This selection of action/adventure/thriller novels includes titles that have received positive reviews. There are many more action novels you may enjoy. For help finding additional fictional adventures, Ask Readers Services!
Suspense, action, and political intrigue categorize David Baldacci’s Camel Club thrillers. A bomb goes off in Lafayette Park the night after the President recruits Oliver Stone to deal with Russian drug gangs. As the target of the bombing is unclear, MI6 also is involved in tracking the terrorists.
Warlord: An Alex Hawke Novel*
Ted Bell’s British spy Hawke has been suicidal since the personal tragedies revealed in Tsar (2008). He snaps out of it, though, when summoned by the Prince of Wales. Someone is targeting the royals and Hawke steps up to help.
The Emperor’s Tomb*
Steve Berry’s ex-federal agent Cotton Malone is confronted with a terrifying web image of friend Cassiopeia Vitt being tortured. Her kidnappers want Malone to bring them a priceless artifact, but he has no idea what it is. Berry is especially talented at imparting historical detail without slowing the action.
In Stephen Besecker’s debut, CIA operative Kevin Easter’s wife dies as the result of the unfortunate decision by a young gangster. It sets off a frightening chain of events. Booklist describes the novel as “. . .a Robert Ludlum novel spiced with a sprinkling of The Sopranos.”
Larry Bond’s follow up to Dangerous Ground (2006) puts Jerry Mitchell back in command of a submarine in danger. The USS Seawolf is on a reconnaissance mission when it is ambushed by a Russian sub. Both vessels lay damaged at the bottom of the sea.
The Lucifer Code*
Charles Brokaw’s thrillers feature linguist Thomas Lourds. As Lourds arrives in Istanbul to examine rare artifacts, he is kidnapped by people anxious for him to translate coded writings they hope will lead them to a hidden, ancient scroll. Sound tame? The action in this novel is exciting and fast-moving.
A Time for Patriots*
Dale Brown’s series character Patrick McLanahan is a retired general living in Nevada and flying rescue missions for the Civil Air Patrol. When the Knights of the True Republic militia group begins terrorist attacks in his home ground, the FBI wonders if McLanahan is involved.
Ghost Dancer: A Thriller
John Case (The Genesis Code, 2005) has a knack for creating edge-of-your-seat tension. In this novel, there are terrorists motivated by revenge and hatred of the U.S. as well as a very unlikely hero.
The Affair: A Jack Reacher Novel*
Lee Child offers fans a glimpse into Jack Reach’s backstory in this novel, the 16th in the series. Why did Reacher leave the Army? Travel with Child to the small Mississippi town of Carter Crossing in the year 1997 to find out.
Blink of an Eye
William S. Cohen was U.S. Secretary of Defense under President Clinton, giving his novels a disturbing credibility. After Savannah, Georgia is attacked with a nuclear weapon, National Security Advisor Sean Falcone struggles to defuse the call for war against assumed culprit, Iran.
Stephen Coonts introduced readers to Tommy Carmellini in his Jake Grafton novel, Cuba (1999). Tommy, a former burglar now working for the CIA, takes the lead in The Disciple, jumping into action to save the world from Iranian nuclear missiles.
Crescent Dawn: A Dirk Pitt Novel*
Clive Cussler’s latest Dirk Pitt adventure, written with son, Dirk Cussler, finds Pitt and his wife on vacation in Turkey. The two become involved in recovering priceless Roman artifacts and find themselves in opposition to formidable enemies.
Carte Blanche: The New James Bond Novel
Jeffery Deaver is the author of this James Bond adventure which brings 007 into the post–9/11 age, ready to protect the realm at any cost. Deaver deftly incorporates the expected Bond elements. Bond fans will be pleased.
Author Peter T. Deutermann’s private investigator Cam Richter moves to the North Carolina countryside for some peace and quiet, but he soon finds himself the target of a menacing stalker.
Blood of the Reich
Intense action in William Dietrich’s stand-alone thriller moves between 1938 Germany and present-day Seattle. Dietrich is the author of the Ethan Gage historical adventures such as The Barbary Pirates (2010).
Vince Flynn’s character, Mitch Rapp, is set up as the major suspect in the murder of a Libyan diplomat. Now his CIA handlers want him eliminated.
Ken Follett revisits World War II in this suspenseful story of the Danish Resistance group called the Nightwatchmen.
Red Star Rising*
Brian Freemantle’s Charlie Muffin, veteran MI5 agent, is sent to Moscow to investigate the torture and death of a Russian citizen whose corpse was left on British Embassy grounds.
This John Grisham novel will no doubt remind you of his first legal thriller, The Firm. Kyle McAvoy lands a job at the world’s largest law firm just months after graduating from Yale. But representing high-rolling clients was not his first choice – he’s being blackmailed.
David Hagberg’s Kirk McGarvey investigates the murder of his CIA operative son-in-law. McGarvey suspects members of the Friday Club, a group of powerful government officials. Before McGarvey can prove anything, the Friday Club frames him for treason, causing him to go rogue.
Dead Zero: A Bob Lee Swagger Novel*
Stephen Hunter’s aging Bob Lee Swagger (I, Sniper, 2009) is recruited by the FBI to stop Marine Ray Cruz. Cruz was the only member of his team to survive a failed mission to assassinate an Afghan warlord. But Cruz wants to finish the mission, even though the target is now an ally of the U.S.
The Five Greatest Warriors*
In Matthew Reilly’s third novel to feature Australian Outback adventurer Jack West, Jr., Jack and company need to defuse an upcoming celestial disaster. Time is running out and the action just does not stop.
The Delta Solution: An International Thriller*
Patrick Robinson’s Commander (and U.S. Navy SEAL) Mack Bedford (Intercept, 2010) has a new team, the Delta Platoon, formed to take on Mohammed Salat, “the Godfather of the Dark Continent” and the brains behind the Somali Marine pirates. After collecting one ransom the Somali Marines hijack a freighter chartered by an American aid agency.
The Devil Colony: A Sigma Force Novel*
James Rollins’ seventh Sigma Force novel features Painter Crowe and Gray Pierce uncovering a huge conspiracy with connections to Mormonism, Native American legends, and Thomas Jefferson. As usual, Rollins has written an intricate adventure thriller that captures the interest from beginning to end.
Portrait of a Spy*
Daniel Silva’s Gabriel Allon, art restorer, former spy and assassin, is with his wife in London when he witnesses a bombing, the third deadly attack that day. Allon’s inability to intervene haunts him until he accepts the assignment to neutralize the terrorist responsible.
Thick as Thieves
Peter Spiegelman’s stand-alone novel features a complicated con and heist. The team of criminals, led by former CIA agent Carr, includes some characters that seem stereotypical, but readers who enjoy suspense are not likely to complain, the novel is just so well written.
Full Black: A Thriller*
Brad Thor’s best-selling series features Scot Harvath, a former Navy SEAL and counterterrorist super-agent. In his latest thriller, the terrorist threat is worldwide and Horvath must rely on help from the CIA and a paramilitary organization known as the Carlton Group.
The Mullah’s Storm
In this debut novel by Thomas W. Young, a transport plane carrying a high-value prisoner goes down in a blizzard over Afghanistan. The survivors, co-pilot Major Michael Parson and female Pashto interpreter Master Sergeant Gold, must battle the storm, the Taliban, and the wily prisoner for survival and the successful delivery of the prisoner to a Special Forces team.
*part of a series
Other authors whose adventure novels you might enjoy:
Richard A. Clarke
Richard H. Dickinson
Gregory S. Dinallo
John J. Nance
R. J. Pineiro
Daniel H. Wilson
F. Paul Wilson