10 Thrilling Spy Books and the Must-Stream Series They Inspired

If you streamed the series you’ll love the book. To boost your reading list, SPYSCAPE has put together 10 of the top series and the brilliant novels that inspired them. 

Slow Horses

Slow Horses (Apple TV) is a spy sensation with a quick-witted storyline about a dysfunctional team of M15 agents who have all made career-defining mistakes and been sent to the administrative dumping ground as a result. The series is based on Mick Herron’s unmissable, first-rate page-turner Slow Horses.

Killing Eve

Killing Eve (BBC iPlayer, Google Play, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video) is inspired by Codename Villanelle, a 2017 thriller novel - a compilation of four serial eBook novellas published from 2014 to 2016 - by British author Luke Jennings. It revolves around a Russian orphan who, after murdering the killers of her gangster father, is rescued from prison and trained as a hit woman by a shadowy group called The Twelve.

10 Thrilling Spy Books and the Must-Stream Series They Inspired

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If you streamed the series you’ll love the book. To boost your reading list, SPYSCAPE has put together 10 of the top series and the brilliant novels that inspired them. 

Slow Horses

Slow Horses (Apple TV) is a spy sensation with a quick-witted storyline about a dysfunctional team of M15 agents who have all made career-defining mistakes and been sent to the administrative dumping ground as a result. The series is based on Mick Herron’s unmissable, first-rate page-turner Slow Horses.

Killing Eve

Killing Eve (BBC iPlayer, Google Play, YouTube, Amazon Prime Video) is inspired by Codename Villanelle, a 2017 thriller novel - a compilation of four serial eBook novellas published from 2014 to 2016 - by British author Luke Jennings. It revolves around a Russian orphan who, after murdering the killers of her gangster father, is rescued from prison and trained as a hit woman by a shadowy group called The Twelve.

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Jack Ryan

Check out Jack Ryan (Prime Video) if you’re in the mood for action and adventure, a series based on Tom Clancy’s spy books. If you’re new to the Clancy franchise, here’s what you need to know to get up to speed: CIA analyst Jack Ryan stumbles upon a suspicious series of bank transfers and his search for answers pulls him from the safety of his desk job into a deadly game of cat and mouse.


Condor

Condor (Prime Video, Apple TV) is based on a series of books based on James Grady’s Six Days of the Condor and the screenplay Three Days of the Condor. It follows CIA analyst Joe Turner who stumbles onto a murderous plan that could kill millions - and it turns out he’s more than just a desk jockey. 


Spy x Family

Spy x Family, a Netflix anime series, is adapted from a manga by Tatsuya Endo. The premise revolves around a spy on an undercover mission who gets married and adopts a child as part of his cover. His wife and daughter have secrets of their own, and all three must strive to keep together.


The Night Manager

We’ve got two John le Carré television adaptations and books to share with you. The first is The Night Manager (Prime Video, Google Play, YouTube) based on The Night Manager novel about Jonathan Pine, a former British soldier who now works as the night manager of a luxury hotel in Cairo and is recruited to investigate illegal arms sales and infiltrate an arms dealer’s inner circle. 


The Little Drummer Girl

The second, unmissable le Carré series is The Little Drummer Girl which was first broadcast in 2018 (now available on Prime Video, GooglePlay and YouTube). Based on John le Carré’s incredible spy novel, the action centers around a young English actress recruited by Mossad to help infiltrate a Palestinian terrorist cell. 

Turn

The AMC series Turn: Washington's Spies is a historical treasure based on Alexander Rose’s book Washington's Spies about four real-life childhood friends who formed the Culper spy ring that affected the course of the American Revolutionary War.


The Handmaid's Tale

Everyone’s a spy in The Handmaid’s Tale (Prime Video, Hulu, Apple TV, Google Play) based on Canadian author Margaret Atwood’s book of the same name. The Handmaid's Tale is the story of life in the dystopia of Gilead, a totalitarian society in the former US that treats women as property of the state.

Alex Rider

The Alex Rider series (Prime Video) is based on Anthony Horowitz’s bestsellers and follows Alex, a teenager, who gets entangled with a secretive British intelligence group that want him to infiltrate a posh school as an undercover agent. As he improves his tradecraft, Alex is sent on one incredible adventure after another. 

Honorable Mention



Still haven’t had your fix? 

If you haven’t watched Game of Thrones based on George R.R. Martin’s epic fantasy novel A Game of Thrones (1996), then you’re missing a brilliant series and a page-turning novel. You may also want to check out Alice in Borderland, the action-packed Netflix series based on the manga thriller by Haro Aso, and Netflix’s The Queen's Gambit which follows orphan Beth Harmon as she rises through the ranks as a champion chess player based on the book by Walter Tevis.

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