    Posts: 2,596
    Just spotted this thread and I popped in specifically to recommend Mick Herron's Slough House series. Take all the cynicism, backbiting and doublecrossing of a Le Carré and quadruple it, and you're just about there.
  • Agent_99 wrote: »
    Just spotted this thread and I popped in specifically to recommend Mick Herron's Slough House series. Take all the cynicism, backbiting and doublecrossing of a Le Carré and quadruple it, and you're just about there.

    Too true - isn't this guy truly brilliant.
    There are other good writers out there but Herron has leap frogged them all.
    Evidently the Slough House series will hit either the big or small screen.
    PussyNoMore predicts that he will become as well known as the greats.

  • Posts: 519
    PussyNoMore has just finished reading 'Spook Street', the fourth in Mick Herron's 'Slough House' series and can't recommend it highly enough. It's his best yet.
    Any of you literary aficionados that aren't stuck in the past should jump on Herron immediately. He's in a completely different league when it comes to this stuff.
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    Posts: 14,743
    I bought the first of that series recently from Tesco. Looks good!
  • Agent_99Agent_99 enjoys a spirited ride as much as the next girl
    Posts: 2,596
    Looking forward to your thoughts!
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    Posts: 14,743
    Agent_99 wrote: »
    Looking forward to your thoughts!

    I'll try to get it read, but the unread books are stacking up to unwieldy proportions! ;)
  • Posts: 2,107
    Tiger Mann - The By-pass Control by Mickey Spillane

    Read like a Bond novel.
  • Posts: 519
    SharkBait wrote: »
    Tiger Mann - The By-pass Control by Mickey Spillane

    Read like a Bond novel.

    Spillane is really a paradox. A terrible writer who created fabulous atmosphere. PussyNoMore has never known anything like his work before or since.

  • Agent_99Agent_99 enjoys a spirited ride as much as the next girl
    Posts: 2,596
    Expo 58 by Jonathan Coe. Period spy comedy set at the 1958 Brussels World's Fair.

    Coe gave a talk near me last night, and although I love all his novels, this was the one I took along to be signed.

    (I asked him who his favourite Bond was, because I can never think of sensible, highbrow, literary questions for authors. He said George Lazenby.)
  • DragonpolDragonpol The Crazy World of David Dragonpol
    Posts: 14,743
    Agent_99 wrote: »
    Expo 58 by Jonathan Coe. Period spy comedy set at the 1958 Brussels World's Fair.

    Coe gave a talk near me last night, and although I love all his novels, this was the one I took along to be signed.

    (I asked him who his favourite Bond was, because I can never think of sensible, highbrow, literary questions for authors. He said George Lazenby.)

    Well he's certainly got very good taste then. I'll have to track his work down.
  • Agent_99 wrote: »
    (I asked him who his favourite Bond was, because I can never think of sensible, highbrow, literary questions for authors. He said George Lazenby.)

    I like this guy already!
  • Agent_99Agent_99 enjoys a spirited ride as much as the next girl
    Posts: 2,596
    He was a film critic before the novel-writing took off, so he knows his stuff. I think we would have talked Bond a while longer if the queue behind me hadn't grown restive...

    (Halfway through his talk I remembered that he wrote the introduction to Shirley Eaton's autobiography, which I picked up a few weeks ago, and kicked myself for not bringing that.)
  • edited July 2017 Posts: 4,622
    I read the Shirley Eaton auto-bio . Don't think there are a lot of us out there. Then again, who knows
    I found it at a used bookstore.
    Not a bad read. She writes a lot about Rog Moore, like a real lot about Roger Moore.
    Almost to the point of "have I mentioned recently, that Rog and are pals."

    Re Coe and Lazenby; The correct answer is of course, Lazenby's "the other guy" (the one that "this never happened to") but still, props to Coe.
    Respect to anyone that can blurt out that answer, to that question, unprompted.


    btw, Finally, I am reading Deightons, Ipcress File (1962)
    It's pretty good. I am only 80 pages in, but it's clear we are not meant to know much about our narrator, our lead spy. He has no name, or at least not one that he chooses to share.
    Interesting twist.
  • Agent_99Agent_99 enjoys a spirited ride as much as the next girl
    Posts: 2,596
    timmer wrote: »
    I read the Shirley Eaton auto-bio . Don't think there are a lot of us out there. Then again, who knows
    I found it at a used bookstore.

    Mine is an ex-library copy, very cheap from my favourite charity shop. Haven't read it yet.

    I need to revisit IPCRESS. I re-read Funeral in Berlin last year, on a trip to Berlin, and I got a lot more out of it than when I first read it as a teenager.
  • Posts: 519
    PussyNoMore has just re-read Sabre Tooth by Peter O'Donnell and has been reminded as to how good this series is.
    Many regarded O'Donnell as a better writer than Fleming and although PussyNoMore would never make such an audacious claim - particularly on a Bond fan site - it can be said he was certainly his equal and this, the second in the series is O'Donnell's best Blaise adventure.
  • ThunderfingerThunderfinger Enemy of the state
    Posts: 41,610
    Thunderfinger has only read the comic strip, but he would look to check out one of the books some day.
  • edited July 2017 Posts: 1,162
    PussyNoMore has just re-read Sabre Tooth by Peter O'Donnell and has been reminded as to how good this series is.
    Many regarded O'Donnell as a better writer than Fleming and although PussyNoMore would never make such an audacious claim - particularly on a Bond fan site - it can be said he was certainly his equal and this, the second in the series is O'Donnell's best Blaise adventure.

    As you mentioned you have read the best of an outstanding and exciting series. There aren't many writers in the universe that can claim they have written with that much fantasy and energy as O'Donnell.
    When I was a youngster I read and reread all of the novels several times and each time with extreme pleasure. No one beats Fleming when it comes to travelogue, but on every other aspect O'Donnell is simply superior to him.
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