Charles McCarry Books

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Charles McCarry was a renowned American author that wrote spy fiction. His work was influenced by the years he spent undercover as a CIA operative. To some critics, McCarry is America’s greatest spy writer.

Order of Paul Christopher Series

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

Chronological Order of Paul Christopher Series

#ReadTitlePublishedDetails
1The Bride of the Wilderness1988Description / Buy
2The Last Supper1983Description / Buy
3Christopher's Ghosts2007Description / Buy
4The Miernik Dossier1973Description / Buy
5The Secret Lovers1977Description / Buy
6The Tears of Autumn1974Description / Buy
7The Better Angels1979Description / Buy
8Shelley's Heart1995Description / Buy
9Second Sight1991Description / Buy
10Old Boys2004Description / Buy

Order of Charles McCarry Standalone Novels

#ReadTitlePublishedDetails
1Double Eagle 1979Description / Buy
2Lucky Bastard 1998Description / Buy
3Ark 2011Description / Buy
4The Shanghai Factor 2013Description / Buy
5The Mulberry Bush 2015Description / Buy

Order of Charles McCarry Non-Fiction

#ReadTitlePublishedDetails
1Citizen Nader 1972Description / Buy
2The Great Southwest 1980Description / Buy
3Paths of Resistance ( With: Isabel Allende, Gore Vidal) 1989Description / Buy
4Inner Circles; How America Changed the World 1992Description / Buy
5From the Field 1997Description / Buy
Print: Print PDF

Born in 1930 in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, McCarry lived on a farm in Plainfield. Madeline, the author’s mother, loved books. Her library consisted of an impressive 10000 books. She infected McCarry with her passion for reading, igniting a love for literature that paved the way for his success in publishing.

McCarry was a bright young man, and for a time, he contemplated enrolling at Havard. But his family’s financial situation was so bad that he couldn’t afford to go to colleges like Harvard even though they had accepted him.

In 1948, he went into the army. There, he put his writing talents to good use by working for an army newspaper (Stars and Stripes). This was during his time in Germany. Once his time in the army came to an end, McCarry wrote his first novel as he struggled to make ends meet in Manhattan.

The novel was never published. For a time, the author survived by washing dishes in a restaurant. He met his future wife (Nancy Neill) after landing a Lisbon, Ohio newspaper job. While he was a competent writer, the author did not stay in the field of journalism for long.

He worked for another newspaper in the years that followed before making a new friend that invited him to join President Dwight Eisenhowers’ team as a speechwriter. McCarry was also expected to work as a confidential assistant.

He remained in this position for two years before finally deciding to quit. The author wanted to write full time. But James P. Mitchel (Secretary of Labor), the man that hired him, wasn’t ready to let McCarry go.

Mitchel impeded McCarry’s attempts to abandon his work with the government by asking Allen W. Dulles to recruit him. Dulles was the CIA director at the time. He acquiesced to Mitchel’s request, dragging McCarry into the world of espionage.

McCarry stayed with the CIA for nearly a decade, working in Europe as an undercover operative. When he left in 1967, McCarry went into journalism full time. He also started experimenting with fiction.

Initially, McCarry wrote stories that drew directly from his experiences as a CIA operative. But he never published his work. In fact, he destroyed the manuscripts and started again. His first few novels continued to draw upon his experience as a CIA operative.

But this time, the stories and characters were all fake, crafted from his imagination. The only element that was inspired by his experiences was the atmosphere that permeated his settings and plots. Even though he was merely one former operative among many that were writing spy fiction, McCarry’s work attracted attention because of his determination to explore mundane themes such as love and death.

McCarry died in 2019 at the age of 88.

Charles McCarry Awards

The author received a Barry Award nomination in 2014.

Charles McCarry Books into Movies

The Sean Connery movie ‘Wrong is Right’ took inspiration from ‘The Better Angels’. a McCarry novel that was published in 1979.

Best Charles McCarry Books

McCarry was once praised for writing the perfect spy novel. Some of his best books include:

Miernik Dossier: The Miernik Dossier tells the story of Paul Christopher, a young, cool, detached American agent working undercover in the World Research Organization. The first in a series, the events in the book are revealed via documents and reports, not to mention overheard conversations. The style of the novel was designed to paint an accurate picture of the manner in which a real intelligence operation typically unfolds.

Because the novel was written by a former CIA operative, it was praised for its realistic portrayal of espionage.

Tears of Autumn: When President John F Kennedy is assassinated, an avalanche of theories regarding the identities of his killers saturates the public. But Paul Christopher, an intelligence operative, thinks he knows the truth.

He is certain that the Vietnamese government was responsible for the assassination. It was revenge for the White House’s involvement in the death of Ngo Dihn Diem, the Vietnamese president. Paul wants to investigate further but certain parties are working behind the scenes to stop him.

When Does The Next Charles McCarry book come out?

Charles McCarry doesn't seem to have an upcoming book. Their newest book is The Mulberry Bush and was released on October, 27th 2015.

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