17 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!

Best Authors Like Dan Brown Ranked

1. Daniel Silva, 1960 –

Daniel Silva
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)
  • 753 Pages - 05/06/2003 (Publication Date) - Berkley (Publisher)

2. David Baldacci, 1960 –

David Baldacci
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 –

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
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
John LeCarre, born David Cornwell, was a prolific author born in England, where he attended a prep school

LeCarre’s 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
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
Ludlum began his professional career as a U.S. Marine, after which he got into theatre as an actor and producer

Ludlum 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
Harlan Coben is an award-winning American author known for his bestselling thriller novels

Coven 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
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
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

Grisham 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)

11. Tom Clancy

Tom Clancy
Thomas Leo Clancy Jr is the author behind the pen name Tom Clancy

Clancy writes thrilling military-science espionage novels that have gained top spots on many bestseller lists. The famous Jack Ryan series is Clancy’s most loved work, and it’s a must-read for all fans of thrillers and espionage. This page-turner series has become a successful motion picture and made over $135.5 million in box office revenue.

Clancy’s first novel, The Hunt for Red October, flew off the shelves when published, setting the pace for his success as an author. President Reagan brought more attention to Clancy as an author when he recommended The Hunt for Red October, calling it “the perfect yarn.” Clancy is a master storyteller and can seamlessly blend thrilling fiction with real-life issues and political tension.

If you’re searching for more thriller books to binge on a weekend, check out our list of the best Evan Hunter books. You can also search for thriller authors using our search bar at the top right of the post.

“The Red October had no time of her own. For her the sun neither rose nor set, and the days of the week had little significance. Unlike surface ships, which changed their clocks to conform with the local time wherever they wee, submarines generally adhered to a single time reference.”

Tom Clancy, The Hunt for Red October
The Hunt for Red October (A Jack Ryan Novel)
  • Clancy, Tom (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 656 Pages - 09/07/2010 (Publication Date) - Berkley (Publisher)

12. James Rollins

James Rollins
James Rollins is a number one New York Times bestselling author of thriller novels

James Rollins is the pen name for famous thriller and mystery author James Paul Czajkowski. Rollins is famous for his action-packed thrillers that blend science fiction with adventure and exciting plot lines. Rollins gained popularity with his Sigma Force series, which has a whopping seventeen books in the series. The writing style of Rollins is unparalleled, and his exciting narrative draws readers in instantly.

Sigma Force is an exciting military thriller set in the US. It follows a covert organization within the US Defence Department made up of scientifically skilled operatives whose job is to protect the nation. This series of books can be read in any order. Each novel has an independent storyline linked to this elite group of operatives that fans love.

“The warmth of the bourbon still glowed deep within her, helping her find her center. How could something so simple have brought her so much relief? But Safia sensed it wasn’t truly the alcohol so much as the kindness. She had forgotten what that was like. It had been too long. Not since…not”

James Rollins, Sandstorm
Sale
Tides of Fire: A Sigma Force Novel (Sigma Force, 17)
  • Hardcover Book
  • Rollins, James (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 480 Pages - 08/15/2023 (Publication Date) - William Morrow (Publisher)

13. Steve Berry

Steve Berry
Steve Berry is a New York Times bestselling author and former attorney

As a New York Times best-selling author, Berry is popular amongst fans of historical thrillers. His meticulous research allows him to create captivating and historically inspired novels that make for intense page-turners.

Steve Berry is a talented writer who has many best-selling thriller novels. His Cotton Malone series is a high-stakes adventure that blends historical fiction with suspense thriller, resulting in a captivating and addictive novel. His books have been translated into 41 languages, selling an impressive 25 million books across the globe.

“But then another biblical passage occurred to him, one that brought a measure of comfort to his beleaguered soul. So as he lay wrapped in the shroud, his body pouring forth blood and sweat, he thought of Deuteronomy.  Let me alone, that I may destroy them.”

 Steve Berry, The Templar Legacy
The Templar Legacy: A Novel (Cotton Malone Book 1)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Berry, Steve (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 528 Pages - 02/21/2006 (Publication Date) - Ballantine Books (Publisher)

14. Lincoln Child

Lincoln Child
Lincoln Child is a popular author of techno-thriller and horror novels

Lincoln Child is a masterful storyteller known for his suspenseful and challenging works of fiction. Some of his most popular works, like the Agent Pendergast series, have been co-authored with Douglas Preston. 

Child’s work blends intellectual puzzles with thrilling suspense and excitement, making his novels extremely popular among thrillers, fiction and horror fans. Child’s novel Relic was adapted into a motion picture which amounted to an impressive $48 million in box office sales. 

“You see, when someone says ‘it’s impossible,’ I have this very bad habit, I can’t help myself, I immediately contradict that person in the most positive terms possible. A very bad habit, but one that I find hard to break.”

Douglas Preston, The Relic
Relic: Pendergast, Book 1
  • Audible Audiobook
  • Douglas Preston (Author) - David Colacci (Narrator)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 06/15/2011 (Publication Date) - Brilliance Audio (Publisher)

15. Katherine Neville

Katherine Neville
Katherine Neville is a New York Times and internationally bestselling author who writes adventure novels

Katrine Neville was born in Midwest America and had an interesting career path. Beginning as a postgraduate specializing in African literature, she moved to NYC and worked in computing for IBM transportation before becoming a data processing consultant to the Algerian government. She has traveled the world and has lived in several countries around the globe. 

Neville’s first book, The Eight, was published in 1988 and quickly succeeded. The novel is a gripping tale following two intertwining storylines set centuries apart. Neville’s work is famously intellectually stimulating and thought-provoking. Neville’s debut novel built a loyal fanbase who adored her work by blending suspenseful storytelling with intricate puzzles and historical fantasy.

Looking for more crime thriller novels to read? Check out our round-up of the best PD James books of all time.

“Tactics is knowing what to do when there is something to do. Strategy is knowing what to do when there is nothing to do. -Savielly Tartakover (Polish GM)”

 Katherine NevilleThe Eight
The Eight
  • Neville, Katherine (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 624 Pages - 01/14/1990 (Publication Date) - Ballantine Books (Publisher)

16. Matthew Reilly

Matthew Reilly
Matthew Reilly is known for his action-packed thriller novels

If you’re a thrill-seeking bookworm who loves high-stakes novels and gripping narratives, Reilly’s novels are right up your alley. His novels often involved intense battles against all odds, exciting storylines and hear-pounding cliffhangers. 

His novel Ice Station is a fan favorite featuring one of his most-loved characters, Shane Schofield. Schofield (aka “The Scarecrow”) is the main protagonist, a brave captain in the US Marine Corps. He leads his team on missions that involve ground-breaking discoveries and high-stakes conflicts.

“Inside the speeding white hovercraft, Lieutenant Shane Schofield peered out through reinforced fiberglass windows. About a hundred yards off his starboard bow he could see a second hovercraft – also white – shipping across the flat, icy landscape.”

Matthee Reilly, Ice Station
Ice Station: A Shane Schofield Thriller
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Reilly, Matthew (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 708 Pages - 09/27/1999 (Publication Date) - Thomas Dunne Books (Publisher)

17. Brad Meltzer

Brad Meltzer
Brad Meltzer is a popular author famous for his political thriller and suspense novels

Dive into a world of conspiracies and heart-pounding thrillers with Brad Meltzer’s novels, ideal for fans of Dan Brown’s intense storylines and gripping characterization. Meltzer blends history and suspense in his novels with some mind-boggling problem-solving. His storytelling creates immersive books that readers can get lost in.

Meltzer’s first novel, Fraternity, received 24 rejection letters, but he persisted, and his second novel, The Tenth Justicewas accepted while studying law at university. But Meltzer doesn’t just write novels; in 1994, he co-authored the original swearing-in oath that AmeriCorps members take. He is a key literary figure in America who has contributed to fictional literature and the political landscape.

“As he stood outside the Supreme Court, a half hour early for his first day on the job, he was entranced by the gleaming white columns of the nation’s highest court”

Brad Meltzer, The Tenth Justice
Sale
The Tenth Justice: A Novel
  • Meltzer, Brad (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 543 Pages - 11/30/2021 (Publication Date) - William Morrow Paperbacks (Publisher)

Looking for more? Check out our round-up of the best authors like Alexa Riley!

FAQs About Authors Like Dan Brown

What should I read if I like Davinci Code?

If you like Davinci Code, you’ll love novels by the authors on our list. If you’d like to read another Dan Brown book, try Angels & Demons or Inferno. Branch out to different authors and read James Rollins’s Sigma Force series for a thrilling, action-packed adventure.

Who is the best mystery thriller author?

The best mystery thriller author is hard to name, as so many talented writers create gripping stories. Dan Brown is one of the most popular mystery thriller authors, closely followed by David Baldacci.

Authors

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