Heart-Stopping Thrillers: The 20 Best Authors Like Robert Ludlum

If you’re looking for thriller books that will have you eagerly anticipating every new page, you’ve come to the right place. Here are 20 of the best authors like Robert Ludlum that will keep you on the edge of your seat!

Heart-Stopping Thrillers: The 20 Best Authors Like Robert Ludlum

Tom Clancy

Patriot Games (A Jack Ryan Novel)

Tom Clancy (1947-2013) was the bestselling author of many fiction and non-fiction books. His novels are suspenseful and intricate, and he is best known for writing about the Jack Ryan Universe. Some of his most popular novels are Patriot Games, Red Storm Rising, and The Hunt For Red October.

You can read all of Tom Clancy’s novels here.

Ian Fleming

Casino Royale: A James Bond Novel (James Bond, 1)

Ian Fleming (1908-1964) is best known for writing the James Bond novels. His stories are adventurous, exciting, and suspenseful. Some of his most popular books include Casino Royale, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and Moonraker.

Casino Royale is the first in the James Bond series. We follow the British secret service agent on his mission to take down Le Chiffre in France, and he ends up being accompanied by Vesper Lynd, a cunning MI6 employee. This novel is a classic filled with crime, mystery, and adventure.

You can read all of Ian Fleming’s works here

John Altman

A Gathering of Spies

John Altman is the author of 8 successful thrillers that will have you anxiously gripping the pages, waiting to see what happens next. His most-loved stories include A Gathering of Spies, Disposable Asset, and A Game of Spies.

A Gathering of Spies is based in 1943, where a woman with special talents is heading back home to Germany with information regarding an atomic bomb in America. Meanwhile, a British agent who would do anything to save his wife from a German concentration camp is working to stop her.

You can find all of John Altman’s novels here.

Frederick Forsyth

The Day of the Jackal

Frederick Forsyth is the author of many exciting thrillers. Some of his most well-known works include The Day of the Jackal, The Devil’s Alternative, and The Odessa File

The Day of the Jackal is about an assassin who is the best in his profession, unknown to any secret service agent. He is so secretive, he doesn’t even give his name to his employers. The Jackal is on a mission to kill one of the most-guarded men in the world, and it seems that nothing can stop him.

You can read even more by Frederick Forsyth here.

Eric Van Lustbader

The Ninja

Eric Van Lustbader is the bestselling author of over 25 exciting and mysterious thriller novels. He has written many stories about Jason Bourne, so he is a great author to read if you like Robert Ludlum and the Jason Bourne universe. Some of Lustbader’s most popular novels include The Ninja, The Testament, and The Bourne Legacy.

You can find more of Eric Van Lustbader’s books here.

Lee Child

Killing Floor (Jack Reacher)

Lee Child writes crime and thriller novels and he is best known for his novels featuring Jack Reacher, an ex-military man who solves crimes. Some of Lee Child’s most popular works are Killing Floor, Die Trying, and The Enemy, which are all part of the Jack Reacher series.

Killing Floor is the first in the series, and it follows Jack Reacher as he is arrested for murder in Georgia. Though Jack knows he didn’t do it, he also knows that he’s going to have a tough time convincing anyone. And this is only the start of his journey.

You can read all of Lee Child’s books here.

Clive Cussler

Spartan Gold (A Sam and Remi Fargo Adventure)

Clive Cussler (1931-2020) was a bestselling author who specialized in writing suspenseful thrillers. Cussler created the character Dirk Pitt, a hero who has been featured in many novels. Some of Cussler’s most popular stories include Pacific Vortex!, Spartan Gold, and Golden Buddha.

Pacific Vortex! is the first in the Dirk Pitt chronicles, and it follows the adventurous expert of the deep seas as he solves a mystery. Many ships have been disappearing in the Pacific Vortex, including the Starbuck, a key ship to America’s national defense. Dirk must go into the unknown and salvage the ship before the ocean explodes.

You can read everything by Clive Cussler here.

Andreas Kollender

The Honest Spy

Andreas Kollender is a German author, but his book The Honest Spy has been translated into English. This is a historical fiction novel that is based on a true story, and it features action, suspense, and fear. 

Fritz Kolbe is a civil servant to Adolf Hitler’s foreign ministry, but he sees all the lives that are at stake and he goes undercover as a spy, relaying information to the Americans. When he has to go back to Germany from his base in Africa, Kolbe leaves his daughter behind for her safety. And as he conspires with Marlene Wiese, the love of his life, he feels guilty for putting her in a dangerous position but knows that he needs to continue on in order to save innocent people.

You can find out more about Andreas Kollender here.

L.M. Weeks

Bottled Lightning

L.M. Weeks is only the author of one book, but it’s sure to be an exciting read. Bottled Lightning is a sci-fi thriller filled with crime, drama, and mystery, and it will leave you thinking about the story long after the last page.

Torn is a top global technology lawyer who is working with Saya, a client who he knows he shouldn’t get involved with despite the connection they share. Saya has developed a revolutionary technology that could solve climate change and save the world, but the people who profit from the status quo want to stop Saya and will go to extreme lengths–even murder–to do so.

You can read everything by L.M. Weeks here.

John Le Carré

Call for the Dead: The Smiley Collection

John Le Carré (1931-2020) wrote thrilling spy novels, some of his most-loved being Call For The Dead, The Constant Gardener, and Our Game.

Call For The Dead is the first in his George Smiley series, and it follows the British Secret Service Agent as he uncovers a mystery (for more British Mystery novels, read here). Samuel Fennan, a Foreign Office Man who Smiley had liked, is now dead from an apparent suicide. But Fennan had been under investigation for Communist Party activities, and Smiley doesn’t think that things are adding up.

You can read all of John Le Carré’s books here.

Jonathan Ryder

The Cry of the Halidon: A Novel

Jonathan Ryder is actually a pseudonym of Robert Ludlum, so his books are about as similar to the author as you can get! Ludlum published two books under the name Jonathan Ryder, titled The Cry of the Halidon and Trevayne. These books are just as mysterious and thrilling as Ludlum’s other novels.

Tom Rob Smith

Child 44 (The Child 44 Trilogy, 1)

Tom Rob Smith is a successful author who writes mysterious and chilling thriller novels. Some of his most-loved stories are Child 44, The Farm, and London Spy.

Child 44 is about Leo Demidov, an officer in communist Russia who does what he is told to do. When a series of gruesome child murders take place, Demidov dismisses them because he is told to. But when he is forced to watch an innocent man be tortured and told to arrest his wife, his confidence is suddenly shaken, and Demidov doesn’t know what to do.

You can read all of Tom Rob Smith’s stories here.

Michael Crichton

Jurassic Park

Michael Crichton (1942-2008) was the author of many thrilling novels, including the classic Jurassic Park which so many love. Some of his other popular books include The Andromeda Strain and Timeline.

The Andromeda Strain is about a warning that was given to the United States Government about returning space probes. If they don’t get sterilized properly, they may bring foreign substances back into the atmosphere. Two years later, a satellite falls to earth and lands in Arizona. 12 miles from the landing site, everyone has mysteriously dropped dead in the nearest town.

You can find everything by Michael Crichton here.

J.K. Franko

Eye for Eye Trilogy Box Set : Books 1 - 3 (Talion)

J.K. Franko is the author of crime and thriller mystery novels. He is best known for his Talion trilogy which is exciting and heart-stopping.

Eye For Eye is the first in the trilogy about Roy and Susie, a couple whose teenage daughter has been killed. One night, when Roy is in a bar, a stranger comes up to him with a proposal: If Roy kills a man, the stranger will invoke their daughter’s memory. Soon, Roy and Susie are in way over their heads, trying to uncover secrets that they never knew existed.

You can read all of J.K. Franko’s novels here.

Lee Matthew Goldberg

Slow Down

Lee Matthew Goldberg is the author of 12 suspenseful and mysterious novels. Some of his most-loved works are Slow Down, Runaway Train, and Prey No More

Slow Down is about Noah Spaeth, a production assistant who wants to be a filmmaker. He becomes obsessed with taking over the movie and Nevie Wyeth, the actress with whom the director is having an affair. But what Noah doesn’t realize is that at the same time, his wife is plotting a plan to get rid of him for good.

You can read everything by Lee Matthew Goldberg here.

Jack Higgins

The Eagle Has Landed

Jack Higgins (1929-2022) was the New York Times bestselling author of over 70 suspenseful thrillers. Some of his most popular books include The Eagle Has Landed, Eye of the Storm, and The Wolf at the Door.

The Eagle Has Landed takes place in 1943, where a team of Nazi paratroopers led by ace agent Kurt Steiner is under order from Hitler to abduct Winston Churchill. But as the team attempts to carry out their plan, the town of Studley Constable is cooking up a plan of its own. They know what the Nazis intend to do, and the residents will do everything they can to stop it.

You can read more by Jack Higgins here.

A.J. Schmitz

The Truth That Hides (Return To Eden Series)

A.J. Schmitz is the author of 6 novels that are thrilling and mysterious. His most popular books are The Truth That Hides and Hands Across The Sky.

Hands Across The Sky is about Ezra Quinn, a man who is offered a very well-paying tech job and ends up on a flight from San Francisco to Dubai. There, he meets Leila, a cosmopolitan who helps him get settled in. She takes Quinn to Cairo, where he meets Alif Zahir, his boss for the new project. But as Quinn gets to work he becomes suspicious about the project and its intent, and soon things get violent and out of control.

You can find everything by A.J. Schmitz here.

Ammar Habib

Dark Guardian

Ammar Habib is a bestselling and award-winning author with many suspenseful thrillers. He is best known for his Dark Guardian series, which is made up of 3 novels.

Dark Guardian is the first in the series about Ethan Daniels. After a diabolical gang kills his adopted sister, Daniels needs revenge. With his skills and resources, Daniels comes home to take on the Crime Lord’s empire and get his revenge. But things get even more complicated as Daniels keeps running into Katrina, someone he loved when he was younger.

You can read all of Ammar Habib’s novels here.

John Grisham

A Time to Kill: A Jake Brigance Novel

John Grisham is a bestselling author of over 45 novels, his most popular being A Time To Kill, The Client, and The Pelican Brief.

A Time To Kill is one of his earlier novels that takes place in Clanton, Mississippi. After a 10-year-old black girl is sexually assaulted by two drunken white men, the town is shocked. But when her father takes the law into his own hands and kills the men himself, the town is suddenly confused. This is a suspenseful crime novel that follows the story of his trial and touches on the racism that influenced it.

You can find everything by John Grisham here.

Dan Brown

Angels & Demons: A Novel (Robert Langdon)

Dan Brown is a bestselling author who specializes in mind-bending thrillers. Some of his most popular novels include Angels & Demons, Deception Point, and The Da Vinci Code.

The Da Vinci Code is about Robert Langdon, a Harvard Symbologist who solves a mysterious case in Paris. The curator of the Louvre has been murdered, so Langdon and Sophie Neveu, a cryptologist, embark on a journey to find out what happened. They decipher a puzzling series of clues hidden in Da Vinci’s works and uncover secrets about the dead curator in order to get closer to the truth.

You can read everything by Dan Brown here.


What kind of author is Robert Ludlum?

Robert Ludlum was an American author who specialized in writing thriller novels that were action-packed and exciting.

How long did Robert Ludlum live?

Robert Ludlum was born in 1927 and lived until 2001, when he died at the age of 73 in his home in Naples, Florida.

What should I read if I like Tom Clancy?

Since Tom Clancy’s writing style is so similar to Robert Ludlum’s, you will probably enjoy any of the authors in this article. They all write suspenseful, thrilling novels just like Clancy and Ludlum alike.

YouTube video
Freya Cook