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Best spy book

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Initial post: Jan 6, 2010 6:09:45 PM PST
The Guys Who Spied For China
Midwest Review of Books says this in their January issue:

A growing power, China has placed eyes all over the world. "The Guys Who Spied for China" tells the story of two gentlemen who uncover some of these eyes for China in the United States, in their home state of California. Inspired by true events, and colored by author Gordon Basichis' dark humor, "The Guys Who Spied for China" is an intriguing and entertaining read. "The Guys Who Spied for China" is a worthwhile investment for spy fiction fans.

In reply to an earlier post on Feb 22, 2010 5:19:33 AM PST
See the reviews of my book, "Edge of Allegiance" on amazon. A number of the reviewers say that mine is the best spy book ever written.

Posted on Mar 2, 2010 10:58:55 PM PST
Jan says:
The Guys Who Spied For China
"The Guys Who Spied for China" by Gordon Basichis

Posted on Mar 3, 2010 4:51:55 AM PST
I highly recommend the following books...

1) Secret Service: British Agents in France, 1792-1815 (Modern History)

This may well be the magnum opus of books on espionage during the Napoleonic Wars.

2) SECRET WARS: One Hundred Years of British Intelligence Inside MI5 and MI6 -- Gordon Thomas

3) Security and Special Operations: SOE and MI5 During the Second World War (Hardcover) ~ Christopher J. Murphy

"... offers the first comprehensive history of the Security Section of the Special Operations Executive and its relationship with MI5 during the Second World War. The book makes extensive use of recently declassified files in order to examine the development of liaison between the two organizations. It explores SOE's involvement with MI5's double cross operations and offers a fresh perspective on both the 'Englandspiel' disaster in Holland and the case of the notorious agent Henri Dericourt."

4) SPIES OF THE FIRST WORLD WAR: Under Cover for King and Kaiser - James Morton
ISBN: 1905615469

Publication Release slated for April 1, 2010

The author "tells the story of organized espionage in Britain from spy fever early in the 20th century to the end of the First World War and the rise of air intelligence. He introduces a world of colorful characters and dark underhand dealing in which spies, male and female, driven by love, money, patriotism or a mix of them all, struggled to survive.

"The first English officer amateur spies are featured along with their frequently flamboyant French, Belgian and German counterparts - from hunchback dentist Wilhelm Klauer to the Grande (and lesser) horizontales such as Mata Hari. So too are their controllers such as authors John Buchan and Somerset Maugham and men like Richard Tinsley who oversaw a network of some 2000 spies from Holland. As professionalism grew great successes emerged - not least the deciphering of the intercepted Zimmerman telegram - along with notable failures. Morton tackles both in a meticulously researched narrative that balances the history of espionage with the human stories of individuals and tales of heroism with cowardice, incompetence and betrayal."

5) SPIES IN ARABIA: The Great War and the Cultural Foundations of Britain's Covert Empire in the Middle East ~ Priya Satia

ISBN: 0195331419 (hardcover)

Posted on Mar 7, 2010 11:57:06 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 7, 2010 12:01:42 PM PST
For readers seeking a history of American espionage and the CIA, get hold of the biography of Ellenor Dulles and her brothers, Allen and John-Foster: "The Witness Tree" by Brendan Howley and John Loftus.

For readers seeking a history of Soviet espionage conducted in America under the watchful eye (none dare call it collusion) of the CIA and FBI, read "Murder By Madness 9/11" by Rachel Verdon.
We need to take a new look at Arthur Andersen's mission to Moscow beginning with LBJ and Richard Nixon's Detente with the Fortune 500.

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 8, 2010 5:15:05 AM PST
THE HUNT FOR NAZI SPIES: Fighting Espionage in Vichy France - Simon Kitson

This fantastic book "uncovers a puzzling paradox: a French government that was hunting down left-wing activists and supporters of Charles de Gaulle's Free French forces was also working to undermine the influence of German spies who were pursuing the same Gaullists and resisters. In light of this apparent contradiction, Kitson does not deny that Vichy France was committed to assisting the Nazi cause, but illuminates the complex agendas that characterized the collaboration and shows how it was possible to be both anti-German and anti-Gaullist."

The greatest value that this book has is that it sheds light on an aspect of espionage during the Second World War, which, until the 1990s, was largely unknown.

Posted on Mar 15, 2010 10:42:54 AM PDT
I thank the previous posters and will check out some of the titles that may interest me. Likewise, I have morphed from the cozy mystery to Beijing to Boston espionage thriller. Using my training in Chinese language and studies, and my expericenc working for the National Security Agecny....I penned THE COLOR of is a different kind of spy thriller, and invite you to check it out on AMAZON or through my website,

Thanks for the info and your interest!

Posted on Mar 22, 2010 6:33:15 AM PDT
Thomas says:
I am one of the authors of an espionage book, BETRAYAL: Clinton, Castro & the Cuban Five. Is it the best espionage book? That would be a bit over the top, although we seem to spend a lot of time in Amazon's Top 50 bestsellers in the espionage category.

Whereas most spy books are novels, however, ours is true. It only took 13 years of research and 2 years to write -- the proof is in the pudding and the story is extraordinary.

Thanks for checking it out and happy reading!

Posted on May 12, 2010 9:13:26 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 12, 2010 9:18:26 PM PDT
Sugafoot says:
I'm a huge spy aficionado. And when I think of best spy books I think the best epic spy novel is, The Company, by Littell about the CIA from 1948-1991.

The greatest epic spy history is, Hitler's Spies: German military intelligence in WWII by Kahn, after you read it you will feel like you could walk into Eisenhower's or Gen. Tommy Frank's S-2 shops before the Overlord and Iraq invasions and act as a competent military intelligence officer its that instructive and is on the recommended reading list at military intelligence schools.

The most revelatory book written by a whistle blower is called, Stakeknife, by Martin Ingram, which describes how British intelligence in its war with the IRA allowed its agents to commit murder. An example they gave intelligence dossiers full of targeting information to Protestant terrorists who then assassinated IRA members and sympathizers. Trust me I've read hundreds of books on intelligence and spent countless hours picking the brains of retired intelligence officers, so I thought I knew in theory how deviously the game could be played until I read Stakeknife its absolutely revelatory. Shows a whole new demention to the game that even my retired intelligence officers friends admit they never fully comprehended.

In reply to an earlier post on May 13, 2010 5:38:11 PM PDT
I will look into this one. It may dovetail nicely with my popular selling The Color of Ice, which is a different type of Sino American spy plot...with the action taking place a hidden laboratory just south of Boston.

Posted on May 20, 2010 3:31:25 PM PDT
Shawn Brady says:
Confirmed or Denied This book was written by a guy who worked in the Intelligence Community for 47 years. This is much more than just a story. Read the reviews and take a look. Shawn

Posted on May 23, 2010 9:43:33 AM PDT
Shawn Brady says:
[[ASIN:1438913338 Confirmed or Denied]
This story takes place within the United States Intelligence Community. It involves the NSA, the NPIC, the CIA, the White House, Security Council and the U.S. Military and their combined efforts to resolve a major new crisis never before seen. It is not the classic espionage or murder mystery so often associated with the Intelligence Community or one of the numerous unrealistic stories written about it. This threat is new and must be handled by the very best people the Community has to offer using the spy craft tools available to them. It is about these people--your wife or husband, relative, neighbor or friend who are dedicated to defend their Country and who serve in necessary obscurity while carrying such a heavy responsibility. People with dignity and honor who are often sacrificed by political decisions and unable to speak out! And it deals with the all too common security leak and how the press may deal with balancing the public's right to know verses disclosing delicate, sensitive intelligence. The World is a dangerous place and must change how countries and people interact with each other.
This threat inadvertently brings the U.S. and China together to negotiate, if possible, a peaceful end to a very real and dangerous situation concerning World peace. As the story unfolds it gives the reader a view of the Intelligence Community and China seldom ever seen. In addition, it reflects a view on the complex issues concerning U.S. relationships between friend and adversary alike.
It is about the seasoned intelligence officers and the new, highly educated young people who are being recruited and hired to replace them. It shows the mentoring of these future intelligence officers and what they teach each other as the on-the-job process unfolds. And while the World may be on the brink of a terrible disaster, life goes on in ignorance as the professional intelligence officers carry out their sworn duties.
The story unfolds in 1993 when a young man is hired by the National Photographic Interpretation Center, now known as the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), and assigned to a seasoned photographic analyst to mentor him in the art of turning photographic data into intelligence. The mentor is at the end of his career, and has never taken the time to prepare for life after retirement. They become close friends as the young analyst tries to help his mentor cope with his life of lost opportunities. Soon after his mentor's retirement, this young interpreter finds something in China that defies logic. His mentor returns to help him in this most important and difficult task. Due to the mentor's past experience and his contacts throughout the intelligence community, the process of resolution begins thrusting this young man into the very highest levels of government and interaction with analysts like him at other agencies. It is through this interaction that he finds the love of his life. As they discuss how to proceed, the mentor reflects back to similar experiences he has played a part in resolving. Our young analyst sees the very best and worst in how the government deals with critical security issues.
This book, while a work of fiction, will give the reader a different view on how the Intelligence Community may function and how its dedicated people carry out their assigned duties. This in contrast to the numerous stories written by those who may have never had such experiences.
Bio: The author has 45 years experience in the U.S. Intelligence Community. During this period he has held a variety of positions ranging from analyst to managing high priority national targets vital to America's security. He has briefed his areas of responsibity to senior U.S. government officials including National Security Council members, various Directors of Central Intelligence (DCI), and a cross section of Pentagon officials including Secretaries of Defense. He has received numerous awards including the prestigious National Intelligence Medal of Achievement given to him by the then DCI, now Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.
This is the authors' first book.
All statements of fact, opinion, or analysis expressed are those of the author and do not reflect the official positions or views of the CIA or any other U.S. Government agency. Nothing in the contents should be construed as asserting or implying U.S. Government authentication of information or Agency endorsement of the author's views. This material has been reviewed by the CIA to prevent the disclosure of classified information.

Posted on May 26, 2010 8:19:19 PM PDT
BookStore says:
By far the best spy novel is "The Bourne Identity" by Robert Ludlum. Now, if you only saw the movie you don't qualify to judge because they changed just about everything that could be changed. Bourne's character, Marie's character and what a shame it was. But the book will hold you from the moment you start reading until you've finished it completely. It's one of those, now stop action, intrique, suspense and mystery all rolled into one.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 7, 2010 8:53:41 AM PDT
J. D. Pruett says:
Mr. Murphy's "Edge of Allegiance may not be the absolute best spy book ever written, but it stands comparison with le Carre's "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" and Alan Furst's "Night Soldiers", which I regard as the gold standard in the field.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 16, 2010 8:56:22 AM PDT
Peter DeMars says:
I read The Bourne Identity before the movie came out. The movie is an example of one of those rare instances where the movie is better than the book--and I don't mean just a little better. The movie is much better than the book. So is virtually every book written by John Le Carre.

Posted on Jun 23, 2010 6:56:55 AM PDT
Red Lightning is a historical espionage that is set in the early 90's and is my first novel to be published. Here is a brief synposis:

Thomas Burch is an aging CIA agent preparing for retirement in late 1992, when he is selected to head an "unofficial" mission to Europe, a mission that must remain a secret from the world and the newly elected President.

With the Soviet Union having just collapsed and split into multiple countries, there is a growing fear that non-conventional weapons will fall into the wrong hands. Tom's mission is to gather intel and monitor for any sign of such weapons coming onto the black market. Being an "unofficial" mission, the legal restraints that apply to the CIA will not apply to Tom's group.

Tom leads a small group to Europe, and they are just starting to settle into place, when a rumor surfaces of a major Soviet Weapon for sale. Knowing his group is not ready, Tom still orders his team to investigate the rumor and three of his agents are caught by the remnants of the KGB. With the mission apparently falling apart, Tom orders a rescue attempt; an attempt that will either succeed or doom his mission before it even begins.

Posted on Dec 22, 2010 1:42:19 PM PST
a recent addition to espionage historic literature
Enemy Amongst Trojans: A Soviet Spy at USC

Posted on Mar 5, 2011 3:01:19 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Mar 5, 2011 3:10:04 PM PST
In fiction, a second vote for Alan Furst's Night Soldiers, as well as most everything else he has written. Special mention: Charles McCarry, W.T. Tyler. Le Carre at his best is magnificent (The Spy Who Came in From the Cold probably tops Night Soldiers- but they are very different books) but, unlike Furst, he is too uneven, and got far too wordy and occasionally preachy in his later books. Len Deighton also runs the gamut, even within the Harry Palmer series: Funeral in Berlin is top notch, Billion Dollar Brain is a disaster. But his SS-GB is a must. And out of left field, a science fiction piece, Wasp, by Eric Frank Russell. It's about a human agent secretly conducting psyops in an alien culture, and it's both a textbook on the method and a ride to boot.

Posted on Apr 9, 2011 6:09:57 AM PDT
DavidT says:
#20 on the Amazon Kindle Bestseller List,
#2 in Spy Stories and Tales of Intrigue

My international espionage thriller, Trojan Horse, is a love story wrapped around a thriller about an investment banker who falls for an exotic spy and then teams up with her to stop a Muslim internet terrorist plot to cripple the world's oil capacity. I hope you'll try it.

And I just released The Gravy Train, a novella about a young investment banker who helps an aging Chairman try to buy his company back while the Wall Street sharks who drove it into bankruptcy do all they can to stop them so the sharks can carve it up for themselves.

Both are $0.99
Trojan Horse
The Gravy Train

Posted on Sep 29, 2011 8:20:07 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 1, 2011 5:25:40 AM PDT,0,7510226.story?page=1&fact=rss

This is a novel (still only available in France) of a British-trained spy and underground resistance fighter in WWII.

Posted on Sep 29, 2011 9:16:32 AM PDT
The novel, The Color of Ice is now getting wide attention about a Beijing to Boston spy drama. It is now a feature film screenplay....Buy it on Amazon or Publisher site in New England,

Posted on Feb 19, 2013 5:51:20 PM PST
mavis says:
China Cyber Attacks and Technology Theft
Feb 20, 2013 - 1:00 am

Gordon Basichis` roman a clef, The Guys Who Spied for China (Minstrel's Alley) lays out the origins of Chinese Espionage here in the United States, beginning in the 1980s. It provides great context for what we are seeing today with the Chinese Cyber Attacks on US business and government. A hot topic when Basichis lived and wrote the book, it is increasingly causing alarm at the highest levels of government and industry. See today's article, US READY TO STRIKE BACK AGAINST CHINA CYBERATTACKS by Lolita Baldor:[[ASIN:B002VECTDO The Guys Who Spied for China]]

Posted on Aug 8, 2013 8:31:41 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Aug 8, 2013 8:32:34 AM PDT
MJR reader says:
Speaking of spy novels...

"Buzzers" by Maurice Jay Rosaler is an edge of your seat thriller spanning thirty years of undercover espionage alternating between the former Soviet Union and modern day America.

Trained in the elite KGB Red Banner Institute in Moscow Pavel and Tatiana are brought together and inserted into the United States as Paul and Terri Armstong. In America they live their lives as a typical American couple but with a secret. Every Tuesday night from 11:00 to midnight they listen to a shortwave radio transmission from deep within Russia. And for almost 30 years all they have heard is the uninterrupted buzz of the radio station, 25 beats a minute.

Then one night with three minutes left before midnight Terri and Paul hear a voice they never thought they would hear. A voice in Russian giving the signal to set into motion their deadly assignment.

But can they after three decades follow orders and implement a lethal plan that will cause untold fatalities? Can they erase the previous 30 years in America and revert to the young ideologues they were when they were first inserted into America from Cuba?

Forced together by the KGB against their wills Terri and Paul have had a rocky relationship. If not for their secret they would have left each other years ago. Now that the buzzing has stopped can they become a couple and overcome the forces aligned against them?

Like the best of John Le Carre, Frederick Forsyth, Ken Follett, Nelson DeMille and Dan Brown "Buzzers" is a bullet train of a ride as Paul and Terri journey from Leningrad to Moscow; Cuba to Grenada to Martinique; Miami to Los Angeles and points beyond.

Starting on the American Bicentennial and straddling the years through the fall of the Soviet Empire to the rise of Petrol Politics, based on real facts, written by a former government agent, "Buzzers" is a page turner you won't want to put down and which you will never forget.

"Buzzers" is currently available exclusively for the Kindle on

Posted on Aug 8, 2013 9:36:11 AM PDT
The China US contemporary spy novel, THE COLOR of ICE, set in Boston, is now banned in CHINA. The thrilling espionage story with its twists and turns, cuts to a sensitive subject...racial warfare....
Available on AMAZON and now being pitched as feature film script to courageous film makers!
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Discussion in:  Espionage forum
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Total posts:  24
Initial post:  Jan 6, 2010
Latest post:  Aug 8, 2013

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