21 Best Authors Like Vince Flynn

Explore our top picks of authors like Vince Flynn. Dive into action-packed thrillers that keep your adrenaline pumping, just like the Mitch Rapp series!

Vince Flynn may have left the world in 2013, but his writing prowess isn’t bound to leave the literary scene any time soon. Best known for his action-packed novels, Flynn’s talent lies in his seamless threading of American politics and espionage. Just try and read his 2010 American Assassin and 2012 Kill Shot to know what we mean.

Authors like Vince Flynn throw their readers to daunting but exciting worlds, each page a whirlwind of how peace is maintained via chaos.

The weight of how much Flynn took his storytelling seriously is perhaps best encapsulated by his own words: “There’s a lot more to publishing a book than writing it and slapping a cover on it.” His name is one you’ll always see on bestseller lists, truly a legend of his genre. Aside from the 14 novels he had written that have sold over 15 million copies in the United States alone, he’s also remembered as someone with “…a big personality, a big heart, and a big following.”

Love reading about spies? Check out our roundup of the best spy novels today!

Best Authors Like Vince Flynn Ranked

1. Brad Thor

Brad Thor
Brad Thor was a part of Homeland Security

With his experience in national defense, it’s foreseeable that Brad Thor’s works are filled with action and political intrigue. The weaving of his characters’ narrative and plot creation in general, solidified his standing among the greats of the genre. His reputation only shot up with his protagonist, Scot Harvath. Who’s he? He’s an ex-Navy SEAL turned Secret Service Agent. If you want authenticity and dedicated research on counterterrorism and national security, you ought to add Thor’s books to your to-read list.

Start with his debut novel, the 2002 The Lions of Lucerne. You’ll be treated to Harvath’s introduction and relentless action. His latest book, Black Ice, continues to uphold Thor’s tradition of delivering high-stake amusement to his readers.

“While the words are yet unspoken, you are master of them; when once they are spoken, they are master of you.”

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

2. David Baldacci

David Baldacci
David Baldacci wrote screenplays for feature films

Exceptional action fics require two primary ingredients: fleshed-out characters and intricate, but not confusing plots – that’s exactly what David Baldacci offers. Though he let go of his law practice to go full-time writing, his devotion didn’t go to waste. With at least 40 action-packed novels to his credit, Baldacci is one of the prolific writers who’s still active today. In fact, he’s set to release his The Edge in November 2023.

Take his first novel, for instance, Absolute Power. With 150 million copies sold, it’s no wonder that this 1996 book became a 1997 two-hour-long film under the same name.

Another noteworthy installment by Baldacci is his Memory Man (aka Amos Decker) Series. Here, you get to solve crimes along with an exceptional detective – one who has a brain injury. The cost – him never forgetting anything.

“We build walls because we are afraid. We do not like change. We do not like it when others who do not look or think like us come along and try and change things. Thus we run from it. Or, even worse, attack it.”

David Baldacci, The Keeper
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02/18/2024 01:26 pm GMT

3. Marc Cameron

Marc Cameron
Marc Cameron is a busy man – he’s a U.S. marshal, a scuba diver, and a lawyer, among others

Let us introduce you to one of the undisputed maestros of political thrillers – Marc Cameron. With his intimate knowledge of law enforcement and criminal justice, why won’t he mold his narratives around his experiences? 

Sure, Cameron’s participation in Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan Series endorsed his status, but he’s already a talented author in his own right. Much is demonstrated in his Jericho Quinn Series, starting with the 2011 novel, National Security. Meet a Special Agent and Wanted man – a supposed fall guy of conspirators in the White House. His motivation? Keeping his daughter safe. 

Feast your eyes on Cameron’s richly textured narratives. Expect suspenseful plots, mesmeric characters, and zero-sum scenes. 

“That which does not kill us makes us weaker for the next thing that tries to kill us.”

Marc Cameron, Day Zero
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02/18/2024 01:37 pm GMT

4. Tom Clancy

Tom Clancy
Tom Clancy’ envisioned a terrorist attack similar to 9/11 in his 1994 novel

Tom Clancy achieved a lot in his 66 years on earth – he had 17 bestseller books, sold 100 million copies, and most of all, he was – and still is – an all-time American favorite.

Techno-thrillers? Spy and military fiction? Historical fiction? Clancy seems to have written it all. His Jack Ryan Universe, in particular, is a widely-known work made up of at least 20 installments. Even after he died in 2013, Clancy’s estate is committed to carrying his legacy forward. Through this endeavor, they enlist a series of authors to continue Jack Ryan’s adventures. Some of these novelists are Jeffrey Wilson, Mark Greaney, and Brian Andrews. 

Clancy’s debut novel, The Hunt for Red October, set the stage for his meteoric rise. Aside from his uncanny talent for predicting geopolitical events, he also had a knack for technical specificity. 

“The difference between fiction and reality? Fiction has to make sense..”

Tom Clancy
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02/19/2024 04:51 pm GMT

5. Daniel Silva

Daniel Silva
Daniel Silva was a journalist and CNN producer

Daniel Silva came from a family of writers, but he ended up being a journalist first. Via this profession, he met his now wife who pushed him to finally take the step to being a full-pledge novelist. And we’re thanking her for that! 

His very first book, The Unlikely Spy debuted and stayed on The New York Times bestselling novels for five weeks. Realizing he had the talent to do what he originally planned to do, Silva left his employer to pursue writing. 

If not for his wife’s urging, readers wouldn’t have the Gabriel Allon Series (The Kill Artist, The English Assassin, etc.) Silva’s story about a master art restorer slash Israeli intelligence officer made him a celebrated author. Why not when it has tension, deception, and artistry?

“I find it comforting to prepare myself for a calamity and to be pleasantly surprised if it turns out to be a garden-variety disaster instead.”

Daniel Silva, The Collector
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02/19/2024 09:31 am GMT

6. Lee Child

Lee Child
Lee Child worked in British television for almost 20 years

Lee Child, real name James Dover Grant, is a renowned novelist who bagged many awards. One of the greatest perhaps was his appointment to be a Commander of the British Empire in 2019. His claim to fame? The wildly popular Jack Reacher Series.

The Killing Floor, the first book in the Jack Reacher Series, was adapted into movies in 2012 and 2016, then an Amazon TV series in February 2022. It’s about two things: murders and a scapegoat who refuses to be one. Reacher may be a drifter, but he’s a decorated ex-military sniper. Child’s portrayal of Reacher as a tough, intelligent, and justice-seeking protagonist has resonated with many readers. Over the years, the book has garnered a vast fan base.

At 65, Child officially retired, with Blue Moon being his last penned work. Readers of the Reacher Universe shouldn’t cry just yet though – he passed the baton to his brother, Andrew Grant. 

“I don’t want to put the world to rights… I just don’t like people who put the world to wrongs.”

Lee Child, 61 Hours
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02/18/2024 01:22 pm GMT

7. Kyle Mills

Kyle Mills
Kyle Mills calls himself a bureau kid

Kyle Mills started with his 1997 novel, Rising Phoenix. But then, he became Vince Flynn’s worthy successor – picked and trusted by his estate to continue Flynn’s legacy. As a military kid, Mills’ upbringing gifted him the suspense and curiosity he needed to flourish in his tales.

Continuing Flynn’s incomplete work-in-progress books and writing more for the Mitch Rapp Series requires an intimate connection to the book characters and the dynamics of the plot. Mills did that with ease. His book Enemy of the State is a standout in the Mitch Rapp Series, masterfully carrying the essence of Vince Flynn’s original creation. His version of Mitch Rapp, the ever-resilient, indomitable CIA operative, continues to fight for American national security. 

Mills plans to contribute nine novels to the Rapp Universe in total. Eventually, he’ll be passing the honor to author Don Bentley by 2024.

“Sometimes there’s no way to win. The only thing you can do is manage your losses.”

Kyle Mills, Oath of Loyalty
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02/18/2024 01:27 pm GMT

8. Mark Greaney

Mark Greaney
Mark Greaney’s obsession with the thriller genre started when he was 19

Picking up Tom Clancy’s Patriot Games pushed Mark Greaney into the field of espionage thrillers. Eventually, at age 42, he penned and published his highly successful The Gray Man

Greaney’s The Gray Man introduces us to Court Gentry a.k.a The Gray Man, a CIA operative turned international assassin. Readers fight alongside him as he faces danger and deceit. The way Greaney pens Gentry’s character with an uncanny ability to claw his way out of the most precarious situations – all while maintaining a sense of humanity – earned him a dedicated fanbase and a 2022 Netflix movie.

He’s also a lauded co-author in Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan Universe, ascending to New York Times bestselling author status.

“That’s up to you. Some people find me strange. But I’m just me, and I don’t see me as strange in the least.”

Mark Greaney, Sierra Six
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02/18/2024 01:21 pm GMT

9. Barry Eisler

Barry Eisler
Barry Eisler worked as a tech lawyer

Barry Eisler is a man of many talents. Aside from participating in a Silicon Valley start-up and working in Japan, he’s also an attorney. What’s more, before he stepped into the world of novel writing, Eisler was a part of the very world he crafts in his books, working for the CIA. So if you’re searching for credibility in your novels, Eisler is your guy. 

His firsthand knowledge of the inner workings of national security systems is obvious in his writing. You’ll be greeted with vivid, enthralling tales that are as informative as they are entertaining.

Eisler’s signature series features the lethal yet principled assassin John Rain. Contract killers? Check. Covert operations? Of course! The first novel, Rain Fall (now re-released as A Clean Kill in Tokyo), introduces readers to John Rain, a Japanese-American assassin specializing in making his kills appear natural. 

“But the truth was, his apology meant nothing to her. In her mind, behavior was the truth, not words.”

Barry Eisler, Livia Lone
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02/18/2024 01:27 pm GMT

10. Brad Taylor

Brad Taylor
Brad Taylor retired from his missions in the U.S. Army in 2010

Who else has experienced being in the battle more than a retired Army lieutenant colonel? On top of that, Brad Taylor was also a part of many classified missions worldwide. That makes for a treasure trove of inspiration, right?

Readers craving for authenticity and stunning detail should take advantage of Taylor’s extensive military career. As a writer, he can’t help but imbue his reality into his novels. You get to have a unique, behind-the-scenes look at the world of special operations, counterterrorism, and the unpredictability of warfare when you binge his works. 

His debut novel, the 2011 One Rough Man, was the first in the action-packed Pike Logan series. This series’ multidimensional characters, complex storyline, and meticulous research promptly established Taylor as someone to look forward to in the genre.

“The flotsam and jetsam accumulated in life that seemed like trash but took on a special meaning when the person they were attached to never returned.”

Brad Taylor, One Rough Man
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02/18/2024 12:51 pm GMT

11. Robert Ludlum

Robert Ludlum
Robert Ludlum was once a theater actor and producer

You might have heard of Matt Damon’s five movies as Jason Bourne. But do you know the guy who made the series exist in the first place? We do, it’s the late Robert Ludlum. 

Ludlum has had a hand in the thriller genre since 1971, starting with his debut novel, The Scarlatti Inheritance. But his Hail Mary only came in 1980, with the first installment of the Bourne Series, The Bourne Identity. Though it was something he penned later in his life, at age 53, Ludlum still managed to create one of the most legendary characters known globally.  

His works are often with labyrinthine plots and deep political intrigue, balanced by relatable characters. After all, his books wouldn’t be adapted into a movie franchise if they didn’t captivate many. It was not unusual to see his name as a fixture on the New York Times Bestselling Authors list.

“Perhaps conscience did not always produce cowards. Sometimes it made a man feel better about himself.”

Robert Ludlum, The Bourne Supremacy
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02/18/2024 07:50 am GMT

12. Jack Carr

Jack Carr
Jack Carr lives in Park City, Utah

As a former Navy SEAL, Jack Carr has led troops in campaigns done in Afghanistan and Iraq. Though he’s relatively new to the writing scene, Carr’s 2018 debut novel, The Terminal List has already been adapted to a 2022 Amazon Prime Video series. 

The Terminal List, referring to the now five-installment series as a whole, is also known as the James Reece Series. With his real-life combat experiences, Carr imbues his fiction with detailed and rich scenes. Borrowing from the reality he had, Carr’s protagonist, James Reece, is also a former Navy SEAL out to find out why his squad was sabotaged. 

Via his writing, Carr presents his readers with his journey, laced within the fictional world of Reece. His novels are more than just page-turners – they offer an insider’s perspective into the world of special operations.

“You must direct the fire and movement of the entire element and resist the instinct to become just another gun in the fight.”

Jack Carr, The Terminal List
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02/18/2024 02:01 pm GMT

13. Stephen Hunter

Stephen Hunter
Stephen Hunter is a Pulitzer Prize-winning critic

What’s Stephen Hunter best known for? Aside from being a three-time Pulitzer Prize winner, he’s also famed for his Bob Lee Swagger and Earl Swagger Series. Does the first book in the series, Point of Impact, ring any bell?

As a film critic, Hunter honed his attention to detail on sequences that wow readers. His training did not fail him, not when his at least 25 novels continue to grace bestseller lists.

His most notorious character – Bob Lee Swagger, is a retired Marine sniper and Vietnam War veteran. He might have been relieved of his duty, but he still has to deal with danger and intrigue in the civilian world. The series has been adapted into a 2007 movie called Shooter and a 2019 Netflix TV series of the same name.

“These in the day when heaven was falling, when earth’s foundations fled, followed their mercenary calling, took their wages and are dead.”

Stephen Hunter, Point of Impact
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02/18/2024 05:01 am GMT

14. Alex Berenson

Alex Berenson
Alex Berenson worked as a reporter, covering issues like the occupation in Iraq

Alex Berenson’s trail from being a reporter for The New York Times to a New York Times bestselling author is nothing short of amazing. With the skills he honed on the field, he tells his tales via his book’s pages with ease and intrigue. 

His 2006 novel, The Faithful Spy, marked his entry into the literary world. It also was the start of his John Well Series where he continuously built suspense and created characters his readers can’t help but root for.

The Faithful Spy snatched an Edgar Award for Best First Novel by an American Author for Berenson. Here, readers meet CIA operative John Wells and his efforts in counterterrorism. His latest book, The Power Couple, veers into new territory. It’s brimming with high-tech espionage and startling twists. 

“Always wrong but never in doubt.”

Alex Berenson, The Faithful Spy
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02/18/2024 01:21 pm GMT

15. Ben Coes

Ben Coes
Ben Coes served as a speechwriter for U.S. Secretary of Energy, James D. Watkins

If you’re more into political scoops, then Ben Coes might just quench your thirst. Coes’ intimate knowledge of the corridors of power makes for an informative and highly entertaining read. 

With the experiences he gained from his tenure in the White House, Coes’ narratives come alive with legitimacy. His 2010 debut novel, Power Down, pushed him into the limelight. It’s also the beginning of his Dewey Andreas Series –  thrillers about an ex-Delta Force member.  

Since he was involved in the intricacies of national security, Coes writes narratives that are strikingly possible. His talent for weaving geopolitical tension makes him a must-read for any spy thriller enthusiast. First Strike, the sixth book in the Dewey Andreas series, is often singled out for its high-stakes plot and Andreas’ tireless efforts to thwart a catastrophic attack. 

“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 Coes, The Island
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02/19/2024 05:27 am GMT

16. Tom Wood

Tom Wood
Tom Wood is a former competitive shooter

With stunning talents in shooting and martial arts, Tom Wood’s best character yet, Victor the Assassin, comes alive. This 11-book series takes readers on the risky life of a freelance assassin with nothing and no one. 

His literary journey began with Wood’s debut work in 2010, The Hunter. Readers are welcomed to Victor’s routine – do a kill, get out of there. Except, he wasn’t meant to get out. Now on the run and can’t trust anyone, the audience is taken on a tale of danger and action. Wood’s writing style is smooth, easily pulling readers to keep on turning the pages. 

Among Wood’s honors are being a 2021 and 2022 Publisher’s Top Selling Book and being shortlisted for the 2021 Prestigious Scottish National Book Awards. 

“No one was infallible, but mistakes had to be acknowledged and absorbed with a conscious self-examination if they were to become useful experiences and not remain as failure.”

Tom Wood, A Time to Die
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02/18/2024 01:10 pm GMT

17. Ted Bell

Ted Bell
Ted Bell published his debut novel three years after his retirement

It might seem odd – but Ted Bell’s transition from being an advertising executive to a crafty author was seamless. He had an innate talent for storytelling anyway, he just found a new use and avenue for it. 

Bell’s Alex Hawke Series, for instance, centers on the swashbuckling British MI6 officer, Lord Alex Hawke. Here, he creates a heady mix of action, suspense, and international espionage.

He has 12 installments to the Alex Hawke franchise, with the last one, Sea Hawke, published in 2021 – two years before his death. Bell also had another book made in 2018, Hawke: Three Black Ops, and two omnibus editions of the same series. 

If you’re hunting for something that rocks your emotions amidst fast-paced action, go for Bell’s Alex Hawke Series.

“Pain is just weakness leaving your body.”

Ted Bell, Patriot
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02/18/2024 01:22 pm GMT

18. Andrew Britton

Andrew Britton
Andrew Britton published his first novel at 22

Andrew Britton, an author taken too early at the tender age of just 27, enjoyed fame for his writing excellence. Though born in the U.K., his family moved to the U.S. where Britton joined the military. Upon his return, he started his manuscripts and even dedicated his 2006 debut book, The American, to his mother. 

The American is about a CIA agent and his ex-protege. Ryan Kealey, the protagonist, has demons he has to deal with, but he’s also expected to grapple with one of the most dangerous assassins yet – his former pupil.

The second book in Britton’s Ryan Kealey Series, The Assassin, pushed his name up in The New York Times bestseller lists. From then on, he became a dedicated writer, until his sudden and unfortunate passing in 2008. But because Britton was fond of preparation, he left manuscripts that his publishers could use to continue his works. 

“But nothing was worse than nothing, and that was the sum total of indifference.”

Andrew Britton, The Exile
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02/18/2024 01:22 pm GMT

19. Stephen Leather

Stephen Leather
Stephen Leather was the second top-selling U.K. author in 2011

Stephen’s Leather early occupation as a journalist sharpened his storytelling skills and offered him insights into society’s unavoidable dark underbelly. The result? Novels that are deep and genuine. 

His Jack Nightingale Series focuses on a detective-turned-private investigator. The catch? He’s not just out to throw usual criminals off their game. He’s grappling with supernatural forces. If you’re up for gritty realism and the paranormal, read Nightfall, the first book in the Jack Nightingale universe. 

Leather’s Nightfall quickly occupied bestseller lists, proving that the blend of crime and otherwordly thriller works well for a majority of readers. Plus, his writing style is evocative and fast-paced – you surely won’t be bored with his storyline. If you’re a fan of thought-provoking, action-packed thrillers that push the boundaries of the genre, then Stephen Leather’s novels should be on your bookshelf.

“‘Life is a waste of time, and time is a waste of life,’ he said. ‘So let’s get wasted all of the time, and have the time of our life.’”

Stephen Leather, Hard Landing
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02/18/2024 01:25 pm GMT

20. Robert White

Robert White
Robert White is a regular in Amazon’s Top 10 bestselling charts

Robert White has had a colorful life, to say the least. He quit school at 16, joined the Lancashire Constabulary for 15 years, and even spent some time in the Middle East. With this much experience, it’s not surprising that he has the flair to create cohesive narratives and striking dialogues. 

One of his franchises is the Rick Fuller Series (The Fix, The Fire, etc,) with eight novels to date. His other works include the Det Sgt Striker – a three-installment series and a standalone novel, Dirty

Readers commend White’s fast-paced sequences that are easy to follow, even putting him at par with Lee Child and Stephen Leather.

“That 1000 words, five days a week translates into a novel every four months… I suppose what I’m saying, is I dedicate my time, just as I did when I was a cop or a trucker. I have a routine. I’m a creature of habit.”

Robert White
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02/18/2024 01:26 pm GMT

21. Michael Connelly

Michael Connelly
Michael Connelly was once a crime reporter for the Los Angeles Times and the Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel

Michael Connelly is no stranger to the grimy back alleys of a crime scene. In fact, these are the places that gifted him the mastery of the detective genre. Eventually, this skill earned him several spots on bestseller lists. His previous job as a crime reporter made it easy to infuse his works with a palpable sense of authenticity and detail.

His first book, the 2001 novel The Black Echo kickstarts Connelly’s Harry Bosch franchise. The series, named after its central character, an LAPD detective, takes readers into the dark parts of Los Angeles. 

Another fan favorite, The Dark Hours, is hailed as one of his best yet, with Amazon reviewers and Goodreads members alike praising its sharp narrative and well-drawn characters. 

“There is nothing like the start of a season, before all the one-run losses, pitching breakdowns, and missed opportunities. Before reality sets in.”

Michael Joseph Connelly, The Lincoln Lawyer
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Author

  • Maria Caballero is a freelance writer who has been writing since high school. She believes that to be a writer doesn't only refer to excellent syntax and semantics but also knowing how to weave words together to communicate to any reader effectively.