Browse Authors:

Charles McCarry books in order

Albert Charles McCarry Jr., better known as Charles McCarry, was a former undercover CIA operative and American author of spy novels.

He also wrote a couple of nonfiction titles.

Born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, McCarry turned down a place at Harvard in order to join the US army in 1948, where he went on to write for the army newspaper, Stars and Stripes.

He then went on to work as a journalist and CIA operative, and even wrote speeches for President Dwight D. Eisenhower.

McCarry eventually resigned from the CIA in 1967 in order to focus on full-time journalism.

His novel The Better Angels (1979) loosely inspired a film adaptation titled 'Wrong is Right'.

McCarry died on February 26, 2019, due to cerebral hemorrhage sustained in a fall. He was 88.

More about Charles McCarry

Genre: Thriller

Born: 1930 / Died: 2019

United States

Non Series

  • Double Eagle (1979)
  • Lucky Bastard (1998)
  • Ark (2011)
  • The Shanghai Factor (2013)
  • The Mulberry Bush (2015)


  1. Citizen Nader (1972)
  2. Great Southwest (1980)
  3. Paths of Resistance: The Art and Craft of the Political Novel (1989)
  4. Inner Circles: How America Changed the World (1992)
  5. From the Field: A Collection of Writings from National Geographic (1997)

Paul Christopher

  1. The Miernik Dossier (1973)
  2. The Tears of Autumn (1974)
  3. The Secret Lovers (1977)
  4. The Better Angels (1979)
  5. The Last Supper (1983)
  6. The Bride of the Wilderness (1988)
  7. Second Sight (1991)
  8. Shelley's Heart (1995)
  9. Old Boys (2004)
  10. Christopher's Ghosts (2007)

Detailed book overview

Non Series

Double Eagle

Retired CIA agent Paul Christopher is summoned back to duty to investigate a strange and ominous plot. A mysterious organization is trying to acquire a legendary coin, the Double Eagle, which is believed to be cursed and could bring about the downfall of the American government. 

Christopher must use all of his skills and experience to unravel the conspiracy and prevent a catastrophic outcome. McCarry's masterful storytelling and intricate plot twists make "Double Eagle" a gripping and suspenseful novel that will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the very end.

Author: Charles McCarry
First Release: 1979
ISBN: 978-0316553605
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Lucky Bastard

The KGB grooms a long-lost Kennedy for an explosive assignment...

Although in the mid-1940s no one had ever heard of JFK, Jack Adams’s mother insisted her new son be christened John Fitzgerald. Years after his parents’ death, Jack learns the reason for his name: a packet of photos showing his mother in bed with young John Kennedy. 

As a student at Columbia University, Jack demonstrates that he inherited more than JFK’s good looks. His irresistible charisma and political instinct make him a natural campus leader, but he has his sights set on something bigger than the student council. Young Jack Adams wants to be president of the United States, and the Soviet Union is prepared to help. 

A KGB spy named Dmitri recruits Jack, promising him the presidency in exchange for treason. Dmitri guides Jack for decades, putting him in a position to become the largest intelligence coup in history—unless the candidate’s libido derails him first.

Author: Charles McCarry
First Release: 1998
Ebook: B0064T4ZJS
Publisher: Road

Earth’s wealthiest man attempts to save humanity from an impending apocalypse.

The planet’s first and only trillionaire, Henry Peel, did not make his fortune by being a fool. A gifted inventor and scientist, he possesses an imagination on the scale of history’s greatest thinkers, and he has turned it to the problem of Earth’s core. Two decades ago, scientists learned that the core spins faster than the rest of the planet, storing up a cache of energy that, if released, could cause an earthquake that would obliterate human life. 

To begin mankind anew, Henry Peel is going to lead us to the stars. He gathers the world’s leading physicists and engineers and asks them to design a spaceship large enough to safeguard a sample of humanity and durable enough to survive a thousand-year voyage. Money is no object, but time is short. The apocalypse is on its way.

Author: Charles McCarry
First Release: 2011
ISBN: 978-1453258200
Publisher: Road
The Shanghai Factor

A young American spy is sent to Shanghai to absorb the culture and language for a shadowy U.S. agency known only as HQ. While there, he meets a sultry and mysterious woman named Mei, leading to a torrid love affair. 

Soon the enigmatic head of HQ gives the spy a task that forces him to risk everything: go undercover as the American representative for a massive Chinese conglomerate and learn the secrets of the powerful CEO, who HQ believes to be involved with the nearly uncrackable Chinese Intelligence Agency, Guoanbu.

But the spy finds out that HQ isn’t the only one tracking his every move—and that his tryst with Mei might have exposed more than just his heart. As the line between friend and foe blurs, the spy finds himself drawn into a deadly cat-and-mouse game between HQ and Guoanbu that might not only end his life, but upend the very balance of power between East and West.

Author: Charles McCarry
First Release: 2013
ISBN: 978-0802121288
Publisher: Mysterious Press
The Mulberry Bush

Many years ago, a young American spy crossed the wrong people and found himself on the wrong side of Headquarters. He soon fell into a slow, shameful decline of poverty and self-destruction. But Headquarters didn’t count on him having a son.

Now, years later, the boy is an American spy himself, serving two masters: Headquarters and his own insatiable need for revenge. Sent to Argentina to infiltrate a revolutionary group with deep ties to Russia, the young man finds himself dangerously drawn to his target’s daughter. Yet, despite the passion between them, he refuses to lose sight of his ultimate goal: destroying the institution that ruined his father all those years ago.

Author: Charles McCarry
First Release: 2015
ISBN: 978-0802125576
Publisher: Mysterious Press


Citizen Nader

"Citizen Nader" by Charles McCarry is a fascinating novel based on the life of the famous consumer advocate and political activist, Ralph Nader. The story follows the journey of a young journalist, David J. Dennison, who is assigned to write a profile of Nader for a magazine. 

As Dennison delves into Nader's life and work, he discovers a complex and inspiring individual who is driven by a relentless pursuit of justice and fairness. McCarry's richly detailed narrative and insightful analysis make "Citizen Nader" a compelling portrait of one of America's most influential and controversial figures, as well as a thought-provoking commentary on the nature of activism and public service.

Author: Charles McCarry
First Release: 1972
ISBN: 978-0841501638
Publisher: Saturday Review Press
Great Southwest

"The Great Southwest" by Charles McCarry follows the story of an ambitious senator, Tom Dawkins, who is determined to become the next president of the United States. As he embarks on a campaign tour in the Southwest, he discovers a sinister conspiracy that threatens to destroy his political career and his life. 

With the help of a beautiful journalist, Dawkins must navigate a treacherous path filled with betrayal, corruption, and danger to uncover the truth and save himself. McCarry's masterful storytelling and intricate plot twists make "The Great Southwest" an engrossing political thriller that keeps readers on the edge of their seats until the very end.

Author: Charles McCarry
First Release: 1980
ISBN: 978-0870442889
Publisher: National Geographic Society
Paths of Resistance: The Art and Craft of the Political Novel

Five novelists examine the correlation between their writing and their sense of social responsibility, emphasizing how good political fiction deepens the reader's awareness of the urgency of modern society.

NB: Co-authored Isabel Allende, Marge Piercy, Robert Stone and Gore Vidal.

Author: Charles McCarry
First Release: 1989
ISBN: 978-0395514276
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Inner Circles: How America Changed the World

"Inner Circles: How America Changed the World" is a captivating novel by Charles McCarry that offers a unique perspective on the history of American foreign policy. Through the eyes of a young CIA officer named Jack, McCarry traces the evolution of American diplomacy from World War II to the present day, illuminating the pivotal moments, key players, and hidden agendas that have shaped the course of history. 

As Jack navigates the inner circles of power in Washington, D.C., he discovers a world of secrets, betrayals, and moral compromises that challenge his beliefs and values. McCarry's masterful storytelling and incisive analysis make "Inner Circles" a must-read for anyone interested in the complex and often controversial world of American foreign policy.

Author: Charles McCarry
First Release: 1992
ISBN: 978-0446395243
Publisher: Warner Books
From the Field: A Collection of Writings from National Geographic

This a stunning anthology of essays, articles, and photographs compiled by Charles McCarry, showcasing the best of National Geographic's award-winning journalism. Featuring contributions from renowned explorers, scientists, and writers, the book takes readers on a journey across the globe, from the rainforests of South America to the savannas of Africa to the icy landscapes of Antarctica. 

With vivid descriptions and breathtaking images, the book offers a glimpse into the natural wonders and cultural diversity of our world, inspiring readers to appreciate and protect the planet we call home. McCarry's careful curation and insightful commentary make "From the Field" a must-have for any lover of adventure and exploration.

Author: Charles McCarry
First Release: 1997
ISBN: 978-0792273943
Publisher: National Geographic Society

Paul Christopher

The Miernik Dossier

Paul Christopher is cool, urbane, clear-sighted—a perfect American agent in deep cover in the twilight world of international intrigue. But now even he does not know which side is good or bad in a maze of double- and triplecross.

When a small group of international agents embarks on a road trip from Switzerland to the Sudan, Christopher is among them. Along for the ride are a comical Polish exile, a beautiful Hungarian seductress, and a North African prince with an appetite for women and a lust for power. 

Christopher only knows that he has to find whose finger is on the trigger of a terrorist threat that could turn the Cold War uncomfortably hot—and God help everyone if he makes a mistake.

Author: Charles McCarry
First Release: 1973
ISBN: 978-1585679423
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
The Tears of Autumn

A rogue agent crisscrosses the globe to investigate the assassination of JFK.

When President Kennedy is shot in Dallas, the nation is shocked and mystified. But American spy Paul Christopher has a different perspective. He believes he knows who arranged the assassination and why. But if his theory is correct, it would destroy the dead president’s image and endanger vital foreign policy. Christopher is therefore ordered to end his investigation.

Determined to uncover the truth, Christopher resigns from the Agency and embarks on a quest that takes him from Paris to Rome, Zurich, the Congo, and Saigon. Threatened by Kennedy’s assassins and by his own government, Christopher follows the scent of his suspicion into the dark heart of a geopolitical conspiracy.

Author: Charles McCarry
First Release: 1974
ISBN: 978-1585678907
Publisher: The Overlook Press
The Secret Lovers

Minutes after the handoff, the courier’s spine is neatly snapped by an impact with a passing black sedan. Meanwhile in Rome, Christopher's wife Cathy takes a famous film director as a lover to stir her husband out of the stoicism that defines his personality.

These two seemingly discrete events set in motion a spiral of operational and personal intrigue that leads Christopher from meetings with an aging agent in the cafes of old Europe to a rendezvous with an operative on the front lines of the Cold War in the Congo as he secretly arranges the publication of a novel that could bring the Soviet system to its knees and races to identify the leak that compromised the messenger—and possibly his entire mission.

Author: Charles McCarry
First Release: 1977
ISBN: 978-1468301083
Publisher: The Overlook Press
The Better Angels

When Charles McCarry's The Better Angels was first published almost 30 years ago, its premise--that terrorists would use passenger-filled airliners as tools of terror--seemed incredible. In retrospect, the novel would prove to be prophetic. The Better Angels takes place in an election year close to the turn of the century in a deeply polarized America. The presidential race matches a tall, lantern-jawed liberal to a far-right former businessman with deep ties to the energy industry. 

Meanwhile, Islamic terrorists led by an oil-rich Arab prince, desperate to acquire nuclear bombs to use against Israel or major American cities, disrupt the presidential campaign through a series of bloody suicide bombing. Finally the election itself is stolen, as one side hacks into computerized voting systems to change the tallies in key states. From the writer the New York Times Book Review called "the genuine article," The Better Angels is a thrilling and relevant masterwork.

Wrong Is Right
Director: Richard Brooks
Cast: Sean Connery, George Grizzard, Robert Conrad, Katharine Ross, G.D. Spradlin, John Saxon, Henry Silva, Leslie Nielsen, Robert Webber, Rosalind Cash, Hardy Krüger
Author: Charles McCarry
First Release: 1979
ISBN: 978-1590201558
Publisher: The Overlook Press
The Last Supper

On a rainy night in Paris, Paul Christopher’s lover Molly Benson falls victim to a vehicular homicide minutes after Christopher boards a jet to Vietnam. To explain this seemingly senseless murder, The Last Supper takes its readers back not only to the earliest days of Christopher's life, but also to the origins of the CIA in the clandestine operations of the OSS during World War II. 

Moving seamlessly from tales of refugee smuggling in Nazi Germany, to OSS-coordinated guerilla warfare against the Japanese in Burma, to the chaotic violence of the Vietnam War, McCarry creates an intimate history of the shadow world of deceit and betrayal that penetrates the psyches of the men and women who live within it.

Author: Charles McCarry
First Release: 1983
ISBN: 978-1590200148
Publisher: The Overlook Press
The Bride of the Wilderness

Something completely different from the bestselling thriller writer: “a full-blooded, unashamed romance ...  

Fanny’s father, Henry Harding, has known Oliver Barebones since the two men were children. Together they survived the Great Plague and the Great Fire, and now they are rich, middle-aged, and unmarried. Everyone’s shocked when Oliver, a lifelong bachelor, falls headfirst for a superstitious young girl named Rose. 

In two days he’s decided to marry her. For the Hardings and the Barebones, it will be years before they find such happiness again. Ruin comes to them all in the shape of Alfred Montagu, a cold-hearted moneylender who ensnares them in crushing debt and schemes to marry Fanny. 

After her father dies, Fanny attempts to take refuge in France. It’s not far enough to escape her troubles, so with Oliver and Rose, she departs for a far-off place called Connecticut, dodging Montagu by diving into the teeth of dangers no London girl could ever imagine.

Author: Charles McCarry
First Release: 1988
ISBN: 978-0451159588
Publisher: Signet Books
Second Sight

Second Sight is seventh in the series that follows the legendary spy Paul Christopher-a man ensnared by a line of work that never failed to exert its insidious influence outside professional boundaries. 

Now retired and living the quiet life as a loving husband in Washington, D.C., Christopher has survived battlefields of World War II, undercover Cold War killing grounds, and imprisonment in China. But now, throughout the Arab world, U.S. agents are being kidnapped and brain- drained by an unidentified enemy armed with a diabolical new drug. 

Christopher's old friend and superior in "the Outfit" calls with a command he feels he must obey. But what begins for Christopher as a global manhunt swiftly turns into something far closer to home. For the key to the danger he must defuse is a secret buried deep in his own perilous past.

Author: Charles McCarry
First Release: 1991
ISBN: 978-1590201503
Publisher: The Overlook Press
Shelley's Heart

On the eve of the Inauguration the losing candidate presents proof of the crime to his opponent, the incumbent President, and demands that he stand aside. The winner refuses and takes the oath of office, thereby setting in motion what may destroy him and his party, and even bring down the Constitution. 

From this crisis, master storyteller Charles McCarry, author of such classic thrillers as The Tears of Autumn and The Last Supper weaves a masterpiece of political intrigue. 

Shelley's Heart is so gripping in its realism and so striking in its foresight that McCarry's devoted readers may view this tale of love, murder, betrayal, and life-or-death struggles for the political soul of America as an act of prophecy.

Author: Charles McCarry
First Release: 1995
ISBN: 978-1590204757
Publisher: The Overlook Press
Old Boys

Welcome to the world of Charles McCarry’s legendary character, Paul Christopher, the crack intelligence agent who is as skilled at choosing a fine wine as he is at tradecraft, at once elegant and dangerous, sophisticated and rough-and-ready ...

Paul Christopher, now an aging but remarkably fit seventy-ish, is dining at home with his cousin Horace, also an ex-agent. Dinner is delicious and uneventful. A day later, Paul has vanished. The months pass, Paul’s ashes are delivered by a Chinese official to the American consulate in Beijing and a memorial service is held in Washington. But Horace is not convinced that Paul is dead and, enlisting the support of four other retired colleagues—a sort of all-star backfield of the old Outfit—Horace gets the “Old Boys” back in the game to find Paul Christopher. 

Harassed by American intelligence, hunted by terrorists, Horace Christopher and the Old Boys travel the globe, from Xinjiang to Brazil, from Rome to Tel Aviv, Budapest to Moscow, in search of Paul and the unspeakably dangerous truth.

Author: Charles McCarry
First Release: 2004
ISBN: 978-0143035497
Publisher: Penguin Books
Christopher's Ghosts

It is the late 1930s, and a young Christopher bears witness to an unspeakable atrocity committed by a remorseless SS officer. Fast forward to the height of the Cold War, and the SS man emerges out of the ruins of post-war Germany to destroy the last living witness to his crime. It’s a case of tiger chasing tiger as Christopher is pursued by the only man who can match his craft or his instincts.

Author: Charles McCarry
First Release: 2007
ISBN: 978-1590201138
Publisher: The Overlook Press