by Mike Ripley

    A list of favourite thrillers; for which my only criteria has been personal enjoyment. With gritted teeth I have limited some authors to one title when I could easily have named more, and I have resisted the urge to add in hundreds of titles which fall more easily into the ‘crime’ or ‘mystery’ (or even horror or western) genres.

    This list was inspired by David Vineyard’s survey of thrillers, but is in no way in competition with it.

    If it introduces a new author or title to anyone and they get the same pleasure from reading them that I did, then my work here is done.

Margery Allingham Traitor’s Purse
   — The Tiger in the Smoke
Ted Allbeury The Lantern Network
Eric Ambler Journey into Fear
Desmond Bagley High Citadel
Michael Bar-Zohar The Third Truth
Noel Behn The Shadowboxer
John Bingham The Double Agent
T J Binyon Swan Song
John Blackburn A Ring of Roses
   — Blue Octavo
Wallace Breem Eagle in the Snow
John Buchan The 39 Steps
   — Mr Standfast
Brian Callison A Flock of Ships
Victor Canning The Rainbird Pattern
Lee Child Echo Burning
Francis Clifford Time is an Ambush
   — The Grosvenor Square Goobye
Richard Condon The Manchurian Candidate
   — Winter Kills
Lionel Davidson The Rose of Tibet
   — Kolymsky Heights
Len Deighton The Ipcress File
   — SS-GB
James Dickey To The White Sea
Arthur Conan Doyle Hound of the Baskervilles
David Downing Stettin Station
Clive Egleton The October Plot
Ian Fleming Dr No
Frederick Forsyth Day of the Jackal
Graham Greene Brighton Rock
   — Our Man in Havana
C. S. Forester Brown on Resolution
Dick Francis Odds Against
Donald Freed + Mark Lane Executive Action
Alan Furst Spies of the Balkans
John Gardner The Liquidator
Brian Garfield Kolchak’s Gold
Adam Hall The Berlin Memorandum
Reginald Hill The Spy’s Wife
Jack Higgins The Eagle Has Landed
   — A Game for Heroes (as James Graham)
Geoffrey Household Rogue Male
   — A Rough Shoot
   — Watcher in the Shadows
P.M. Hubbard Flush As May
   — The Holm Oaks
Stephen Hunter Pale Horse Coming
Hammond Innes Wreckers Must Breathe
   — The White South
Geoffrey Jenkins A Twist of Sand
   — River of Diamonds
Thomas Keneally A Victim of the Aurora
Philip Kerr A Quiet Flame
Han Helmut Kirst Night of the Generals
John Lawton Second Violin
John Le Carre Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
   — A Perfect Spy
Ira Levin The Boys from Brazil
Robert Littell The Company
Robert Ludlum The Scarlatti Inheritance
Gavin Lyall Midnight Plus One
George Macbeth A Kind of Treason
Philip MacDonald The List of Adrian Messenger
Helen MacInnes Assignment in Brittany
Alistair MacLean The Satan Bug
   — South by Java Head
   — Ice Station Zebra
Berkeley Mather The Pass Beyond Kashmir
Mark Mills The Information Officer
Aly Monroe The Maze of Cadiz
Tony Pollard The Minutes of the Lazarus Club
Joe Poyer Vengeance 10
Anthony Price Our Man in Camelot
   — The ’44 Vintage
Geoffrey Rose A Clear Road to Archangel
Robert Ryan The Last Sunrise
Gerald Seymour Harry’s Game
George Simpson + Neal Burger Fair Warning
George Sims The Terrible Door
Martin Cruz Smith Tokyo Station
Peter Van Greenaway The Man Who Held the Queen to Ransom
Paul Watkins The Ice Soldier
Dennis Wheatley Forbidden Territory
Alan Williams Snake Water
   — Tale of the Lazy Dog
Andrew Williams The Interrogator

      Mike Ripley,
Colchester, England.