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What to Read Next After Damascus Station

Posted on 13th February 2023 by Mark Skinner

A spy thriller with real authenticity due to its author's previous career as a CIA operative, Damascus Station has proven to be a phenomenal word-of-mouth hit since its publication in January. With its riveting story of forbidden love, high-profile assassination and conflicted loyalties set in Assad's Syria, it's had readers racing through the pages to reach its spectacular conclusion. So whether you've already polished the novel off or are only just giving in to temptation, you're going to need a selection of other great espionage yarns to scratch the secret agent itch. From genre-defining classics to contemporary bestsellers, these gripping works are for your eyes only. 

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Interrogating the notion of the archetypal secret agent in what is arguably the quintessential espionage novel, le Carre builds an intricate and multi-faceted portrayal of a man of seemingly limitless talent dogged by the hurt and insecurity of a dark past.
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The bestselling opening volume of Herron’s flinty and sardonic spy series, Slow Horses introduces the reader to Jackson Lamb and the hapless inhabitants of Slough House, a haven for washed-up spooks with something to prove.
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Mixing escapist action in exotic locales with a complex plot involving cipher machines, double cross and, naturally, a beautiful female spy, From Russia With Love is vintage Bond from start to finish.

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A truly exceptional spy thriller that makes brilliant use of its Paris setting, Alfon's race-against-time page-turner revolves around the abduction of two young Israelis who arrived in the French capital on the same flight.
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A compelling spy thriller in the grand tradition of John le Carré and Robert Harris, Worrall's nerve-jangling tale revolves around four key players in the Cold War and a lethally dangerous chess tournament in the London of 1961.
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With characteristic Edwardian pluck and resolve two amateur sailors foil a German plot to invade the British Isles in this ridiculously entertaining spy caper which birthed the modern espionage thriller.
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The high-octane thriller that kick-started a successful movie franchise, The Bourne Identity features a man with no memory, a pack of redoubtable assassins and a code that leads to a fortune.
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From the author of A Double Life comes a poignant and captivating fictional reconstruction of one of the most important relationships of interwar espionage history - that between Kim Philby and Edith Tudor-Hart, the woman who introduced him to his Soviet handler.
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Crisscrossing between the fall of the Berlin Wall and the present day, Box 88 is a chilling depiction of every secret agent’s worst nightmare – when your past comes back to threaten those you love.
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An intelligent and utterly original take on a Cold War espionage thriller, American Spy charts the path of a talented young black FBI agent, sent on a mission to spy and seduce a charismatic leader.
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Comfortingly old fashioned yet still tremendously exciting, Buchan’s breakneck dash up the British Isles takes in mistaken identity, fifth columnists and deliciously obscure code words with unputdownable aplomb.
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Pitched mid-way between the gritty realism of le Carré and the cliffhanging glamour of Fleming, Deighton's iconic 60s spy story sets a working-class spook tracing the kidnap of a high-ranking scientist to the other side of the world.
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Rooted in Maugham's own experiences of spycraft during the First World War, Ashenden follows the eponymous agents' adventures in espionage with copious wit and gentle suspense.
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A literary thriller about the forbidden thrill of literature, Prescott’s astonishing debut sees a duo of CIA typists attempt to smuggle Pasternak’s Doctor Zhivago back into Soviet Russia.
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Blending pulse-quickening spy escapades with rich and intelligent detail on Europe on the brink of the Second World War, Furst's acclaimed novel tracks a disillusioned Bulgarian's career as a Soviet agent in Catalonia and Paris.
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Skilfully combining a searching examination of European corruption with a pulsating quest to uncover the eponymous enigma, The Mask of Dimitrios is the finest of Ambler’s seminal inter-war espionage thrillers.
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Perfectly capturing a decadent, exotic Cuba pre-Castro, Our Man in Havana is a mercilessly ironic satire of spying that finds a vacuum cleaner salesman passing on confected intelligence to the British.
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The ultimate ‘man-on-the-run’ story, Rogue Male’s account of a would-be assassin desperately trying to stay alive is so raw and full-blooded you can practically taste the blood and sweat pouring off the page.
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A dazzling literary thriller and insightful character study from the author of Any Human Heart, Restless explores both the wartime adventures and peacetime intrigues of Russian émigré Eva Delectorskaya.
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A mature and penetrating examination of the Cold War and how the machinations of superpowers and shadowy elites impact everyday lives, Dunmore's bravura novel sees secrets and suspicions inveigle their way into a typical domestic relationship with profound and shocking consequences.
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With a narrative like a tightly coiled spring and a structure that piles on the tension with every chapter, Forsyth’s speculative thriller about the potential assassination of Charles de Gaulle continues to set pulses racing.
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