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You don’t have to be former military to enjoy a Tom Clancy book. You just have to like flipping pages as quickly as you read; getting attached to an unlikely (and bloody) hero; and holding your breath as you try to figure out how he’ll survive. Finding authors like Tom Clancy is challenging.
Since my first Clancy book (Patriot Games, 1987), I’ll own to having a slight fancy for the main character, Jack Ryan. I’ve gone through many more since then and I’ve enjoyed them.
That doesn’t mean I’m not always on the lookout for good techno-thrillers by others. These are a few suggestions for what authors are similar to Tom Clancy:
Image Source: The Bookshop
Craig Thomas is a former schoolteacher who many feel was the originator of the techno-thriller genre, not Clancy. His books are mainly Cold War Era based, and might feel a little dated- but still a great read.
Book Recommend: ‘Firefox’ (1977)
‘Firefox’ is the codename for a fictional MiG-31 that is undetectable, super fast and has thought-impulse firing. Of course it’s Russian and of course the CIA and MI6 plan on stealing it. The only problem? The only pilot (Mitchell Gant) who’s able to fly it is heading toward a breakdown.
Image Source: Crime and Publishing
Frederick Forsyth was an RAF pilot and a journalist before he began writing novels. He’s considered ‘the thinking reader’s techno-thriller’ author because of his in-depth and highly detailed research included in his books.
Book Recommend: ‘The Cobra’ (2010)
“Give me $2bn, an island in the Atlantic, a crack squad of US Navy Seals and UK SAS, two warships, a former Brazilian fighter ace, the world’s best computer hacker and my old mucker, Cal Dexter, then it can be done.” –Paul Deveraux
Former CIA director Paul Deveraux gets called out of retirement to stop the cocaine trade. He’s given ‘any means necessary’ leeway to get it done. He works through cocaine interceptions; shoot downs of carriers; and threats to dirty officials. He doesn’t stop- even when he’s ordered to.
Image Source: Blandmine
“Now, I know what you’re thinking: Matthew Reilly books aren’t exactly known for their character development. Hey, one reviewer once said that the characters in my books don’t live long enough to warrant any development.” –Matthew Reilly
This driven Australian writer self-published his first book before getting picked up by a publisher. His main character, Shane ‘Scarecrow’ Schofield, is a commander of a marine recon unit with courage and cajones under duress. Action with a touch of sci-fi.
Book Recommend: ‘Ice Station’ (1998)
Shane Schofield and his Marine recon unit answer a distress call from a science station based in Antarctica. They aren’t the only ones as the station becomes a deadly international playground of intrigue, assassination attempts and a mysterious ship that everyone’s after.
Tom Avitabile is a writer/director/producer and has worked with the House Committee on Science and Technology. His thrillers are known for being informative about military and technology, without alienating the reader or slowing the suspense.
Book Recommend: ‘The Eighth Day’ (2008)
“Our politicians had moved this undiminished nuclear threat to the back burners of America’s collective consciousness, primarily by negotiating away atmospheric and below-ground testing. It was good public relations but it did nothing to reduce the stockpile of overkill both nations stored away like dangerous nuts for a nuclear winter.” –Tom Avitabile, The Eighth Day
An explosion kicks off a manhunt for terrorists who are tech-savvy. William ‘Wild Bill’ Hiccock is the Science Advisor to the President, and he’s called in to create the team to investigate- and to prevent more attacks.
Jack Higgins aka Harry Patterson
Image Source: Goodreads
Jack Higgins is from Jersey in the Channels and was once a teacher. His books are more historical techno-thrillers and he tends to add interesting surprise twists via ‘false document.’
Book Recommend: ‘The Eagle Has Landed’ (1975)
“Words become meaningless, the mind cuts itself off from reality for a little while, a necessary breathing space until one is ready to cope.” –Jack Higgins, The Eagle Has Landed
A German commando unit is secretly sent to England to kidnap Winston Churchill while he’s on holiday in Norfolk. The book primarily focuses on the planning and execution of the op, with the disgraced Lieutenant Colonel Kurt Steiner as the leader.
Have you read any of these? What did you think? Do you have any to add to our list?
Let us know in the comments below!
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