12 Best Authors Like Daniel Silva: Top Thrilling Novels

Discover new authors like Daniel Silva through our guide. Get your next book recommendations with gripping spy thrillers and action adventures.

Are you a fan of the thrilling suspense of espionage? Are you, then, on the lookout for authors like Daniel Silva? Though movies take the spotlight regarding the spy and action genre, some can use mere words and make our imaginations cater to the rest. These authors’ prowess in creating vivid scenes through book pages amazes audiences worldwide. 

Before introducing other bestselling authors in the same genre as Silva, what is he all about anyway? Silva’s books, often centered on espionage and political intrigue, have consistently topped The New York Times bestseller lists. One of his most revered spy novels is the Gabriel Allon series, featuring the titular character Gabriel Allon. Who’s he, you ask? He’s an art restorer turned Israeli intelligence officer. 

Though he’s enjoying the fame brought about by his passion, he always remembers to urge others to try writing as a profession. On his website, Silva writes, “I know it’s hard, but try to enjoy the experience. If you are lucky enough to be published, writing will never be the same again.” Want to know more books on this genre? Check out our list of the best spy novels!

Best Authors Like Daniel Silva Ranked

1. Vince Flynn, 1966 – 2013

Vince Flynn
Vince Flynn only thought of writing in his 20s

Heart-pounding action and stimulating political dramas – that’s what helped Vince Flynn reach The New York Times bestseller list many times over. This American author’s success, though, didn’t come easy. Not when he had to fight and overcome his dyslexia. 

Flynn’s flagship series features the Mitch Rapp series, about a counter-terrorism operative. One who will take you to various dangerous hotspots around the world. The first book, American Assassin, focuses on Rapp’s origin story. The series is also Flynn’s demonstration of his ability to weave intricate plots with a keen understanding of global geopolitics. 

His style, much like Daniel Silva’s, makes him an essential addition to any spy thriller enthusiast’s reading list. His works not only entertain but also provide insightful commentary on America’s role in the world.

“Any form of government that required the repression, imprisonment, and execution of those who disagreed with it was certainly not a government of the people.”

Vince Flynn, American Assassin
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02/19/2024 08:07 am GMT

2. Ben Coes, 1966 –

Ben Coes
Ben Coes was interned under the Reagan administration

Ben Coes spy thrillers bring a unique blend of realism and adrenaline-fueled action. Enthralling storylines? High-stakes geopolitics? Relentless action sequences? Coes’ books have all that and more. His stint as a White House speechwriter has translated into an air of authenticity to his writing. This makes his narratives not only entertaining but also eerily plausible.

Coes’s signature series introduces the charismatic Dewey Andreas, a former Delta officer. Andreas’ task is to take on international terrorists and corrupt powers. His first book, Power Down, centers around an oil rig worker turned reluctant hero caught in a deadly conspiracy. 

His storytelling prowess, his deep understanding of global threats, and America’s position on the world stage mirror Silva’s style.

“We have bridges that are falling down in towns that are filled with teenagers addicted to opioids. Schools that are unsafe, forty thousand homeless veterans. It’s time to put the world on notice: we need to take care of our own.”

Ben Coe, The Island
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02/18/2024 06:46 am GMT

3. Alex Berenson, 1973 –

Alex Berenson
Alex Berenson was a reporter for the New York Times

As a part of The New York Times crew, Alex Berenson covered an array of topics and thus elevated his experience on real-world problems. From issues within the pharmaceutical industry to Hurricane Katrina, his journalistic background effectively adds a layer of realism to his narrative. Through this, he offers readers an insider’s perspective on world events and the behind-the-scenes workings of international intelligence.

To start, he introduced the tenacious CIA agent, John Wells, in his debut novel, The Faithful Spy. The John Wells series, much like Silva’s Gabriel Allon series, has fast-paced action, intricate plot, and a deep dive into politics. Truly, Berenson’s works deserve a spot on multiple bestseller lists, including his previous employer, The New York Times. 

“Everything depends on which side of the shotgun you’re on,”

Alex Berenson, The Faithful Spy
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02/18/2024 06:46 am GMT

4. Charles Cumming, 1971 –

Charles Cumming
Charles Cumming was approached by the British Secret Service to consider joining them in 1995

There are few people the UK MI6 want on their side, and Charles Cumming is one of those. But Cumming decided to take another path, and instead of being in the line of action, he wrote about it. This is a smart – and dare we say, safe – compromise. Still, he was recruited for a reason, which shines through in his works. 

Just flip through his crown jewel, the Alec Milius series, to get a feel of his narrative. Work alongside a young British man and his entanglement with deception and espionage. You can also grab his standalone novel, The Trinity Six, for a quicker read. Here, you’ll get to know the Cambridge spy ring and appreciate Cumming’s seamless blending of historical facts and fiction.

“A great love affair makes us feel alive, vivid, and free. But that feeling comes at a price. We are never truly happy while we are at the mercy of another person.”

Charles Cumming, A Divided Spy
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02/18/2024 07:11 am GMT

5. David Baldacci, 1960 –

David Baldacci
David Baldacci used to be a practicing lawyer

Crime fiction won’t be the same without David Baldacci. At age 63, this man has published at least 47 novels that reached various territories. Aside from frequently gracing The New York Times bestseller lists, he’s also set to receive the 2023 Literary Lifetime Achievement Award. 

Baldicci’s prowess in marrying intricate narratives with his mesmeric characters makes his novels a must on every reading list. Take, for instance, his debut novel, Absolute Power, which involves a high-profile killing. It created such a ripple that this 1996 novel had film and television adaptations featuring Clint Eastwood. 

Though the Amos Decker series is a notable work of Baldacci’s, readers also have fun with his Camel Club franchise. Here, readers follow a ragtag group of conspiracy theory enthusiasts who, in their adventures, witness a murder. 

“Dark, cool, musty, smoky, where light fell funny and everyone looked like someone you knew or wanted to know. Or, more likely, wanted to forget.”

David Baldacci, Memory Man
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02/18/2024 07:06 am GMT

6. Brad Thor, 1969 –

Brad Thor
Brad Thor was a member of the Department of Homeland Security’s Analytic Red Cell Program

If you’re craving something to keep you on your toes, Brad Thor has a spy thriller collection ready. As a former part of Homeland Security, readers are treated to intriguing espionage and suspense novels with realistic implications. Let’s look at Thor’s first book, The Lions of Lucerne. Via this debut novel, Thor quickly established himself as a mighty force ready to keep himself seated on top of various best-selling lists. For a quick fact – he’s had 23 #1 New York Times bestsellers.

If you plan to continue reading his Scot Harvath series, you’ll be introduced to the blue-eyed ex-Navy SEAL protagonist. Go alongside him through his complex covert counter-terrorism operations. You’ll enjoy Thor’s narratives, which are richly detailed and meticulously researched. Readers often question what’s the line between reality and imagination.

“None of the sheep ever wanted a sheepdog around until one of them spotted a wolf. By then, it was often too late.” 

Brad Thor, The Apostle
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02/18/2024 07:11 am GMT

7. Alan Furst, 1941 –

Alan Furst
Alan Furst was once an advertising employee

To even be spoken of with the same reverence as that of the spy novel pioneers Graham Greene and Eric Ambler is an honor in and of itself. That’s how masterful Alan Furst is when writing the genre. So much so that he was labeled “an heir of the tradition of Eric Ambler and Graham Greene.”

With his tales of espionage set in the dark days of World War II, Furst’s books are more than just exciting spy stories. They are paintings of a time gone by, carefully researched and beautifully written. Furst’s novels, like Night Soldiers and Dark Star, have consistently landed on bestseller lists.

Furst’s storytelling is as captivating as it is authentic. His tales weave a spellbinding blend of fictional and real-world events, making his collection a real feast for history buffs. The Polish Officer and The World at Night are more of his standout works, offering a unique mix of suspense, historical accuracy, and deep character development. 

“It was a great softening, night and day it continued, a water funeral for the dying winter.” 

Alan Furst, Night Soldiers
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02/18/2024 07:15 am GMT

8. Barry Eisler, 1964 –

Barry Eisler
Barry Eisler joined a law firm in 1992

If you’re looking for authenticity in your spy novels, turn your attention to Barry Eisler. As a past covert operative for the CIA, he has firsthand experience in the world of international surveillance. 

He has the writing prowess to mix exploits, intrigue, and a healthy amount of romance (not to take away from the action) in his books. He proved this in Rain Fall, the first book in Eisler’s John Rain series. This franchise became a massive hit, securing Eisler many awards, such as The Gumshoe and the 2005 Barry Award for Best Thriller. His other works, such as The Detachment and The Last Assassin, continue to captivate audiences with their blend of high-stakes espionage and gritty realism. 

“I wandered the earth a mercenary, daring the gods to kill me but surviving because part of me was already dead.”

Barry Eisler, A Clean Kill in Tokyo
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02/18/2024 06:46 am GMT

9. John le Carré, 1931 – 2020

John Le Carre
John le Carré was a British intelligence officer (MI5 and MI6)

John le Carré, the pseudonym of David John Moore Cornwell, is no stranger to spies and action. After all, he had been a British intelligence officer during the Cold War. This intimacy with the intricate world of espionage seeps into his writing, making his novels resonate with an authenticity that’s hard to match. 

His 1961 novel Call for the Dead introduced readers to George Smiley. But his breakthrough was The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, a novel he made two years later. It was a massive hit that went on to become an award-winning film and granted le Carré the freedom to leave MI6.

Why should you read Le Carré’s works? For one, his novels are unparalleled in their psychological depth and complexity. His characters are not your run-of-the-mill action heroes too. They are everyday people thrust into extraordinary circumstances, like in Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. Furthermore, le Carré’s books are lauded for their deep political and social commentary.

“There was nothing dishonorable in not being blown about by every little modern wind. Better to have worth, to entrench, to be an oak of one’s own generation.”

John le Carre, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
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02/18/2024 07:26 am GMT

10. Lee Child, 1954 –

Lee Child
Lee Child was once a presentation director for the UK Granada Television

Another giant in the world of spy thrillers is the American author Lee Child. With many bestsellers, Child is perhaps best known for creating the iconic character Jack Reacher. This former U.S. Army Military Police major roams the United States, taking odd jobs and investigating suspicious, frequently dangerous situations. 

Child’s first book, the 1997 Killing Floor, introduced readers to Reacher. It promptly won the Anthony Award for Best First Novel. Since then, his works have consistently found their place on The New York Times bestseller lists, demonstrating his steadfast ability to weave suspenseful narratives that captivate audiences worldwide.

So why should you pick up a Lee Child book? His novels are a masterclass in tight, efficient storytelling. They are also brimming with well-timed twists and riveting action sequences. 

“I’d never believed in luck. Never had any cause to. Never relied on it, because I never could.”

Lee Child, Killing Floor
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02/18/2024 07:31 am GMT

11. Nelson DeMille, 1943 –

Nelson DeMille
Nelson DeMille was the 2015 Thriller Master of the Year

Nelson DeMille is another heavyweight when it comes to the thriller genre. As a former U.S. Army Veteran who served in Vietnam, DeMille has intimate knowledge of the battlefield. Through his experiences, he imbues his writings with reality.

He debuted in 1978 with By the Rivers of Babylon. Though it was a success, DeMille’s most renowned contribution to the genre remains the John Corey series. Readers first see him in the novel Plum Island. Corey is a cocky but effective detective who becomes an anti-terrorist task force agent. DeMille’s expert blend of humor, political insight, and suspense in his tales keeps readers coming back for more. 

Aside from high-stakes action, DeMille also incorporates witty dialogues to make his books a joy to read. 

“A lot of our perception of history is influenced by inaccurate movies.”

Nelson Demille, Plum Island
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02/18/2024 07:51 am GMT

12. Clive Egleton, 1927 –

Clive Egleton
Clive Egleton was a lieutenant colonel

Clive Egleton’s immense contribution to serving in the British Army and intelligence services during the Cold War became his stepping stone to creating vivid, successful books. His works, often inspired by actual events, are best famed for intricately detailed plots and accurate portrayals of intelligence work. He also makes a point of creating relatable characters that are strong as spies but remain to be human.

Egleton’s reputation as a master of espionage fiction is underscored by his best-selling A Killing in Moscow. It features the main character, Peter Ashton, a skilled and flawed British intelligence officer. The series, starting with Hostile Intent, checks out every thriller-seeker’s reading list box: desperate investigations, political intrigue, and personal drama. 

“Of course, it was a long shot but even now with the benefit of hindsight, I still think it was worth the gamble because it was the last opportunity we had to end the war…”

Clive Egleton, The October Plot
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02/18/2024 08:01 am GMT

Looking for more? Check out our round-up of authors like Carl Hiaasen!

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