10 Best Authors Like Dan Brown Who Will Keep You Turning the Pages

Discover our guide to 10 authors like Dan Brown, who know how to keep readers in suspense.

Dan Brown is a favorite of millions of readers around the world. His books have been translated into multiple languages and captivated the interest and imagination of people from all walks of life. Dan Brown is known for doing an impressive amount of research for his novels which, understandably, takes years to complete, compile and then incorporate into his books.

If you’re like others, it can feel like an eternity waiting for his next book. If you’re interested in this topic, you’ll love our round-up of the best true crime books!

Here Are The Best Authors Like Dan Brown

1. Daniel Silva, 1960 –

Daniel Silva
Photo of Daniel Silva wearing a suit with a striped tie

Daniel Silva is a bestselling American author and journalist who writes thrilling spy novels. Born in Michigan, Silva moved with his family to California. After university, Silva became a political journalist and then a producer for political shows on CNN. His first book, The Unlikely Spy, hit the bestseller list, after which Silva became a full-time novelist.

Daniel Silva’s real-life journalism and political experience inform his books, helping to make the stories realistic. Silva’s work includes 23 spy novels, all of which have hit the NYT bestseller list. His story plots revolve around conspiracies, terrorism, international villains, and historical events. His books may appeal to fans of Dan Brown because of the plot intricacies, the suspense, and the thrilling writing style that keeps pages turning. If you like Dan Brown, you’ll also enjoy these books like Da Vinci Code.

“There is an unfortunate truth about war. While it is virtually impossible for one man to win a war, it is entirely possible for one man to lose one.”

Danial Silva, The Unlikely Spy
The Unlikely Spy
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Silva, Daniel (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 754 Pages - 05/06/2003 (Publication Date) - Berkley (Publisher)

2. David Baldacci, 1960 –

David Baldacci
Photo of David Baldacci smiling into the distance

Born in Richmond, Virginia, David Baldacci was heavily influenced by literature throughout his childhood. He began writing stories in childhood and moved into short stories and screenplays as he grew into adulthood. Writing was always a passion that Baldacci indulged in, even as he graduated from law school and became a practicing attorney.

Baldacci’s first novel, Absolute Power, was made into a movie starring Gene Hackman and Clint Eastwood. He has since written more than 47 novels for adults, many of which have also been adapted into Hollywood films. He’s also penned screenplays and children’s books. From his home in Virginia, Baldacci continues to publish at least one novel per year, much to the delight of his millions of fans.

“Arrogant people habitually overestimated their own abilities and underestimated everyone else’s.”

David Baldacci, Absolute Power
Absolute Power
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Baldacci, David (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 528 Pages - 06/15/2001 (Publication Date) - Grand Central Publishing (Publisher)

3. Ian Caldwell, 1976 –

Ian Caldwell was born in Virginia, where he met his frequent book collaborator, Dustin Thomason. Caldwell graduated from Princeton University with an A.B. degree in history. He worked as a teacher while writing his first book, The Rule of Four, with Thomason. The book hit the New York Times Bestseller list for nearly a year. 

The Rule of Four has been compared to the work of Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code, yet is different in plot and theme. It appeals to intelligent readers who appreciate historical facts woven into mystery novels. Caldwell wrote a second novel, The Fifth Gospel, on his own, and it took him ten years to do so. Again, this book reflects Brown’s work in that it weaves religious history into a mesmerizing fictional storyline.

“Like many of us, I think, my father spent the measure of his life piecing together a story he would never understand.”

Ian Caldwell, The Rule of Four
The Rule of Four: A Novel
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Caldwell, Ian (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 464 Pages - 05/11/2004 (Publication Date) - The Dial Press (Publisher)

4. Joseph Finder, 1958 –

Joseph Finder
Candid photo of Joseph Finder speaking at the National Book Festival

Born in Chicago and raised in Afghanistan, the Philippines, and later in New York, Joseph Finder graduated from Yale with a degree in Russian Studies. He received his Master’s degree from the Harvard Russian Research Center. He became a Harvard faculty member, claiming the CIA once recruited him. Thankfully for fans, Finder decided to become a fiction novelist instead. He published his first novel, The Moscow Club, in 1991, which became a bestseller and won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel.

The fiction book was about a KGB plot to overthrow Mikhail Gorbachev. Since then, he has written numerous bestselling thrillers, including Paranoia, Vanished, and The Switch. Finder’s novels often revolve around corporate espionage and political intrigue and are known for their fast-paced plots and intricate twists, which is the kind of intricate plot that is likely to appeal to readers of Dan Brown.

“The chauffeur saluted, because he knew his boss enjoyed such signs of respect, returned to the driver’s seat, and prayed that the anxiety in his eyes had not been visible.”

Joseph Finder, The Moscow Club
The Moscow Club
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Finder, Joseph (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 623 Pages - 12/24/2012 (Publication Date) - St. Martin's Paperbacks (Publisher)

5. John LeCarre, 1931 – 2020

John LeCarre
Photo of John LeCarre, smiling into the camera with a determined expression

John LeCarre, born David Cornwell, was a prolific author born in England, where he attended a prep school. His early family life was harsh, with a mother who abandoned the family when John was only five and a father with criminal ties who reportedly beat his son. Some of LeCarre’s villainous book characters are based on his father.

After several career changes, including a stint as an intelligence officer at MI6, LeCarre began to write under his pen name. His spy novels ring true because he lived that life for many years. He is the author of some of the world’s best and most recognizable spy novels, including The Spy Who Came in From the Cold, Tinker Tailer Soldier Spy, The Looking Glass War, and many others.

“He met failure as one day he would probably meet death, with cynical resentment and the courage of a solitary.”

John LeCarre, The Spy Who Came in From the Cold
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold: A George Smiley Novel (George Smiley Novels Book 3)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • le Carré, John (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 228 Pages - 01/18/2012 (Publication Date) - Penguin Books (Publisher)

6. Jeffrey Archer, 1940 –

Jeffrey Archer
Candid photo of Jeffrey Archer smiling at someone nearby

Jefferey Archer is a British novelist and former politician, serving as a Member of the British Parliament for five years. Some of Archer’s most famous works include Kane and Abel, a novel about two men from vastly different backgrounds whose lives become intertwined, and The Clifton Chronicles, a series of seven novels that spans several generations of a family. Archer’s other notable works include A Prisoner of Birth, a modern retelling of Alexandre Dumas’s The Count of Monte Cristo, and Not a Penny More, Not a Penny Less, about a group of men seeking revenge on a con artist who cheated them out of their money.

“Never stay in the open, his father had taught him.”

Jeffrey Archer, Kane and Abel
Kane and Abel
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Archer, Jeffrey (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 596 Pages - 03/13/2004 (Publication Date) - St. Martin's Paperbacks (Publisher)

7. Robert Ludlum, 1927 – 2001

Robert Ludlum
Black and white image of Robert Ludlum looking intently into the camera lens

Ludlum began his professional career as a U.S. Marine, after which he got into theater as an actor and producer. He credited his experience in theater for his understanding of suspense and the public’s taste for compelling drama. Ludlum’s work typically features a lone protagonist who must fight against evil adversaries.

Often, the plots involve political intrigue and shadowy government organizations. His books appeal to fans of conspiracies and intricate plot lines, much like Dan Brown’s books. Ludlum’s bibliography includes the Jason Bourne series, The Osterman Weekend, and several dozen more, many of which have been adapted into films.

“Alice looked up and stopped laughing. Forty yards away, in front of their house on Orchard Drive, the white patrol car was slowly cruising.”

Robert Ludlum, The Osterman Weekend
The Osterman Weekend: A Novel
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Ludlum, Robert (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 337 Pages - 08/14/2012 (Publication Date) - Bantam (Publisher)

8. Harlan Coben, 1962 –

Harlan Coben
Photo of a Harlan Coben wearing a fitted black t-shirt and jeans

Harlan Coben is an award-winning American author known for his bestselling thriller novels. He graduated from Amherst College with a degree in political science. He was in the same fraternity as Dan Brown at Psi Upsilon. By the time Coben entered his senior year, he had decided upon a career as a writer. His first job after college was in the travel business, in a company owned by his grandfather. During that time, Coben penned his first suspense novel, Play Dead.

Coben is the first author to receive all three of the Edgar, Anthony, and Shamus awards. His books often involve resurfacing historical murders and fatal incidents, where nothing is as it seemed. He has had numerous books on bestseller lists, such as Hold Tight, I Will Find You, and more.

“He inhaled deeply on the cigarette as though he wanted to finish it in one puff. “

Harlan Coben, Play Dead
Play Dead
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Coben, Harlan (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 562 Pages - 09/28/2010 (Publication Date) - Dutton (Publisher)

9. Clive Cussler, 1931 – 2020

Clive Cussler
Candid photo of Clive Cussler dressed in an Army-green t-shirt

Clive Cussler’s books feature adventures in and around the water. As a real-life underwater explorer, Cussler discovered over 60 historic shipwreck sites. He published many non-fiction books detailing his adventures at sea and his findings. He founded NUMA, the National Underwater and Marine Agency. Like Dan Brown’s books, Cussler’s plots are almost always predicated on events that took place in the past.

His suspense thrillers, such as Odessa Sea, revolve around adventures that include some recurring characters, such as Dirk Pitt, who have the financial resources and time to go on often dangerous but essential missions that frequently often involve SCUBA, trekking through jungles and interacting with hostile forces.

“Sarkhov’s entire world seemed to explode. The instrument panel ignited with flashing lights and alarms, and his headset burst with cries from the flight crew.”

Clive Cussler, Odessa Sea
Odessa Sea (Dirk Pitt Adventure Book 24)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Cussler, Clive (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 494 Pages - 11/15/2016 (Publication Date) - G.P. Putnam's Sons (Publisher)

10. John Grisham, 1955 –

John Grisham
Black and white photo of John Grisham standing and looking into the camera with a confident grin

John Grisham was raised in Arkansas before moving to Mississippi,  where he ascended to become a lawyer and member of the Mississippi House of Representatives and writer of legal thrillers. He has written 28 consecutive bestsellers that have hit number one, with more than 300 million copies of his books sold worldwide. Grisham’s first novel, A Time to Kill, was made into a movie, as were several other of his books.

Numerous other bestsellers include The Firm, The Pelican Brief, The Client, and A Time to Kill. His stories often explore themes of corruption, justice, and the legal system. In addition to his novels, Grisham has also written non-fiction books, short stories, and a children’s book series. Looking for more? Check out our round-up of the best of the best authors like John Grisham!

“Make friends with fear, Lucien always said, because it will not go away, and it will destroy you if left uncontrolled.”

John Grisham, A Time to Kill
A Time to Kill: A Novel (Jake Brigance Book 1)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Grisham, John (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 672 Pages - 03/09/2010 (Publication Date) - Vintage (Publisher)

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  • Kate has been writing since she was 10 years old, tapping away on an old typewriter in her childhood bedroom. Today, Kate is a seasoned freelance writer with over 10 years of experience writing for print and online media. She’s an avid reader and believes in the power of words to transport readers to new worlds, and inspire and nurture creativity. Kate is also a published author and is currently working on her next project.