Authors Like Tom Clancy (10 Book Recommendations)

Tom Clancy is a world-renowned author who is famous for both fiction and nonfiction, but certainly, his novels were what he was best known for.

Authors Like Tom Clancy (10 Book Recommendations)

He followed up on his debut novel from 1984 titled “The Hunt For Red October” with plenty more.

These included the series of books that included the character Jack Ryan, such as The Teeth Of Tiger and Rainbow Six.

Indeed, from Tom Clancy’s fantastic works, adaptations to the small screen and even video games were made – like Splinter Cell and Rainbow Six.

So, if you loved this series of novels by Tom Clancy, you’ll definitely enjoy reading literature from authors like Robert Ludlum, John Grisham, and Grant Blackwood.

Wondering what books you should be looking out for? Read below and learn a lot more! 

Books By Tom Clancy 

Authors Like Tom Clancy (10 Book Recommendations)

Tom Clancy was an American author who was best known for his nonfiction books, although as we said – he also wrote many nonfiction books and even reviews.

Generally, he wrote contemporary spy fiction and military fiction, with recurring characters like Jack Ryan.

Indeed, the Jack Ryan series began with The Hunt For Red October and then continued with:

However, this predominant character’s fictional biography and life events occurred at the same time as some of Clancy’s other series, such as the John Clark series which included Rainbow Six and Without Remorse.

In fact, Clancy’s work was so popular that even after he passed away, some of his novel series continued to be written by authors like Grant Blackwood and Mark Greaney, two authors who we will look at later.

The Hunt for Red October (A Jack Ryan Novel)

Tom Clancy’s vision for spy fiction and military fiction spanned many different platforms.

As mentioned earlier, from the mind of Tom Clancy, we saw incredibly popular video games such as Splinter Cell and Ghost Recon, along with Rainbow Six.

Clancy’s work is known for being very gritty, dark, and mysterious – with characters that are much more complex as the novel progresses with both protagonists and antagonists alike receiving the same treatment. 

Tom Clancy's Patriot Games True First Edition First Printing

What makes Clancy’s work incredibly memorable is the realism in which his stories reside.

Indeed, you can imagine some of the scenarios that he wrote taking place, making them much easier to envisage.

Authors Like Tom Clancy 

Robert Ludlum 

The Bourne Identity: Jason Bourne Book #1 (Jason Bourne Series)

Robert Ludlum is an incredibly well-known author and certainly highly recognized and highly regarded.

He wrote twenty-seven New York Times bestselling novels and often he did so under the pseudonym of Johnathon Ryder or Michael Shepherd.

Perhaps his most notable series of novels include the highly acclaimed character Jason Bourne.

Another very successful work of fiction became a big-screen adaptation series starring Matt Damon as the starring role.

Much like Clancy, Ludlum’s novels are within the spy fiction genre with characters that are grounded in reality but also hold somewhat of a “superpower”, despite being normal people.

In other words, his characters like Jason Bourne are not within a science fiction style of super characters, but rather people who are highly trained and highly intelligent, beyond the point of the norm (If you liked this, you might want to check out The Giver and other books similar to it).

Unfortunately, Robert Ludlum also passed away, so we will not see any further editions to his nonfiction series – but we must include Robert in this list as his work is incredibly similar to Tom Clancy’s, in areas like tone, genre, and pacing.

If you are a fan of Tom Clancy, then I recommend The Bourne Identity and The Bourne Ultimatum by Ludlum. 


  • A gritty, thrilling read.
  •  Very fast-paced. 


  • You will need to read the full series to understand the characters fully 

Themes: Politics, money, loneliness, power. 

John Grisham 

The Guardians: A Novel

John Grisham is one of the most famous crime authors in the world and much of his work has inspired multiple other authors into writing crime dramas.

With over forty-seven bestselling novels, you can be sure that his writing is something to behold.

While Grisham’s novels are much more focused on the legal aspect of life, such as the problems within our criminal justice system, there are plenty of similarities with Tom Clancy’s novels and writing overall.

Perhaps most notable are the characters. Grisham highlights his characters’ flaws and strengths but develops them as each of his novels progresses.

One of the biggest similarities you will notice is how not everything pans out in a “happy way”. 

Indeed, bittersweet or even dark endings are commonplace with both Grisham and Clancy novels.

So if you are a fan of Clancy’s writing based on his tone – then you will certainly find John Grisham novels incredibly fascinating and enjoyable. 

If you want to try John Grisham, then I recommend The Guardians or A Time To Kill as the best place to start.


  • Character development is very thorough and highly intriguing 


  • Not exactly spy fiction, but the writing tone is similar to Clancy’s

Themes: Power, justice, crime, politics, corruption, money. 

Mark Greaney 

The Gray Man (A Gray Man Novel Book 1)

As we spoke about earlier, Mark Greaney was one author who continued the excellent work that began with Tom Clancy.

In fact, his knowledge of what Tom Clancy wrote about in a fictional sense was drawn from the real world.

Greaney traveled extensively around the world when researching some of his work and learned to operate firearms and some battlefield medicine.

We can see how much of this knowledge comes through in his writing, with Clancy providing that platform, to begin with.

Perhaps Greaney’s most well-known novels are the Gray Man series like Burner and Sierra Six.

There are quite a few novels in this series and they are all highly regarded in the spy fiction genre.

Of course, though, we must also look at the post-Clancy novels such as Full Force And Effect which is part of the Jack Ryan series. 


  • Dark thrillers, both of which have the same tone and pacing as Tom Clancy’s work
  • Similar themes to Clancy’s books.


  • The Gray Man series is incredibly dense and requires a lot of patience, time, and commitment to finish! 

Themes: Fear, politics, governance, crime, hopefulness. 

Grant Blackwood 

Under Fire (Jack Ryan Jr. Novel)

Grant Blackwood is another author who took the reins and continued to write Tom Clancy’s series such as the 2015 novel Under Fire or the 106 novel Duty and Honor, which are also part of the Jack Ryan series. 

However, Blackwood is incredibly versatile and has written a multitude of different novels, notably, he wrote the Fargo series and The Killswitch with James Rollins.

Much like Mark Greaney, Blackwood had some experience in the real world where the fiction comes from.

In fact, he is a former US Naval sailor and has previously worked as a pilot rescue swimmer and operations specialist.

As you can likely imagine, much of what Blackwood has written when it comes to the military aspect of his novels are very much grounded in experience.

Of course, this fits in nicely with the writing of Tom Clancy, where there is a lot of focus on military operations and military conduct.

You can also try The End Of Enemies if you want something similar to Tom Clancy’s work.


  • Very grounded writing through real-life experience. 
  • Continues Clancy’s work.


  • Often a lot of technical jargon can be tricky to understand at times.

Themes: Military, power, honor, right, and wrong. 

Mike Maden

Tom Clancy Firing Point (A Jack Ryan Jr. Novel Book 7)

Mike Maden grew up reading the novels by Tom Clancy and continued to be one of his biggest fans, which later became an inspiration for his own literary works.

Maden is probably best known for his novels such as Firing Point and Drone.

Maden is another author who focuses largely on spy and military fiction and of course, much of his work is a continuation of the original Tom Clancy series (If you’re looking for some books for your Dad, check out our favorite books for Father’s Day here).

Luckily for fans of the characters such as Jack Reacher, Maden fully understands the character and the tone.


  • Fully aware of the world that Clancy created and the writing is incredibly similar 
  • Continues the original Tom Clancy series.


  • Sometimes it’s easy to confuse Maden with Clancy! 

Themes: Power, confidence, crime, politics, military. 

Final Thoughts 

Tom Clancy was one of the best spy fiction writers in the world, so much so that his work continues with some of these very similar authors.

Indeed, if you were a fan of the Clancy series – then it’s highly recommended that you continue reading through the other authors.

Hopefully, this list has helped you identify some other authors you might be interested in. Happy reading!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Genre Are Clancy Novels?

Tom Clancy primarily wrote spy fiction or military fiction, all of which were contemporary settings.

Do I Need To Know Anything About The Military Before Reading?

Absolutely not, but it can help at times with some novels. As mentioned earlier, there can be some jargon that is easier to understand if you know more about the military. 

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Noah Burton