Skip to main content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
Read our blog! Follow MGHS Library on Instagram Follow MGHS Library on Pinterest Follow MGHS Library on Facebook Follow MGHS Library on Twitter MGHS Library for Teachers MGHS Library Resources MGHS Library Guides MGHS Online Library Catalog MGHS Answers

Defining Genre

Most espionage novels are certainly thrillers.  They keep you on the "edge of your seat" with action and adventure.  What makes them different than the thriller sub-genre novels of suspense?  Generally speaking, the difference is in tone.  Suspense thrillers are darker in tone, evoking a sense of dread in the reader as they follow an unfolding crime.  The tone of adventure espionage is more adventure driven.  Protagonists know their enemy and engage in exciting ways.  Many espionage novels feature well known and loved characters and exist as part of a series.  Look to popular spy movies to better understand this genre of literature: Jason Bourne, James Bond, Sydney Bristow, Jane Smith (Mr. & Mrs. Smith, even Harriet the Spy.  They all started with an espionage novel.

The Classics:

  • Kim by Rudyard Kipling
  • The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad
  • Red Harvest by Dashell Hammett
  • The Quiet American by Graham Green

Modern Literary Novels:

  • Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le Carre
  • The Spy Who Came in from the Cold by John le Carre
  • The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy
  • American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson

Popular Spy Series

  • Alex Rider by Anthony Horowitz
  • Jack Ryan by Marc Cameron
  • The Borne Identity by Robert Ludlum
  • The Agency by Y.S. Lee
  • The Selection series by Siera Cass
  • Etiquette & Espionage Series by Gale Carriger

Library Information and Media Center - Monona Grove High School - Monona, Wisconsin

Answers| Catalog | Guides | Resources | Teachers