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5 High-Octane Espionage Thrillers for Fans of Jack Ryan

by  | June 8
Books resting on couch by the fire

My favorite part of the weekend has always been that magic period on Sunday afternoon, after you’ve brunched and run errands but before the “scaries” of an impending week descend. This also happens to be the #1 best time ever to sit down and watch an action movie or series, since an adventure drama is exciting enough to keep your attention while avoiding the heart-tugging emotions of other genres, which might otherwise derail your nice Sunday-afternoon mood. Lately, I’ve been trying to recreate that Sunday feeling on weekdays—meaning, I’ve raced through all the backlogged episodes of Jack Ryan, my most recent action obsession. So now I’ve needed to find some new high-octane international escapades, filled with deceitful governments, secret agents, and underground factions, all fighting to be the guys walking away from the explosion at the end.

If you’re also looking for your next read to hold you over until Season 3 of Jack Ryan, check out the list below!

The Deserter

The Deserter

by Nelson DeMille and Alex DeMille

Featuring ripped-from-the-headlines stakes and an exotic, wildly dangerous locale, this thriller opens with reports of the Army’s most lethal military deserter spotted in Caracas, Venezuela. Top Army brass send brilliant but unorthodox investigator Scott Brodie and his new partner, Maggie Taylor, to hunt him down. But the mission hits complications from the moment they land in South America, and the fact that Brodie’s beautiful partner seems to be keeping secrets of her own doesn’t help matters either.…

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Savage Son

Savage Son

by Jack Carr

This third novel in the bestselling Terminal List series opens with our hero, former Navy SEAL James Reece, recovering from brain surgery in the mountains of Montana. He thinks he’s safe, but—of course—his past comes back to haunt him in the form of a treasonous CIA officer who joins forces with a Russian mobster. When their plans escalate into a deadly game of cat and mouse, Reece must use all his instincts and expertise to recruit a team of former commandos to turn the hunted into the hunters. Author Jack Carr’s own military experience adds depth and detail to this geopolitical thriller, enhancing the humanity of his characters in the midst of an ever-changing covert war.

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Lethal Agent

Lethal Agent

by Vince Flynn

In this page-turner, readers encounter fan favorite Mitch Rapp—ex-CIA turned private contractor—against the backdrop of a toxic presidential election showcasing a deeply divided country. When an ISIS terrorist (and previous Rapp adversary) kidnaps a renowned scientist to produce a biological weapon, the US government and Rapp must act quickly to combat the danger and mounting hysteria facing the nation. But their worst enemy is one they don’t even see coming….

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Killing Floor

Killing Floor

by Lee Child

The first novel from master thriller author Lee Child, Killing Floor introduces readers to Jack Reacher, a former military policeman whose rootlessness leads him to a small Georgia town, where he’s promptly arrested for a murder he didn’t commit. Reacher uses his cutting-edge investigative and fighting skills, honed in the Army, to escape and hunt down the conspirators who led to the victim’s death. But as he discovers a counterfeit currency ring and levels of corruption throughout the community, Jack’s also forced to confront someone from his own past.

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Red Sparrow

Red Sparrow

by Jason Matthews

In this thrilling look at spy games and international intelligence, a CIA field operative is charged with protecting his source, a mole placed high up in Putin’s administration. Meanwhile a young ballerina survives in modern-day Russia after training as a seductress, whose next mark puts her on a collision course with the CIA. Rocketing through Russia, Finland, Greece, Italy, and the United States, the two agents engage in dueling tradecraft and secret allegiances, and­—most critically—a forbidden passion for each other, which could cost them both everything.

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Photo Credit // istock / artursfoto

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Raised in London, Elizabeth graduated with a degree in English from Smith College in 2013. When not reading six different novels at once she can be found Instagramming artisanal pastries and working in the marketing department of Simon & Schuster. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter at @eliz_bree!