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11 Riveting Books for Fans of Mission: Impossible

Your mission, should you choose to accept it ...

books like mission impossible
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  • Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures

The latest mission is about to hit theaters: Mission: Impossible-Fallout premieres on July 27th. With six films following Agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his team as they investigate dangerous criminals and jeopardize their own lives in the process, there’s no doubt that Mission: Impossible keeps fans coming back for more.

Each Mission: Impossible film entices its audiences with pulse-pounding action and nonstop suspense. These books for fans of Mission: Impossible will do all that and more. They’re brimming with adrenaline, high-stakes undercover cases, and a daunting goal: to save the world. You won’t be able to stop reading until you reach the hair-raising, heart-racing final page of each of these novels.

books like mission impossible

The Last Spymaster

By Gayle Lynds

Jay Tice, the former chief of the CIA’s Clandestine Services, was a god among men in the spy world. He had the world at his fingertips, but he lost it all when he was caught. Tice was the biggest traitor the country had seen in decades. The secrets he sold put the national security of the United States in grave danger. He’s been in a maximum-security prison since his true nature was revealed … until now. Tice has disappeared from his cell. Elaine Cunningham is a CIA operative who is extremely skilled at tracing people who appear to leave no trail and his assigned to find the missing felon. But she soon discovers that she’s up against far more than a master spy–there’s a deadly conspiracy afoot.

Related: 8 Spies Who Wrote About Spies 

books like mission impossible

Eye of the Needle

By Ken Follett

The inspiration for the 1981 film of the same name, Eye of the Needle is the story of a master German spy, code name: the Needle. His name was inspired by preference for a stiletto, a knife with a long slender blade and needle-like point. In 1940, he is the only spy still loyal to Berlin and has discovered the true nature of the Allies’ plans. The Needle is the most wanted man in the Western hemisphere, but his fate–and the winner of World War II–is entirely dependent on a young British woman named Lucy.

books like mission impossible

The Intelligencer

By Leslie Silbert

In 1593, Christopher Marlowe, a spy and playwright, was murdered. He had just embarked upon a new assignment and was on the verge of discovering a dangerous plot. More than 400 years later, Kate Morgan is a private investigator with a degree in 16th-century history. In the process of investigating a murder and robbery, Morgan comes across a centuries-old British manuscript. Within its warped pages, she finds a series of shocking secrets. Silbert seamlessly blends the thrilling stories, making for an exhilarating novel that quite literally transcends the ages. 

books like mission impossible

The Hunt for Red October

By Tom Clancy

Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan has become a cultural phenomenon. The analyst turned field operative has been the star of nearly two dozen novels (mostly written by Clancy), five films, and a television series. Jack Ryan made his debut in Clancy’s The Hunt for Red October. In the bestselling novel that kicked off a larger-than-life franchise, Jack Ryan is a CIA analyst who has discovered the existence of a technologically advanced Soviet nuclear submarine. When he brings the sub to the attention of his superiors, he is pushed out from behind his desk and directly into the frontlines of the Cold War.

Related: A Desk Agent Joins the Field in First Trailer for Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan 

books like mission impossible

I Am Pilgrim

By Terry Hayes

In his first novel, Terry Hayes is an epic battle between Pilgrim, an American secret agent, and the Saracen, a jihadi terrorist. As the novel opens, Pilgrim is in a New York hotel room, the scene of a gruesome murder in which the beautiful young victim’s identifying characteristics were destroyed by acid. Her death is just the first in a series of dramatic events that lead Pilgrim to discover a terrorist plot that presents a serious threat to the United States. Hayes’ suspenseful novel will keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end.

books like mission impossible

American Assassin

By Vince Flynn

The inspiration for the 2017 thriller film of the same name and a prequel to the Mitch Rapp novels, American Assassin brings us to Rapp’s youth, before he was a seasoned CIA spy. After the love of his life is killed in a terrorist attack, Rapp wants nothing more than revenge. He’s in luck. A group of CIA operatives is looking for a soldier who’s willing to risk his life to fight terrorism, but he can’t be your average soldier. Officially, he won’t even exist, making Rapp the perfect recruit. Soon, he’s been shipped halfway across the world to assassinate terrorists. It’s not long before word of this assassin spreads, and Rapp goes from targeting killers to being targeted.

books like mission impossible

Night Soldiers

By Alan Furst

At the height of World War II, Khristo Stoianev is recruited by the Soviet secret police (NKVD). A young Bulgarian man, Khristo is still reeling from the death of his teenage brother, who was killed by fascists. He’s determined to combat fascism, so he’s thrilled when the NKVD ships him to Catalonia to serve in the Spanish Civil War. In Spain, he sees firsthand the dangerous and tragedies of war. Night Soldiers paints a stunning picture of the intense rivalry between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russian that characterized Eastern Europe in the 1930s while developing a powerful character in Khristo Stoianev.

Related: American Traitors: The Best Friends Who Sold Secrets to Soviet Russia 

books like mission impossible

The Day of the Jackal

By Frederick Forsyth

The Jackal is the world’s most dangerous assassin. A tall, blond Englishman, he has somehow managed to evade discovery by every intelligence agency in the world. When he is contracted to kill Charles de Gaulle, the French president and the man with the best security in the world, it seems as if he is truly unstoppable. Forsyth’s thrilling novel was a massive success and was adapted as a film of the same name in 1973. Unfortunately, is also said to have inspired political assassinations, including an attempt on the life of President George W. Bush and the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, the Prime Minister of Israel.

books like mission impossible

Red Sparrow

By Jason Matthews

In the first of three novels, Jason Matthews, a former CIA operative, provides insight into the day-to-day life of an intelligence officer. In Red Sparrow, Matthews tells the story of Dominika Egorova, a former ballerina and current Russian agent who is unwillingly trained to act as a seductress, called a “Sparrow”. Her assignment is Nate Nash, a young CIA agent who is the handler for the US’s most important Russian mole. With his intimate knowledge of this world, Matthews writes an intriguing tale of seduction and deception in which the characters’ lives dramatically hang in the balance. 

Related: 10 of the Best Spy Novels for Espionage Lovers 

books like mission impossible

The Bourne Identity

By Robert Ludlum

When we first meet Jason Bourne, he has no idea who he is. He’s been picked up out of the Mediterranean Sea with a roaring case of amnesia. But soon, a bank account reveals his name and his mission. As Bourne journeys across Europe, a hitman trails behind. Bourne must discover his identity while dodging the target on his shoulders.

books like mission impossible

The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

By John le Carré

Le Carré created George Smiley to be everything that James Bond is not. A short, balding, overweight fellow, Smiley is nothing like what you expect a spy to be. Perhaps this is part of what makes him a fantastic spy … no one suspects him. Smiley is incredibly polite and rarely stands up for himself, but he’s also brilliant, blessed with a photographic memory, occasionally ruthless, and above all, a master spy. In a series of novels, including the bestselling Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy and The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, le Carré details the exhilarating missions of the world-renowned spy.

Featured still from "Mission: Impossible - Fallout" via Paramount Pictures