Top 10 Middle East Thrillers

Top 10 Middle East Thrillers

As Navy veterans-turned-thriller-writers, we are often asked what we read. We thought it would be fun to share with you some of our favorite Middle East thrillers. Some will be familiar and others will not. And no list would be really complete without “real-world thrillers”—nonfiction narratives of men who have been there. Here are ten of our favorites, in no particular order:


The Black Widow by Daniel Silva

Silva captures the action and also the political intrigue of the war against ISIS in his latest book. He weaves together, as only he can, real-world events with a fictional story that is far too possible.

Days of Rage by Brad Taylor

Brad is a former special operator with Delta and it shows in all of his writing. No one puts you behind the gunsight better, and this book is one of his best.

First Strike by Ben Coes

Another right-from-the-headlines thriller by Ben Coes. Coes is an expert at providing technical details of the craft while keeping the story moving at breakneck speed. You can also see his insider knowledge of how government works play nicely into all of his books.

Warning Order by Joshua Hood

Hood brings realism to his brilliant writing the way only a combat veteran can. He works both international politics and downrange action into all of his books. His own deployments to both Iraq and Afghanistan powerfully affect his writing.

I Am Pilgrim by Terry Hayes

This book checks a ton of boxes, from police procedural to international intrigue to Middle East thriller and covert operations. What makes it so great is that Hayes expertly delivers on all of them.

The Tehran Initiative by Joel C. Rosenberg

This is the second book in the series that follows operative David Shirazi, and all are worth a read, as are all of Rosenberg’s more than fifteen novels. He has a true gift for sharing insight on the international drama of political and religious tensions in the Middle East. His books thrill, but they also never fail to educate. Really great storytelling


Fiction is great, but these thrilling true stories give us insight into the real world of operations “downrange” in a way that novels can’t.

Service: A Navy SEAL at War by Marcus Luttrell

Everyone knows Luttrell’s book Lone Survivor, but this book tells the rest of his story—his service both before and after the tragedy of Operation Redwings. Here you can learn about the long, hard road to becoming an elite special operator and learn about the service of Luttrell and his brothers in Iraq and Afghanistan. There is also a wealth of information about the battle for Ramadi.

American Sniper by Chris Kyle

Little needs to be said about this book or its author. The movie was great, but to really understand his story, you have to read this brilliantly crafted book.

Fearless: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team Six Operator Adam Brown by Eric Blehm

Blehm is a brilliant writer and tells Adam’s story flawlessly. He offers great insights—within the confines of operational security—into the world of America’s Tier One SEAL operators and a wealth of information about the men who serve there. Not to be missed.

The Last Punisher by Kevin Lacz

Another very personal story about a Navy SEAL sniper. Lacz is not afraid to tell his story in an intimate way that helps the reader understand these heroes who put it all on the line for us.

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