If You Liked That, Try This: Part 1

The bulk of our emails, messages, DM’s, and comments are from fans who have just finished reading a book they loved and want to know if there is anything else that can give them a similar reading experience.

Due to the high volume of requests for such help we decided to take a proactive approach and post a few suggestions to better help readers connect with another fantastic novel. The suggested titles work both ways. So if you’ve read one and not the other, regardless of the order they’re listed, the recommendation is still valid.

(This is the first of many posts, so get ready to see similar articles each week for the foreseeable future!)

If you liked Brad Thor’s Foreign Agent, try Order To Kill by Kyle Mills

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Foreign Agent: Thor’s latest must-read Scot Harvath novel pits the former Navy SEAL turned private security contractor up against the Islamic State and a group of Russian bad guys. After a CIA safe house near Syria is hit and every operator is killed, Harvath is left feeling guilty and pissed off. It turns out that it was his informant who produced the information that sent the CIA team there in the first place, only to be set up and killed by the savage group of terrorists. But as Harvath sets out to avenge their deaths, he uncovers a deeper web of sinister dealings, and even stumbles upon a conspiracy involving someone inside the United States government. (Order Now!)

Order To Kill is the fifteenth Mitch Rapp novel and the second written by Kyle Mills (after Flynn passed away in 2013). This time out, the legendary CIA assassin is overseeing an operation to keep Pakistani nukes safe, accounted for, and, most importantly, out of enemy hands. Little does Rapp know, though, that some shady Russians who have a vested interest in the nuclear warheads have sent an elite killer to hunt him down. Grisha Azarov, one of the world’s premier assassins, is younger, stronger, and faster than Mitch Rapp. But before the two go head-to-head in a truly epic showdown, Mitch must find a way to infiltrate ISIS in order to find out who their next target is and what they’re planning to do with the nukes. (Order Now!)

Summary: Both Foreign Agent and Order To Kill deal with the same overall cast of villains: the Islamic State and Russia. However, each book takes a very different path in how things play out. Thor’s novel is packed with action and has a nice twist at the end; Mills has written a truly original story with an ending that features one of the best fight sequences of then past decade. While Rapp and Harvath are very similar, they each have their own unique qualities. Both are must-reads, and the these are the two best political thrillers hitting bookstores this year.

If you liked C.J. Box’s Off The Grid, try Nothing Short of Dying by Erik Storey

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Off The Grid: C.J. Box is the master when it comes to churning out must-read, country- style crime mysteries, and world-class thrillers. In his sixteenth Joe Pickett novel, Box once again dazzles readers with a conspiracy-laden mystery that features a plethora of chilling plot points and nonstop, intense action. Joe is a Wyoming game warden, a family man, and a by-the-book kind of guy. But his friend, Nate Romanowski, is an outlaw with a special forces background who is living off the grid to avoid being found by the FBI. When a group of government agents calling themselves the “Wolverines” strong-arm Nate into tracking down a suspected terrorist, Joe catches wind of the deal and heads off to the vast, dangerous Red Desert to help his friend. Separately, the two discover a secret weapon being developed in the middle of nowhere, and their only chance at surviving and stopping the terrorists is to find each other, link up, and stand their ground. (Order Now!)

Nothing Short of Dying: Erik Storey’s debut novel, Nothing Short of Dying, is a fantastic start to a very promising new series. Clyde Barr, Storey’s protagonist, is a Jack Reacher-sized man who knows how to handle himself. After spending sixteen years away from Colorado, Barr returns back to the forests he once grew up in, a different man than when he left. Living away from society and by himself, Barr’s life stops completely when he gets a call from his sister, who is in trouble and needs his help. Barr has no idea what’s going on or where to start looking, but he does know that if he doesn’t find his sister fast, she’s going to die. Along the way, Clyde runs into a bunch of trouble and wannabe tough-guys. But his path also collides with a pretty girl, who just might have a clue as to where his sister is. (Order Now!)

Summary: I’ve seen Storey’s novel compared to Box’s work plenty of times now. However, most readers are inaccurately comparing Barr to Joe Pickett, probably since he is the series star. In reality, Clyde Barr is far more relatable to Box’s secondary character and Joe’s good buddy, Nate Romanowski. Either way, Storey encompasses much of what readers love about Box’s writing, and both books are impossible to put down. 

If you liked Vince Flynn’s Transfer of Power, try First Strike by Ben Coes

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Transfer of Power: Vince Flynn didn’t just burst onto the scene in 1999, he kicked the genre’s door down, then walked right into the party and stole the show. Heralded by many as one of the trail-blazing authors who first began working the threat of Islamic terrorism into his novels, Flynn is widely considered one of the best authors of his generation. While it was actually the second book he wrote, Transfer of Power was the novel that introduced the world to Mitch Rapp, a counterterrorism operative, and legendary CIA assassin. Rapp would go on to star in fifteen novels to date, and is one of the genre’s most beloved leading heroes. In Transfer of Power, Rapp is summoned when terrorists storm the White House, taking control of the most heavily guarded building on the planet. The president was able to retreat to his bunker, but he won’t be safe for long if Mitch can’t sneak his way inside and rescue the Commander-in-chief. (Order Now!)

First Strike: Ben Coes has only been writing novels since 2010 (Power Down), but six books in he’s already become a bona fide star. His sixth and most recent novel, though, isn’t just his best work so far, it’s one of the best political thrillers in recent memory. In First Strike, Coes presents two scenarios that serve as the driving force behind his blazing-fast plot. The first involves America, though somewhat inadvertently, helping to create their own worst enemy in the Islamic State. The second is them trying to make it right, which goes horribly wrong. When an ISIS weapons cache is intercepted by American special forces, the terrorist group takes an entire dormitory at Columbia University hostage. They follow that up by demanding their weapons back and promise to execute one college student every hour they’re made to wait. Due to wired explosives and other defensive devices, storming the dormitory isn’t an option for the on-site FBI agents and local police. As students start dying, the American president is faced with an impossible situation and calls on the one man he trusts to find a solution before it’s too late. Enter Dewey Andreas, a former Delta operator capable of breathtaking brutality, who is called upon once again to save the day. (Order Now!)

Summary: Though bad guys taking over an area while a Lonewolf hero attempts to save the day isn’t an entirely new concept unto itself (Die Hard, Under Siege, etc.), both Flynn and Coes really took that idea to another level. Additionally, both made Islamic terrorists the main antagonists. Also, unlike Die Hard or Under Siege where the heroes happened to be in the right place at the wrong time, both Rapp and Dewey find themselves sneaking into the danger zone to save the hostages. To be clear, First Stike is in no way a ripoff of Flynn’s work. Coes takes things in an entirely different direction and, to be completely honest, his book is more action-packed. In fact, Dewey has a higher body count! 

If You liked Harlan Coben’s Fool Me Once, try The House of Secrets by Brad Meltzer

Fool Me Once: I’m not saying Harlan Coben is an evil mastermind, but I will say that no other author screws with readers’ minds more than him. Finishing one of his books creates a dizzying experience that leaves readers unsure of what’s up from down, but, ya know, in a good way! Never before has any of that been more true that with Coben’s 2016 thriller, Fool Me Once, about a former special forces pilot named Maya who is battling PTSD and the loss of her husband. Then one day, while she’s already struggling, Maya checks the footage of her nanny cam and sees her husband, who is seemingly alive and well, playing with their daughter in her family room. It’s not possible, she knows that, but then again, she does have video proof. When the nanny claims to see nothing on the video, though, Maya no longers knows what to think or who she can trust… including herself. As she sets about trying to make sense of things, Maya discovers that everything she thought she knew about her husband and their life was wrong. The real truth is, she knew absolutely nothing. (Order Now!)

The House of Secrets: When Hazel Nash is in an awful car accident, she wakes up days later in a hospital to find out that she’s been in a coma after suffering a head injury. Worse, her dad, who was driving, died. Unfortunately, Hazel can’t remember much about herself, her life, or anything else. The FBI sends an agent to meet with her, who informs her that they have reason to believe her father was poisoned, resulting in the accident that caused his death and her injuries. Hazel’s dad was the host of a long-running television show called The House of Secrets, where he would investigate a different conspiracy theory each week. But was he secretly living a second life behind the scenes? The FBI says so, based in part on the fact that he was recently in contact with another man who was found murdered with a copy of Benedict Arnold’s bible in his chest cavity. That instantly sparks Hazel’s memory, as she remembers back to a moment in her childhood when her father told her a similar story about such an incident. Is it possible that the man who was famous for investigating conspiracies, was at the very center of one himself? Hazel is determined to find out, but the more she learns and remembers, the less she likes who she used to be. Worse, she’s forced to question everything she thought she knew about her dad and family. (Order Now!)

Summary: Meltzer and Coben are not known for writing similar books, but this year they each delivered a mind-bending story that will keep readers guessing with each turn of the page. Likewise, both books have jaw-dropping twists and heart-stopping endings. Keep a nitro close by and clear your schedule for tomorrow, because Fool Me Once and The House of Secrets are stay-up-all-night thrillers that will leave you stunned. 

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