Rachel McLean

– Thrillers That Make You Think

Book Recommendations: Political Thrillers

Welcome to the first in a new series of posts on this blog. Every couple of weeks or so, I’m going to post a short list of books I think readers will enjoy.

Each post will have its own theme and they’ll generally be related to what I’m writing about, my existing books and what I’m reading right now.

This post’s theme is political thrillers. Below are some books I think you’ll enjoy if you like political intrigue.

House of Cards by Michael Dobbs

House of Cards book coverThe book that spawned the hugely successful Netflix series, not to mention the BBC series before that.

It takes you back to the 1980s and the Thatcher years, even though it’s set in its own universe with no mention of the Iron Lady herself. Great if you like some political backstabbing.

Politics, intrigue and passion in the corridors of power.

Chief Whip Francis Urquhart has his hand on every secret in politics – and is willing to betray them all to become prime minister.

Mattie Storin is a tenacious young political correspondent. She faces the biggest challenge of her life when she stumbles upon a scandalous web of intrigue and financial corruption at the very highest levels. She is determined to reveal the truth, but she must risk everything to do so…

Buy: Amazon US, Amazon UK

To Kill the President by Sam Bourne

The most click-baity title in recent publishing history. A fast-paced page-turner with a clever twist.

The unthinkable has happened…

The United States has elected a volatile demagogue as president, backed by his ruthless chief strategist, Crawford ‘Mac’ McNamara.

When a war of words with the North Korean regime spirals out of control and the President comes perilously close to launching a nuclear attack, it’s clear someone has to act, or the world will be reduced to ashes.

Soon Maggie Costello, a seasoned Washington operator and stubbornly principled, discovers an inside plot to kill the President – and faces the ultimate moral dilemma. Should she save the President and leave the free world at the mercy of an increasingly crazed would-be tyrant – or commit treason against her Commander in Chief and risk plunging the country into a civil war?

Buy: Amazon US, Amazon UK

The Ghost by Robert Harris

Robert Harris is one of my favourite authors of political thrillers. This one takes a different tack from most of his books, following a politician through the lens of the writer employed to ghost-write his memoir.

‘The moment I heard how McAra died I should have walked away. I can see that now…’

The narrator of Robert Harris’s gripping novel is a professional ghostwriter – cynical, mercenary, and with a nice line in deadpan humour. Accustomed to working with fading rock stars and minor celebrities, he jumps at the chance to ghost the memoirs of Britain’s former prime minister, especially as it means flying to the American resort of Martha’s Vineyard in the middle of winter and finishing the book in the seclusion of a luxurious house.

But it doesn’t take him long to realise he has made a terrible mistake. His predecessor on the project died in circumstances that were distinctly suspicious, and the ex-prime minister turns out to be a man with secrets in his past that are returning to haunt him – secrets with the power to kill.

Buy: Amazon US, Amazon UK

So those are my recommendations for political thrillers. Do you have any recommendations you can add to the list? Please add them in the comments!


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