Robert Harris has been selling millions of books ever since the publication of his first novel, Fatherland, in 1992. Earlier in life, he had worked as a print journalist and a BBC television reporter, and in the 1980s, he published five works of nonfiction. Fatherland sold so well that Harris was able thereafter to devote himself full-time to writing fiction. And every one of them in its way, is a spellbinding thriller.
I’ve been reading Harris’ novels almost as long as he’s been writing them. These are all, yes, spellbinding thrillers. I read the first six before I began reviewing books on this blog in 2010. I’m listing them here with their publication dates and a very brief description. The seven later novels follow, with links to my reviews.
This post was updated on December 15, 2020.
A smattering of spellbinding thrillers
Fatherland (1992) – In this alternate history, Nazi Germany won World War II.
Enigma (1995) – The story of how the British broke the Germans’ Enigma code that helped them win the Second World War.
Archangel (1998) – A British historian stumbles across Stalin’s secret diary and helps foil a conspiracy to seize the Russian government.
Pompeii (2003) – An engineer working on an aqueduct near Pompeii just before Mt. Vesuvius erupts confronts a plot to steal public water.
Imperium – Cicero Trilogy #1 (2006) – The first novel in Harris’ trilogy about the life of the legendary Roman orator Cicero.
The Ghost (2007) – A ghostwriter working for former British prime minister, a thinly veiled portrayal of Tony Blair, is caught up in a powerful conspiracy.
Conspirata – Cicero Trilogy #2 (2009) – Ancient Rome, before the fall
The Fear Index (2011) – A taut thriller about the world of multibillion-dollar hedge funds
An Officer and a Spy (2013) – The Dreyfus Affair, reenacted in a suspenseful spy novel
Dictator – Cicero Trilogy #3 (2015) – Cicero, witness to history
Conclave (2016) – A thriller about Vatican politics
Munich (2017) – Why Neville Chamberlain went to Munich
The Second Sleep (2019) – Robert Harris portrays a dystopian future England
V2 (2020) – A WWII thriller about Nazi “vengeance weapons”
For further reading
You might also enjoy my posts, which include reviews of many other spellbinding thrillers:
- Top 10 mystery and thriller series;
- 20 excellent standalone mysteries and thrillers; and
- Two dozen outstanding detective series from around the world.
For an abundance of great mystery stories, go to Top 20 suspenseful detective novels (plus 200 more). And if you’re looking for exciting historical novels, check out Top 10 historical mysteries and thrillers reviewed here (plus 100 others).
You’ll find my other most-read novelists at Your gateway to my reviews of my favorite novelists.
And you can always find my most popular reviews, and the most recent ones, plus a guide to this whole site, on the Home Page.