Set in the dark world of espionage, a spy novel belongs to the sub-genre of fiction derived from a novel in the 19th century and evolved into a full discrete genre before World War I (1914-1918), which was fraught with espionage and counter espionage established by the warring countries to eke out important enemy information. Spy novels included characters ranging from the spy, who himself was normally the hero, to the shady characters that pop in and out of the story, besides the main villain of the piece. Old, but truly refreshing spy novels included the likes of The Scarlet Pimpernel, 1905 and The Prisoner of Zenda, 1894 นิยายอีโรติก.
Around from about the 1920s, spy novels have continued to entertain their readers as a long-form fiction, replete with swashbuckling and suave spies combating their eternal enemies to save the good from the evil. Some of them are serious and others are pure entertainment. Some writers feature efficient cold-blooded heroes, while others go for an uncompromising anti-hero with whose activities who will find difficult to empathize. Tension, action and complicated plotting make for the best recipes for a thrilling spy novel.
What appeals to most fans of spy novels is the rank adventure that takes place in extraordinary places, nerve-racking situations and exciting foreign exotic locales. The sheer romanticism of life as a spy, though exaggerated considerably by the authors, is a source of great reading pleasure. The advanced gadgetry at the disposal of the dashing heroes, and how he successfully uses them in the course of the story, is another positive point for speculation.
You can also come across several such novels that shun the world of glamour and present the hero as a normal human being with a family to protect against the vicissitudes of danger that lurks at every street corner, but with the zeal to get his job done in a quiet and unobtrusive manner. In some novels, the spy would be an assassin for a governmental agency, and you will live their life with them in the novel, while they face different situations that question the very basis of their morality versus their responsibility to their government and its people.
Exclusive and twisted plots and unexpected turns are the hallmarks of an entertaining spy novel that keeps you glued to the edge of your seat, and prevents you from keeping it down, once you take it up for reading. Spies as well as their protagonists are becoming cleverer by the day and inventing unimaginable plots against each other for the entertainment of the reader. Some of these books need your special concentration to enable you to understand the complexities within the story.
In this present age, we are also reading novels written by people like Frederick Forsyth who have an extensive back office of researchers to extract the truth, which the author later integrates into the fiction. The attention to detail and adherence to fact is unbelievable and we must retrospect on whether this is really truth or fiction.