9 Page-Turning Spy Novels to Keep You on the Edge of Your Beach Chair

Marked by an exhilarating pace, plenty of dramatic twists and turns, and richly drawn, complex protagonists, spa novels are about as riveting as it gets in the library—and even at the beach. And while all the excitement of double agents and espionage keeps you at the edge of your seat, these books also offer insight into fascinating and troubling historical periods in a way that biographies and textbooks can't. 

In the name of entertaining summer reading—and to wrestle with larger philosophical questions of betrayal, human connection, and the legacy of international conflict—we rounded up nine of the best spy novels around. Written by former CIA agents and the most prolific literary minds of all time, get to know the best spy novels below.