Corruption, coups and conspiracies – our favourite political thrillers

The politics pages are currently brimming with articles and opinion pieces on the impending EU referendum. So we thought we'd run through some of our favourite political thrillers - because crime fiction is full of the same miscarriages of justice, conspiracies and corruption often found in government! See the Crime Files team's picks below.

Posted on June 16, 2016 in Best of, What We're Reading
Tags: political thrillers, team blog


Head of State by Andrew Marr

This very topical thriller centres around Brexit. Andrew Marr’s debut novel is a slick and clever thriller that utilises his inside knowledge of the British political scene. A dangerous secret at the heart of the government takes the reader on a deadly behind-the-scenes tour of the iconic black door, 10 Downing Street.

Chosen by Ella Pocock


Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household

In the spring of 1938, an unnamed man sets out, for no reason other than the thrill of the hunt itself, to set his rifle on a shadowy European dictator. Caught whilst taking aim he is beaten and left for dead. Coming to, he manages to escape to London but soon discovers that the dictator’s forces have followed him there. Stripped of all the trappings of status and civilisation, the hunter becomes a hunted animal, fighting for survival and vowing revenge.

This classic of British thriller writing remains one of my favourite crime books of all time and is a lesson is precision, clarity and pacing from start to finish.

Chosen by Dan Fraser


Imperium by Robert Harris

Not a modern political novel, but a compelling and informative tale of the power struggles in the Roman Republic. What I always find interesting is that no matter what era you travel back to, there are so often fascinating parallels with the history and politics of our own time – the same greed and inequality that was rife in 1st century BC Rome is, sadly, still challenging Western democracies today. Imperium recounts the story of the senator and orator Cicero, as told by his secretary Tiro in a kind of fictional biography. The history is meticulously researched, the characters are beautifully written and the story is never less than entertaining.

Chosen by Joe Yule

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