Every year, the Secret Service makes thousands of arrests. Despite their media portrayal as a presidential protection service, their other primary role is investigating financial fraud. Serving as the President’s security detail is one of their most unconventional responsibilities. Why does the Secret Service exist? The Secret Service is one of the country’s oldest government organizations. They were created in 1865 to investigate counterfeit currency, which reportedly comprised a third of all US currency.
However, only three other federal law enforcement agencies deal with crime as a relatively young government. As a result, the Secret Service began acting as a general investigative department and the first espionage and counterespionage agency. This effectively meant they were responsible for everything from foreign spying to tax fraud and illegal gambling.
In 1901, President William McKinley was assassinated. The Secret Service was asked to add “protecting the president” to their list of responsibilities to prevent further presidential deaths. Over time, the Secret Service has delegated some of its duties to newly formed government agencies such as the FBI, IRS, CIA, ATF, and DEA. They maintained their role in disrupting counterfeit currency and presidential protection.
Books on Secret Service feature gripping and fast-paced storylines. They explore high-stakes situations, intricate conspiracies, and dangerous missions, keeping readers engaged. The combination of espionage, action, and suspense creates an exciting reading experience.
10 Books On Secret Service (Spy & Crime Thriller)
Although the Secret Service is currently part of the Department of Homeland Security, they were within the Treasury Department as late as 2003. There have been four assassination attempts and one presidential death in their role as security. The department has come under fire for many problematic incidents in recent years. These included allowing intruders to reach the White House in 2014 and allegedly ordering prostitutes outside the country.
Besides protecting the President, they are also used as security for many potential political targets. The Secret Service is one of the US government’s most variable agencies. In their history, they’ve tackled nearly every type of criminal activity.
Do you want to know more about them? Here, I will talk about ten spy thriller books about Secret Service. They offer behind-the-scenes access to the challenges, risks, and responsibilities of agents who protect high-profile individuals and the nation’s leaders. Let’s go!
1. On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (James Bond Series, Book 11)
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service showcases action, suspense, and international intrigue. It offers readers a thrilling and captivating spy adventure while providing deeper insights into Bond’s character and emotions. The first few passages of the book take place in a non-chronological fashion.
The first chapter is about Bond observing a gorgeous young woman as she steps into the sea with clearly no intention of coming back out again, and Bond saves her. Then, we get some details of the events that led these two people to this point. Bond is entangled in Operation Bedlam, searching for SPECTRE and its leader, Blofeld.
The trial has gone somewhat cold, and Bonds decides he will resign from MI6, which is exciting and very different from why he leaves in the film version. He’s currently in France, where he encounters contested Vicenzo and helps her save face by paying her gambling debts when she recklessly bets in a casino.
After paying Tracy’s debts, the pair slept together and saved Tracy from suicide. The pair are captured, and Bond is taken to the head of the biggest European crime syndicate (Tracy’s father). Mark and Draco believe that Bond marrying Tracy is the only way to prevent her from committing suicide again. So he offers Bond a million pounds to do so. Bond refuses the offer but says that he will date Tracy, which might help with some of her mental health issues.
All the information comes to us very thick and fast. Bond meets Blofeld, second in command, a bunch in charge of a group of beautiful young women treated regarding allergies and irrational fears. You will love how Fleming writes Bond. She’s physically repulsive and has some hilarious lines, and Bond enjoys playing with her.
Bond is so determined to keep his cover and doesn’t come to the aid of his colleague, even though he knows that his colleague will probably be tortured and killed. He understands that this mission is more important than this one man, and hearing his thoughts as he makes these decisions is fantastic.
Author: Ian Fleming
Average Rating: 4.7/5
Category: Spy Thrillers, Mysteries,
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Mass Market Paperback
2. Mossad: The Greatest Missions of the Israeli Secret Service
Mossad needs no introduction. It is one of the world’s most secretive and powerful intelligence agencies. In this book, Michael Bar-Zohar and Nissim Mishal attempt to bring to the forefront some of the Israeli Secret Service’s greatest missions and achievements in their research for this book.
The authors have spoken extensively to many people who concern themselves with Mossad or are connected to Mossad. As a result, they have presented a book, which is a fascinating read on Mossad’s many missions.
The book almost reads like a spy novel. The authors have restrained themselves from giving too much technical information to compel readers. The stories are often narrated in a movie style, facilitating visualization and imagination.
The book is divided into chapters, each reading like a standalone story covering a particular mission. But putting the book down after each chapter is still challenging because it is so compelling when you get down to read it. So many stories appear skeptical, but the authors assure you they’re all accurate and true.
Mossad enigma and Aura as an intelligence agency grow as the book progresses. Some of the most famous and dangerous missions of the Israeli secret services, covered in this book, are the captain of the infamous Nazi criminal Adolf Eichmann’s eradication of Black September.
Mossad establishes itself not as a formidable agency in the mind of this book’s readers but also as an agency that commands respect for its duties. Their missions concern the protection and service of the Israeli nation and the greater good of the Jews worldwide. Its successful attempts to rescue thousands and thousands of Jews from perpetually hostile countries and bring them to the Promised Land of Israel. It is one of the best secret service books I have ever read.
Author: Michael Bar-Zohar
Average Rating: 4.5/5
Category: Espionage True Crime, Israel & Palestine History
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Audio CD
3. Crisis of Character: A White House Secret Service Officer Discloses His Firsthand Experience with Hillary, Bill, and How They Operate
Crisis of Character is about Brian’s work as a Secret Service officer for the White House and what he witnessed while the Clintons were there. There are many things that this author implies happened based on the limited things that this author witnessed.
Even if 100 percent of the book is true, it’s still not that great or exciting for Hillary Clinton. All this book has to say is that she was rude and mean to her staff occasionally. She got in a fight with Bill Clinton and broke a vase one time. All this book has to say about Hillary is that she fought with Bill a lot.
What difference at this point does it make? Most of this book is the author bitching about how the Clintons and their staff made it very difficult for the Secret Service to protect them and how they were mean to the Secret Service. But the reality is that being a Secret Service agent is a job. It isn’t easy, but it’s a job at the end of the day. You aren’t being coerced into it or forced into it, and you could have quit at any particular time if you didn’t like it.
Interestingly, this book is about the author’s involvement in the Lewinsky scandal and how Monica manipulated her way to get closer to the bill. So to look back and to see what was happening is pretty interesting. The author was subpoenaed six times in the investigation and had difficulty cooperating with the investigators while not revealing confidential information.
This book doesn’t have a lot of juicy Clinton gossip you haven’t heard. The last third has nothing to do with the Clintons and is about the author joining the air marshals.
Author: Gary J. Byrne
Average Rating: 4.1/5
Category: United States Executive Government, Political Corruption & Misconduct
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle
4. The Spy Who Came In from the Cold
The Spy Who Came In from the Cold is a great book exploring what was happening in the middle of the 20th century during the Cold War and the political ramifications. What does being a nation with a secret or spy service mean? It continues the description of the Berlin Wall, which was written right in the immediate aftermath of the Berlin Wall.
There was only one light in the checkpoint, a reading lamp with a green shade, but the glow of the arc lights like artificial moonlight filled the cabin. Darkness had fallen, and with its silence, they spoke as if they feared being overheard.
Leamas went to the window and waited for the road and either side of the wall before him. It is not James Bond jumping all over the place, but there are tense sequences. There are action sequences in this, but there’s the humanity of Leamas, this secret agent who came in from the cold.
So after the disaster that the book begins with, he is brought in and asked. We don’t know the whole mission, and that part of the novel’s beauty is that we see them as having these interactions back in Britain and London. The book shows you the pain and violence during the Cold War. Also, it reveals the humanity underneath all of that.
Author: John le Carré
Average Rating: 4.5/5
Category: International Mystery & Crime, Espionage Thrillers
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle
5. Eye of the Needle
Eye of the Needle will give you a quick summary of World War Two. It started in 1940, and then it jumped to 1944. The story is based on a Nazi secret agent or spy who is entrenched in wartime England, and his name is Faber. But his codename is “The Needle.”
The other perspectives in the book are of the two MI5 agents on his tail for the book’s entirety. Then a young woman named Lucy lives on an island off the coast of Scotland with her young son and her husband, a sheep farmer who used to be a RAAF pilot. So that’s the premise. You will see the impact of a secret service through an intelligent spy that seems unbelievable.
Author: Ken Follett
Average Rating: 4.6/5
Category: Espionage Thrillers, War & Military Fiction
Available: Audiobook | Paperback | Hardcover | Kindle | Mass Market Paperback
6. The Secrets of the Secret Service by Gary J. Byrne and Grant M. Schmidt
The Secrets of the Secret Service provides a unique insider’s perspective on the workings of the Secret Service. Gary, a former Secret Service agent, offers firsthand stories and anecdotes that shed light on the agency’s history, operations, and challenges. The book focuses on the complexities of protecting the President and explores the sacrifices and dedication required of agents.
7. In the President’s Secret Service: Behind the Scenes with Agents in the Line of Fire and the Presidents They Protect by Ronald Kessler
Ronald Kessler, an investigative journalist, provides a captivating and comprehensive look at the Secret Service’s role in protecting the President of the United States. Kessler explores the challenges, triumphs, and controversies surrounding the agency. The book offers fascinating insights into the high-stakes world of presidential protection and provides readers with a greater understanding of the Secret Service’s vital mission.
8. The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents by Ronald Kessler
In “The First Family Detail,” Ronald Kessler goes beyond the security aspect to show the personal lives and behaviors of U.S. Presidents and their families. Through interviews with former agents, he uncovers little-known anecdotes and reveals the behind-the-scenes realities of the Secret Service’s interactions with presidents, their spouses, and their children. The book offers an intriguing glimpse into the private lives of the nation’s leaders and the challenges those tasked with protecting them face.
9. Secret Service Dogs: The Heroes Who Protect the President of the United States by Maria Goodavage
Secret Service Dogs highlights the vital role of highly trained dogs in the Secret Service’s protective operations. Maria takes readers on a captivating journey into the lives of these extraordinary canines and their dedicated handlers. The book showcases these canine heroes’ courage, intelligence, and unwavering loyalty through heartwarming and suspenseful stories. It is a must-read for dog lovers and those interested in the unique partnership between dogs and their human counterparts in the Secret Service.
10. Code Name: Johnny Walker: The Extraordinary Story of the Iraqi by Johnny Walker and Jim DeFelice
Code Name tells the gripping and inspiring story of an Iraqi interpreter who worked alongside U.S. Navy SEALs during the Iraq War. The book offers a unique perspective on the collaboration between different branches of U.S. security forces. Johnny Walker’s experiences shed light on the complexities of intelligence gathering, risk assessment, and the critical role of trust in such operations.
Modern Spy Novels
Modern spy novels cover thrilling and suspenseful stories set in the contemporary world of espionage and intelligence. These novels feature complex plots, high-stakes missions, and morally ambiguous characters. Here are some examples of modern spy novels:
The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John le Carré: This classic novel remains a benchmark for modern spy fiction. Set during the Cold War, it tells the story of a British spy tasked with infiltrating East Germany.
The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum: The first in a series of gripping spy thrillers, “The Bourne Identity” introduces a man suffering from amnesia who discovers he has deadly skills and a mysterious past. The novel has spawned a successful franchise of books and movies.
I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes: This fast-paced and intricately plotted novel follows a former intelligence operative, “Pilgrim,” who is drawn out of retirement to track down a dangerous terrorist planning a devastating attack on the United States.
Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews: This gripping story focuses on a Russian intelligence officer who is trained as a “Sparrow,” a seductress who uses her skills to extract information. He becomes involved in a high-stakes game of deception and betrayal.
The English Spy by Daniel Silva: This novel combines espionage, political intrigue, and international terrorism. The story follows an Israeli intelligence officer and art restorer as he hunts down a ruthless assassin.
Non-fiction Books On Secret Service
The Secrets of the FBI by Ronald Kessler: This book follows a renowned investigative journalist, showing the workings of the FBI, including its collaborations and interactions with the Secret Service.
Within Arm’s Length: A Secret Service Agent’s Definitive Inside Account of Protecting the President by Dan Emmett: In this memoir, Dan Emmett shares his experiences as a Secret Service agent, providing insights into the rigorous training, challenges, and responsibilities involved in protecting the President of the United States.
Zero Fail: The Rise and Fall of the Secret Service by Carol Leonnig: This investigative work by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Carol Leonnig provides a comprehensive examination of the Secret Service, its history, and notable incidents, shedding light on the challenges the agency has faced.
Fiction Books On Secret Service
Absolute Power by David Baldacci: This fast-paced thriller follows a burglar who witnesses a murder committed by the President of the United States. He becomes the target of a cover-up orchestrated by the Secret Service and relies on his wits to survive.
Protect and Defend by Vince Flynn: Part of the Mitch Rapp series; this novel features the CIA counterterrorism operative as he teams up with the Secret Service to uncover a conspiracy targeting the President and a potential nuclear threat.
American Assassin by Vince Flynn: In this prequel to the Mitch Rapp series, the story revolves around Rapp’s recruitment into the CIA and his training under a former U.S. Navy SEAL. The Secret Service plays a role in protecting high-profile targets throughout the narrative.
These books touch upon political and social themes, providing commentary on power, corruption, loyalty, and security in contemporary society. Through these stories, you can better understand the complexities and ethical dilemmas inherent in espionage and national security.
More Spy Thriller Books:
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