The Real Book Spy’s September Reading Guide

September is going to be a great month for thriller fans! 

Some of the genre’s biggest authors are set to release new books, and all of them live up to the hype. See our two Featured Selections picks below, then keep scrolling to browse all the titles hitting bookstores over the next few weeks. 

Featured Selections

If you buy one book this month, make sure it’s Kyle Mills’ Enemy of the State. Since stepping in and taking over the Mitch Rapp series (after Flynn passed away in 2013), Mills has delivered two hard-hitting thrillers in The Survivor and Order to Kill. His best work, though, is his latest offering, which features a fully unleashed Mitch Rapp for the first time in his iconic career as the CIA’s top counterterrorism operative. Seriously, don’t miss it!

(Bonus: Ten days after the latest Rapp novel comes out, fans can see Mitch Rapp brought to life on the big screen in American Assassin, the film adaption of Vince Flynn’s #1 bestselling novel.)

Nelson DeMille’s The Cuban Affair is another excellent thriller from one of today’s most well-known authors. This year, DeMille introduces readers to his new character, Mac MacCormick. Like all his other series protagonists, Mac is a sarcastic, quick-witted character who provides more than a few laughs between the high-flying action. It’s been a few years since DeMille’s last novel, and the wait was absolutely worth it. 

Reading Challenge

Don’t forget about our Real Book Spy Reading Challenge, especially if you’d like to win prizes at the end of the year!

For more info on how the Reading Challenge works, click here. Otherwise, remember to let us know which books from this list you’re planning to read either by leaving a comment on this article or by posting your picks on social media using the hashtag #RealBookSpyReadingChallenge so we can track your participation.

We’re really close to unveiling some of the cool book swag we’ve collected from authors to give away (both to a single grand prize winner and several other participants) towards the end of the year. Trust us, you’ll definitely want to get your hands on this prize package!

 

 

Tuesday, September 5th

 

ENEMY OF THE STATEEnemy of the State by Kyle Mills (Featured Selection)

When President Josh Alexander finds himself unable to pursue an intelligence lead that points to a member of the Saudi royal family funneling big money to ISIS, he turns to the one person who can be trusted to follow the lead wherever it goes–CIA counter-terrorism operative Mitch Rapp.

The Islamic State is planning to hit America, and they’re using Saudi funds to do it. Specifically, Aali Nassar, head of the General Intelligence Directorate, attempts to form a secret partnership with ISIS, unbeknownst to the frail King Faisal. 

Nassar has his eye on the prize and hopes to fill the inevitable vacuum that’ll form once Faisal passes away. In the meantime, he uses his influence over the king to manipulate and keep Faisal in the dark in regards to his plan–which starts to unravel when CIA Director Irene Kennedy follows the trail of money back to him. 

After a meeting in the Oval Office with the Saudi ambassador that’s meant to clear the air, it appears that everyone’s cards are on the table. But Alexander has a lethal ace up his sleeve–which he decides to throw down after finally reaching his breaking point. 

Furious at the thought of America’s ally aiding the Islamic State, especially after a secret agreement the two countries made after 9/11, President Alexander comes up with a daring plan to have the problem dealt with. 

Mitch Rapp, the legendary operative who has served on the frontlines of the war on terror for more than two decades, is called to a meeting with the president in the middle of the night. In a scene that is reminiscent of the first time the two met (back in 2007’s Protect and Defend) when Alexander tells Rapp his plan to handle terrorist organizations is to “blitz hard and blitz often,” Mitch is finally read in on the entire Saudi situation. 

Citing health reasons, Rapp abruptly retires from the CIA the next day, severing contact with everyone from the world’s premier spy agency–including Kennedy and longtime friend Mike Nash, as well as the men he’s bled with and fought beside throughout his career.

To go after the Saudi, though, Rapp needs a team, and with Scott Coleman and his men out of the question because of their involvement with the CIA, Rapp assembles his own group of mercenaries–made up entirely of characters that longtime fans of the series will recognize. But things don’t quite go according to plan, and soon Rapp becomes wanted internationally after a situation involving one of King Faisal’s nephews makes headlines around the world. 

Over the course of fifteen previous novels, readers have followed Mitch Rapp on countless missions all across the globe. This time, though, Kyle Mills takes readers on a new kind of ride as Rapp plunges headfirst into his most dangerous mission yet.

Mills continues to develop Rapp nicely, without changing any of the qualities that have made him a household name. Longtime fans will get a kick out of Rapp’s new neighbors and his current living situation, and appreciate all the characters Mills brings back–including someone Mitch locked horns within the past who returns to help locate and bring Rapp in after the president disavows any and all knowledge of his actions. 

Following The Survivor and Order to Kill, Kyle Mills continues to slowly interject more of his own style and voice into the story, which pays off in a big way. Vince Flynn created one of the greatest fictional heroes in the history of the genre, but Mills takes Rapp to another level entirely, capturing in this book the same elements that made both Transfer of Power and Consent to Kill–arguably Flynn’s best novels–so popular with readers.  

A smart plot with multiple surprises and well-timed twists make Enemy of the State a compelling thriller, but the real treat is seeing Mitch Rapp go completely dark for the first time in his storied career while the rest of the world tries to track him down. You might think you’ve seen Mitch Rapp unleashed before, but you ain’t seen nothing yet… 

This September, Mitch Rapp goes rogue in Kyle Mills’ Enemy of the State, an electrifying thriller that longtime fans of Vince Flynn’s series will especially appreciate. If you’re a fan of thrillers, you absolutely must read this book! 

Book Details

Author: Kyle Mills
Series: Mitch Rapp #16
Pages: 400 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 1476783519
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books
Release Date: September 5th, 2017
Book Spy Rating: 9.0/10
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Legacy of spies.jpgA Legacy of Spies by John le Carré

“The undisputed master returns with a riveting new book—his first Smiley novel in more than twenty-five years 

“Peter Guillam, staunch colleague and disciple of George Smiley of the British Secret Service, otherwise known as the Circus, is living out his old age on the family farmstead on the south coast of Brittany when a letter from his old Service summons him to London. The reason? His Cold War past has come back to claim him. Intelligence operations that were once the toast of secret London, and involved such characters as Alec Leamas, Jim Prideaux, George Smiley and Peter Guillam himself, are to be scrutinized by a generation with no memory of the Cold War and no patience with its justifications.
 
“Interweaving past with present so that each may tell its own intense story, John le Carré has spun a single plot as ingenious and thrilling as the two predecessors on which it looks back: The Spy Who Came in from the Cold and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. In a story resonating with tension, humor and moral ambivalence, le Carré and his narrator Peter Guillam present the reader with a legacy of unforgettable characters old and new.”

Author: John le Carré
Series: George Smiley 
Pages: 272(Hardcover)
ISBN: 0735225117
Publisher: Viking
Release Date: September 5th, 2017
Book Spy Rating: 8/10
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western star.jpgThe Western Star by Craig Johnson 

Bestselling author Craig Johnson pulls out all the stops for his latest Longmire novel, The Western Star

While having a celebratory beer at the LaBonte Hotel, Walt, who ventures into town every four years for his weapons certification, is confronted by a photo from his early days as a deputy sheriff. The photo, however, isn’t the only thing that gets Walt upset. As the story bounces between present day and back to the 1970s, Johnson skillfully lays out Walt’s past history with a violent serial killer. 

The Western Star was a sheriff’s train that ran from 1948 to 1972. On one fateful day, there were twenty-four armed sheriffs onboard, along with one deputy–Walt Longmire…

The year was 1972, and Walt, who’d just recently returned from the war in Vietnam, was working under Sheriff Lucian Connelly. Recently married and with a new child on the way, Walt took the deputy job in Absaroka County to help pay the bills. Unsure of his future, or if he even wanted to live in Wyoming any longer, Walt considered quitting on the spot and driving straight to the nearest airport. Instead, he stayed. And later that night, he met the most ruthless, evil criminal he would ever encounter in his long career as a lawman. 

Back in the present day, the killer’s lawyers have filed for a compassionate release, citing that their client is terminally ill and thus would “benefit from obtaining aid outside of the prison system.” Walt and Lucian, who is also on hand, meet with everyone from the judge to the prison physician, trying to convince them that the killer shouldn’t be released under any circumstances. 

While it’s clear early on that Walt has a real grudge against the killer, it’s not until later in the story that Johnson explains why the entire ordeal is so personal for Longmire. The surprise twist will catch readers off-guard, especially longtime fans who’ve followed the sheriff’s adventures over the last twelve novels. 

Carried in paperback form by Walt Longmire early in 1972, Johnson clearly pays homage to Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express, though Johnson may have thought up the one ending that Christie never accounted for. 

There’s been a lot of talk of a Longmire movie since Netflix announced that the forthcoming season of the hit show would be the series’ final run. Few, if any, of Johnson’s books, are more perfectly suited for the big screen than this one, which reads like a movie from start to finish. 

Smartly-written, deftly-plotted, filled with wit and fun, and topped off with more suspense than past novels in the series, Craig Johnson’s The Western Star chugs full steam ahead to a surprise ending that will leave Longmire fans clamoring for next year’s book. 

Book Details

Author: Craig Johnson
Series: Walt Longmire #13
Pages: 304 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 0525426957
Publisher: Viking
Release Date: September 5th, 2017
Book Spy Rating: 8.5/10
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Dalton Fury.jpgExecute Authority by Dalton Fury

Kolt “Racer” Raynor is back for more action in Fury’s high-octane follow-up to 2015’s One Killer Force.   

Six months into his first term as president, Gerald Nooman heads to Greece in hopes of holding the NATO alliance together. Along with the United States Secret Service, Kolt Raynor and his team of Delta Force operators are on-site to provide additional protection. 

Unbeknownst to Kolt, his guys, or the secret service members tasked with keeping POTUS safe, one of the world’s most lethal snipers lay prone on a hillside behind the scope of his powerful SVD-63 Dragunov rifle, just one kilometer away from where the president and the Greek prime minister stood shaking hands in front of a large crowd. 

A moment later, the sniper fired, his bullet finding the target in a gruesome display of force. The Greek prime minister was dead before the bullet exited the back of his head.

While most everyone else springs to action, relying on muscle memory and training, Kolt manages to catch something that few others even noticed–that the bullet was fired through the prime minister’s left eye–and knew it to be the trademark style of the cold-blooded shooter. The shooter, Rasim Miric, has just one eye, and thus he’s become known for giving his victims a look to match his own. 

For Kolt, the signature shot carries a personal meaning. Years prior, it was Raynor himself who cost Miric his eyeball. 

When forces, including Kolt and his team, pursue Miric’s location, an explosion rocks the block he’s believed to have taken the shot from. While some believe Miric detonated the building, killing himself in the process, Kolt isn’t one of them. Convinced he faked his death to throw everyone off, Raynor continues to search for Miric and eventually uncovers startling news. Not only is the sniper indeed still alive, but he’s now inside the United States. 

While Kolt cannot technically operate inside the United States, he’s known for disregarding orders–especially when breaking them can keep innocent people safe. But his doing so causes him a number of problems, and Kolt soon finds himself on the outside of the operation looking in. 

Realizing that Miric is toying with him personally, still upset over their last meeting nearly a decade ago, Kolt goes off the grid–disobeying all orders–to hunt down the slippery sniper before he finishes picking off his targets. 

Written with spine-tingling authenticity from the man who led the first hunt for Osama Bin Laden (the details of which are written about in his memoir, Kill Bin Laden), Dalton Fury (a pseudonym for a notoriously private former Delta Force commander) delivers the relentless, breathtaking final chapter in Kolt Raynor’s story.

Marc Resnick, Fury’s editor at St. Martin’s Press, opens the novel a note about Dalton, who handed in his final novel just two months before passing away after battling cancer. May this novel, which is certainly some of the best work of Fury’s extraordinary career, serve as a reminder for the type of hard-working, fearless man he was in all aspects of his life. 

Fury’s final treat to readers is just that–a real treat from beginning to end. It was an honor to read and review this novel. If this is, in fact, where Racer’s road ends, fans will appreciate one last blistering, high-powered adventure with one of the genre’s most exciting heroes. 

Execute Authority is an explosive, fast-moving thriller that is a must-read for fans of Brad Taylor, Mark Greaney, Joshua Hood, and Brad Thor. 

Book Details

Author: Dalton Fury 
Series: Kolt Raynor #5
Pages: 400 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 1250120489
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Release Date: September 5, 2017
Book Spy Rating: 7/10
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Lie to me.jpgLie to Me by J.T. Ellison

“Domestic noir at its best. Readers will devour this stunning page-turner about the disintegration of a marriage as grief, jealousy, betrayal and murder destroy the facade of the perfect literary couple. New York Times bestselling author J.T. Ellison takes her exceptional writing to a new level with this breakout novel. 

They built a life on lies 

Sutton and Ethan Montclair’s idyllic life is not as it appears. They seem made for each other, but the truth is ugly. Consumed by professional and personal betrayals and financial woes, the two both love and hate each other. As tensions mount, Sutton disappears, leaving behind a note saying not to look for her. 

Ethan finds himself the target of vicious gossip as friends, family and the media speculate on what really happened to Sutton Montclair. As the police investigate, the lies the couple have been spinning for years quickly unravel. Is Ethan a killer? Is he being set up? Did Sutton hate him enough to kill the child she never wanted and then herself? The path to the answers is full of twists that will leave the reader breathless.”

Book Details

Author: J.T. Ellison 
Pages: 416 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 0778313646
Publisher: MIRA
Release Date: September 5, 2017
Book Spy Rating: 7/10
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shadow listThe Shadow List by Todd Moss

The all-too-familiar email scam is no laughing matter for Jason Saunders, who quickly finds himself in a dangerous situation upon opening what he thought to be a harmless letter. 

We’ve all gotten them. Promises of large cash for doing next to nothing. Anyone who receives emails has encountered one of the many ridiculous scams floating around on the web. Most people find them to be so unbelievable that their spam mail is sent straight to the trash bin without a hint of curiosity. But for Jason Saunders, an employee of a prominent financial firm, this isn’t the case.

Sitting in his office, Saunders opens a letter from an individual who claims to represent a firm that’s been “designated by the Bank of England as a probate agent for uncovered funds from the Special Court of International Assets.” The email then goes onto state that the Court has deemed the $1,985,900,000 discovered in an offshore bank account of a foreign dictator must be held “by firms in two different sovereign jurisdictions,” as per the legal requirements. 

The letter contains plenty of verbiage about banking regulations laws and, at first glance, appears to be half-way legit. What seals the deal for Saunders, though, is that the letter also references a prior situation his firm handled regarding Turkish bond trades. It ends by claiming that, if chosen by the Court, Saunder’s firm could collect about 4.00% of the total for “management fees,” according to banking regulations. That’s a profit of about eighty million bucks, which is enough for anyone to hope that the deal is the real thing.  

The Turkish bond trading situation was private, which meant whoever sent the letter knew what they were talking about and it wasn’t just some mass-produced letter sent to everyone.

It was, in fact, sent specifically to and for Saunders–that part was true. 

Just not for the reason he hoped. 

After Saunders goes missing in London, Judd Ryker, the head of the State Department’s Crisis Reaction Unit, is sent to Nigeria–where the letter originated from–to investigate. There, he encounters far more than he bargained for, as Todd Moss pulls back the curtain on the international free-money scam that, unbelievably, is one of the largest organized crime rackets in the world. 

In another storyline, Judd’s CIA agent wife, Jessica Ryker, is assigned to an operation looking into a ruthless Russian mobster known as the Bear. Jessica’s scenes are some of the most entertaining and hard-hitting pages in Todd Moss’ terrific new thriller, enriched by a diverse cast of colorful characters and a smart plot. 

Readers looking for something different from the overplayed assassin-saves-the-world-from-nuclear-destruction plot will love Todd Moss’ latest sneaky-good novel. The Shadow List is a top-notch thriller that offers up an exciting, fast-paced story that’s both unique and very well-written.

Book Details

Author: Todd Moss
Series: Judd Ryker #4
Pages: 368 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 0399175946
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Release Date: September 5th, 2017
Book Spy Rating: 7/10
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into a dark frontierInto A Dark Frontier by John Mangan 

After a slow start, John Mangan eventually finds his footing and delivers an exciting, unique debut thriller.

Set in the not-too-distant future, a war between Christians and Muslims has left Africa nearly decimated. More than four hundred million men, women, and children have died. Those who remain are, well, the ones bold, lucky, and oftentimes ruthless enough to survive. Along with the few remaining people are plenty of diseases, violence, and famine throughout the dark African frontier.

Former Navy SEAL Slade Crawford is on the run. Accused of crimes he didn’t commit, Slade has lost everything and everyone he loved. After breaking out of a top-secret prison facility, Slade goes on the run, taking his dangerous set of skills to Africa, unsure of what, exactly, he’ll find waiting for him once he arrives.

Hoping to start a new life and find some form of peace, Crawford instead finds himself leading a group of Christians to an area known among the group (who call themselves the Judeans) as New Zion. Slade, who didn’t come looking for the job he’s quickly thrust into, is forced to provide his services against his will. Begrudgingly, he heads south towards New Zion, which is said to be the one area on the entire continent that hasn’t been completely and utterly destroyed.

Along the way, Slade and the Judeans encounter countless dangerous situations. But the further they trek, the more Slade bonds with members of the religious group, which offers him a sense of purpose, and thus, internal peace–if only momentarily– among the trials they all face. That, of course, is short-lived, as Slade eventually unravels a shocking truth about what’s really going on in Africa and who exactly is behind it.

While the first fifty pages are a jumbled mess, those who make it past the uneven and wandering opening will eventually find themselves enthralled by a post-apocalyptic-like setting and a hero who resembles other thriller genre darlings such as Mark Greaney’s Court Gentry and Robert Ludlum’s Jason Bourne.

While Mangan’s inconsistency rears its head too often, the new author flashes just as much promise and talent. By the end of the book, all the kinks are worked out and the story settles into a fast-moving adventure that’s quite unlike anything else hitting bookstores this fall.

Book Details

Author: John Mangan 
Pages: 400 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 1608092615
Publisher: Oceanview Publishing
Release Date: September 5th, 2017
Book Spy Rating: 5.5/10
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Tuesday, September 12th

 

gangster nationGangster Nation by Todd Goldberg 

Sal Cupertine, a prominent Chicago-based hitman, has taken on the identity of a Las Vegas rabbi named David Cohen. And while hidden away with his new identity and surgically-altered face, Sal isn’t safe yet. Not by a long shot.

Set just a couple of years after Goldberg’s Gangsterland, Sal is a totally different man than when readers saw him last. Literally. His new face aside–he underwent plastic surgery to render him unrecognizable to those who knew him before he became David Cohen, though he has had complications stemming from the operation–Sal is living a totally new life since fleeing Chicago.

Leaving his wife and their son behind, Sal went on the run before putting down roots in Vegas. Having murdered three undercover FBI agents, Sal knew he’d have to look over his shoulder the rest of his life, but that doesn’t keep him from trying to come up with a plan to reunite with his family. In the meantime, Sal is forced to fake it until he makes it as a rabbi, offering up advice and wisdom to those in his synagogue. With practice, he’s surprisingly good at playing the part of a religious leader, and there are more than a few laugh-out-loud moments along the way.

When he’s not playing holier-than-thou during the day, Sal is busy laundering the synagogue’s money at night with the goal of accumulating enough cash to make a play for his wife and kid. He dreams of them one day starting over and having a new life, but all of that is threatened by FBI agent Marrhew Drew, who has his sights set on finding Sal and bringing him to justice.

Written with humor and the same type of dark, up-close-and-personal style of dialogue that Don Winslow is known for, Goldberg also mixes in some eyebrow-raising historical facts about how criminals (of all types, but especially gangsters) have shaped and changed America throughout the country’s history.

A touch better than its predecessor (Gangsterland), Goldberg’s latest novel is a bold and daring adventure that hits hard early on and never lets up. The story twists and turns its way to a surprising ending, setting things up nicely for the planned third and final book in the Sal Cupertine trilogy, The Death of a Gangster.

Book Details

Author: Tod Goldberg 
Series: Sal Cupertine #2
Pages: 368 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 1619027232
Publisher: Counterpoint
Release Date: September 12, 2017
Book Spy Rating: 7/10
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Lightning men.jpgLightning Men by Thomas Mullen 

“Officer Denny Rakestraw and “Negro Officers” Lucius Boggs and Tommy Smith have their hands full in an overcrowded and rapidly changing Atlanta. It’s 1950 and racial tensions are simmering as black families, including Smith’s sister, begin moving into formerly all-white neighborhoods. When Rake’s brother-in-law launches a scheme to rally the Ku Klux Klan to “save” their neighborhood, his efforts spiral out of control, forcing Rake to choose between loyalty to family or the law.

Across town, Boggs and Smith try to shut down the supply of white lightning and drugs into their territory, finding themselves up against more powerful foes than they’d expected. Battling corrupt cops and ex-cons, Nazi brown shirts and rogue Klansmen, the officers are drawn closer to the fires that threaten to consume the city once again.”

Book Details

Author: Thomas Mullen
Series: Darktown #2
Pages: 384 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 1501138790
Publisher: Atria / 37 INK
Release Date: September 12, 2017
Book Spy Rating: 8/10
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Hangmans sonnet.jpgThe Hangman’s Sonnet by Reed Ferrel Coleman 

“The stellar new novel in Robert B. Parker’s New York Times bestselling series featuring Paradise police chief Jesse Stone.

Jesse Stone, still reeling from the murder of his fiancée by crazed assassin Mr. Peepers, must keep his emotions in check long enough to get through the wedding day of his loyal protégé, Suitcase Simpson. The morning of the wedding, Jesse learns that a gala 75th birthday party is to be held for folk singer Terry Jester. Jester, once the equal of Bob Dylan, has spent the last forty years in seclusion after the mysterious disappearance of the master recording tape of his magnum opus, The Hangman’s Sonnet.

That same morning, an elderly Paradise woman dies while her house is being ransacked. What are the thieves looking for? And what’s the connection to Terry Jester and the mysterious missing tape? Jesse’s investigation is hampered by hostile politicians and a growing trail of blood and bodies, forcing him to solicit the help of mobster Vinnie Morris and a certain Boston area PI named Spenser. While the town fathers pressure him to avoid a PR nightmare, Jesse must connect the cases before the bodies pile up further.”

Book Details

Author: Reed Ferrel Coleman
Series: Jesse Stone #16
Pages: 368 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 0399171444
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Release Date: September 12, 2017
Book Spy Rating: 7/10
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Column of fire.jpgA Column of Fire by Ken Follett 

“International best-selling author Ken Follett has enthralled millions of fans with the first two books of his Kingsbridge series, The Pillars of the Earth and World Without End. The saga now continues with Follett’s magnificent new epic, A Column of Fire.

In 1558, the ancient stones of Kingsbridge Cathedral look down on a city torn apart by religious conflict. As power in England shifts precariously between Catholics and Protestants, high principles clash bloodily with friendship, loyalty, and love.

Ned Willard wants nothing more than to marry Margery Fitzgerald. But when the lovers find themselves on opposing sides of the religious divide sweeping across the country, Ned goes to work for Princess Elizabeth. When she becomes queen, all Europe turns against England. The shrewd, determined young monarch sets up the country’s first secret service, to give her early warning of assassination plots, rebellions, and invasion plans. Over a turbulent half century, the love between Ned and Margery seems doomed as extremism sparks violence from Edinburgh to Geneva. Elizabeth clings precariously to her throne and her principles, protected by a small, dedicated group of resourceful spies and courageous secret agents.

The real enemies, then as now, are not the rival religions. The true battle pitches those who believe in tolerance and compromise against the tyrants who would impose their ideas on everyone else – no matter what the cost.

Set during one of the most turbulent and revolutionary times in history, A Column of Fire is one of Follett’s most exciting and ambitious works yet and is perfect both for longtime fans of the Kingsbridge series as well as listeners new to Ken Follett.”

Book Details

Author: Ken Follett
Series: Kingsbridge
Pages: 928 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 052595497X
Publisher: Viking
Release Date: September 12, 2017
Book Spy Rating: 7/10
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Romanov Ransom.jpgThe Romanov Ransom by Clive Cussler 

“Treasure-hunting team Sam and Remi Fargo’s search for a Romanov fortune brings them into perilous contact with an ambitious neo-Nazi clan in this thrilling adventure from the #1 New York Times-bestselling author.

In 1918, a ransom of enormous size was paid to free the Romanovs from the Bolsheviks, but, as history knows, the Romanovs died anyway. And the ransom? During World War II, the Nazis stole it from the Russians, and after that–it vanished. Until now.

When a modern-day kidnapping captures the attention of husband-and-wife team Sam and Remi Fargo, the couple soon learn that these long-lost riches may be back in play, held in trust by the descendants of a Nazi guerrilla faction called the Werewolves. It is their mission to establish the Fourth Reich, and their time is coming soon.

As the Fargos follow the trail across Europe, Northern Africa, and South America, they know only one thing. This quest is greater than anything they have ever done–it is their chance to make someone answer for unspeakable crimes, and to prevent them from happening again.

Book Details

Author: Clive Cussler and Robin Burcell
Series: FARGO #9
Pages: 400 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 0399575545
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Release Date: September 12, 2017
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Tuesday, September 19th

 

The Cuban AffairThe Cuban Affair by Nelson DeMille (Featured Selection)

Set in 2015, Nelson DeMille introduces readers to Daniel “Mac” MacCormick, a thirty-five-year-old army vet who left the military and settled in Key West. Up to his eyeballs in debt, Mac still owes much of the quarter million dollars he borrowed from the bank to purchase The Maine, a forty-two-foot charter fishing boat he captains.

So when a big-money offer lands in his lap, Mac can’t help but look past the potential danger, as long as it means getting paid… 

After meeting with Carlos, a Miami-based lawyer who has ties to anti-Castro groups, Mac agrees to a meet-and-greet with potential clients, who inform him that they’d like to hire Mac, his first mate Jack Colby (a colorful, foul-mouthed Vietnam veteran whose favorite piece of clothing is a “Guns don’t kill people. I kill people” t-shirt), and The Maine to accompany them on a ten-day fishing tournament near Cuba. 

Over drinks, the clients–Eduardo Valazquez and Sara Ortega, a beautiful Cuban-American–lay out the real nature of the job they want to hire Mac to help with. Precious documents and bundles of cash were hidden by Sara’s grandfather in a cave during the Cuban Revolution more than fifty years ago. They want Mac to head over with Sara to recover the treasure, leaving Jack and Sara’s partner to do the fishing–a front for the real mission. 

Sara and the people she represents need The Maine, sure, but they also need Mac’s skillset as a former decorated combat soldier in case things take a dangerous turn–which, of course, they do almost as soon as their feet touch Cuban soil.

Soon, Mac and Sara find themselves on the run, in all kinds of trouble, and with nobody to trust. It’s just the type of high-pressure, suspenseful situation that DeMille’s fans are used to seeing his characters try and navigate through time and time again. 

Readers who were disappointed that this book wouldn’t feature John Corey as the protagonist have nothing to worry about. Mac is one more on a long list of terrific characters created and developed by DeMille. Sarcastic as anyone, Mac’s first-person narrative provides numerous laugh-out-loud moments, including early on when Carlos introduces himself as a Cuban-American and Mac quips, “I don’t know why I needed to know that, but I told him I was Scotish-Irish-English-American, in case he was wondering.” 

Nobody develops a new character on the fly while still advancing the story better than Nelson DeMille, who puts on a clinic with the way he manages to make readers embrace and relate to Mac early on without spending any significant time away from the actual plot. Likewise, the author, who traveled to Cuba to do research for the novel, brings the setting to life using vibrant, vivid descriptions of what Cuba actually looks and smells like. 

It’s been a little over two years since DeMille’s last thriller, Radiant Angel, hit bookstores, and The Cuban Affair is well worth the wait and then some. The colorful descriptions and nail-biting suspense enrich the reading experience, but the sizzling plot and DeMille’s strong new lead character drive the story onward at blazing speeds.

The Cuban Affair is a fun, exciting new thriller from one of the genre’s most iconic authors. Thriller fans should run and not walk to pick this one up the second it hits bookstore shelves! 

Book Details

Author: Nelson DeMille
Pages: 448 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 1501101722
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: September 19, 2017
Book Spy Rating: 8.5/10
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The scarred woman.jpgThe Scarred Woman by Jussi Adler-Olsen

“The New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author of The Keeper of Lost Causes delivers his most captivating and suspenseful Department Q novel yet—perfect for fans of Stieg Larsson.
 
Detective Carl Mørck of Department Q, Copenhagen’s cold cases division, meets his toughest challenge yet when the dark, troubled past of one of his own team members collides with a sinister unsolved murder.

In a Copenhagen park the body of an elderly woman is discovered. The case bears a striking resemblance to another unsolved homicide investigation from over a decade ago, but the connection between the two victims confounds the police. Across town a group of young women are being hunted. The attacks seem random, but could these brutal acts of violence be related? Detective Carl Mørck of Department Q is charged with solving the mystery.
 
Back at headquarters, Carl and his team are under pressure to deliver results: failure to meet his superiors’ expectations will mean the end of Department Q. Solving the case, however, is not their only concern. After an earlier breakdown, their colleague Rose is still struggling to deal with the reemergence of her past—a past in which a terrible crime may have been committed. It is up to Carl, Assad, and Gordon to uncover the dark and violent truth at the heart of Rose’s childhood before it is too late.”

Book Details

Author: Jussi Adler-Olsen
Pages: 480 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 0525954953
Publisher: Dutton
Release Date: September 19, 2017
Book Spy Rating: 6.5/10
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Book of Judas.jpgBook of Judas by Linda Stasi 

“When her infant son is placed in mortal danger, New York City reporter Alessandra Russo is forced to save him by tracking down the missing pages of the Gospel of Judas, a heretical manuscript that was unearthed in Al-Minya, Egypt, in the 1970s. The manuscript declares that Judas was the beloved, not the betrayer, of Jesus.

The Gospel disappeared for decades before being rediscovered, rotted beyond repair, in a safety deposit box. Rumors insist that the most important pages had been stolen―pages that Alessandra now must find, if they even exist.

Do the lost pages contain a secret that will challenge Christianity’s core beliefs about the creation of life, or that might hold the power to unleash Armageddon? What if such explosive documents fell into the hands of modern-day terrorists, dictators, or religious fanatics?

Alessandra plunges into a dark world of murder, conspiracy, and sexual depravity…and most importantly, a race against the clock to save her own child.

In this exciting follow-up to The Sixth Station, award-winning journalist Linda Stasi brings her formidable investigative skills, big city street smarts, and fast-flying pen to a thriller that will leave readers breathless.”

Book Details

Author: Linda Stasi
Pages: 384 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 0765378752
Publisher: Forge Books
Release Date: September 19, 2017
Book Spy Rating: 8.0/10
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Tuesday, September 26th

 

514Ma+a5zQL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Don’t Let Go by Harlan Coben

When the deaths of two teenagers rock the small city of Westbridge just weeks before their high school graduation, the brother of one of the victims is unable to let it go.

It’s been fifteen years since Leo Dumas and his girlfriend, Diana Styles, were struck by a train and killed. Today, Nap Dumas, Leo’s twin, is a cop. That night has haunted him ever since, and Nap, like many, has spent countless hours wondering what Leo and Diana were doing on the train tracks to begin with. 

One day, a knock on the door brings Nap’s past clawing back into the forefront of his life. The fingerprints of Maura Wells, one of his childhood classmates, are found in a car at the scene of a murdered police officer. The revelation rocks Nap, who–when not thinking about his brother–has always wondered why Wells, his girlfriend senior year, disappeared the night his brother and Diana were killed. 

Before becoming a cop, Nap spent a lot of time trying to find Maura, exhausting every potential lead even after he was shut down by Maura’s mother. 

The story takes another twist when Nap finds out that the dead cop is Rex Canton, another of his former classmates. Eventually, Nap realizes that the three deaths–Leo, Diana, and Rex–and one disappearance, Maura, all have one thing in common. All four were in a high school conspiracy club that took a special interest in a secret military base hidden deep within the woods of their small town. 

Nap races to find other members of Westbrook High’s Conspiracy Club, learning one by one that each person seems to either be dead or unreachable. 

What could a group of teenagers possibly have stumbled upon that would still put their lives in danger fifteen years later? That’s what Nap sets out to uncover, and the answer is buried deep beneath a winding, hidden trail of shocking secrets and nerve-wracking suspense. 

The book’s title serves as good advice for readers, who may be so shocked by the ending that the novel will be in serious danger of slipping from their grasp. Hold on tight, because Don’t Let Go is a roller coaster ride of a thriller, and a worthy follow-up to both of Harlan Coben’s 2016 releases, Fool Me Once and Home, each of which were #1 New York Times bestsellers last year. 

Book Details

Author: Harlan Coben
Pages: 368 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 0525955119
Publisher: Dutton
Release Date: September 26, 2017
Book Spy Rating: 7.5/10
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Trace.jpgTrace by Archer Mayor 

“The Vermont Bureau of Investigation (VBI) has been pulled onto three cases at the same time; meanwhile, VBI head Joe Gunther has to take time off to care for his ailing mother.

Those cases are now in the hands of the individual investigators. Sammie Martens is assigned a murder case. The victim is a young woman, the roommate of the daughter of Medical Examiner Beverly Hillstrom. A recent transplant from Albany, New York, Sammie must find out what put a hit man on the trail of this seemingly innocent young woman.

Lester Spinney takes over a famous cold case, a double murder where a state trooper and a motorist were killed in an exchange of gunfire. Or so it has seemed for years. When Lester is told that the motorist’s fingerprints were planted on the gun he’s supposed to have fired, it opens the question―who really killed the state trooper?

Willy Kunkle’s case starts with a child’s discovery of three teeth on a railroad track, leading eventually to a case of possible sabotage against critical military equipment.

In cases that lead the team all over Vermont and nearby, Archer Mayor once again shows why his novels featuring Joe Gunther and the VBI team are among the finest crime fiction today.”

Book Details

Author: Archer Mayor
Pages: 336 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 1250113261
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Release Date: September 26, 2017
Book Spy Rating: 5.5/10
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19 comments

  1. I can hardly wait for the new Vince Flynn as Mitch Rapp is one of my favorite characters of all time. I also have The Cuban Affair and Don’t Let Go on order. I shall soon be receiving The Saboteur in the mail. Thank you for such excellent reviews.

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  2. Enemy of the State was fantastic. I was lucky to get an ARC. The Cuban Affair rocked!! Now I’m on to Cussler and Burcell’s new one and sadly Dalton Fury’s last one. Please someone carry this series onward!!!!!

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  3. The Scarred Woman will be high on my list. Jussi Adler Olsen is always being compared to Stieg Larsson, but I think his works read rather more like Mark Billingham’s (at least in the English translation). Fans of Tom Thorne will like Jussi’s Department Q boss Carl Morck. I reckon this will be a sleeper among giants this month 🙂

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  4. So many to choose from this month. I’ll start with the latest Vince Flynn, then John Le Carre, Harlan Coben than Jussi Adler-Olsen. It’s a shame though that the latest Val McDermid, (Tony Hill and Carol Jordan) book does not make this months list…..

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  5. I am going to tackle Enemy of the State and Execute Authority. With American Assassin in theaters and Enemy of the State coming next week, September is shaping up to be the best month yet.

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  6. Will start with Enemy of the State, A Legacy of Spies, and
    Execute Authority. Thanks for compiling this list!
    PS: I just finished The Saboteur and think that it,
    The Force, and Ring of Fire are my favorites so far
    this year. Thanks again!!

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  7. Looking to read at three books from the September list. Enemy of the State. Gangster Nation and The Cuban Affair. Also, trying to go back and read some of the highly rated books from 2016. Trying to read First Strike from Ben Coes in September. I have my fingers crossed the American Assasin movie does the Mitch Rapp series justice.

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  8. Harlan Coben & Dalton Fury novels are ordered and I am really looking forward to reading them (especially Dalton’ Fury’s last (RIP). However, have already ready the latest Mitch Rapp novel which I found to be Kyle Mills’ BEST by far! If you read no other book this month, ENEMY OF THE STATE has to be it!

    P.S. Just finished The Saboateur by Andrew Gross AND LOVED IT!! A great historical fiction that was enlightening as well as an “edge of your seat” yarn! I will be reading another Gross novel soon!!

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  9. Enemy of the State is an outstanding book. I’ve never been disappointed with any of the Rapp series. Looking forward to the movie next Friday. Glad to see Kyle has signed on for three more books.

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  10. Lightning Men by Thomas Mullen is an excellent read. When I read the review and saw that the story took place in Atlanta, I decided to give it a try. Glad I did. Originally, Lightning Men wasn’t on my reading list but that changed when I stopped reading the Gangster Nation after 40 pages. To the author of Gangster Nation, if you are going to write about the Chicago Mob then do your homework.

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