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Old July 7th, 2016, 02:27 PM   #1

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Most accurate historical thrillers you've read?


There's innumerable thriller novels out there with claims to shocking revelations concerning chapters of history previously unknown. Which authors/books have you found to be the most accurate and/or give most attention to detail? I ask because writing one of these kind of novels has been a lingering thought in my head for some time, and I'd like to get a look at the best in the genre.
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Old July 7th, 2016, 06:58 PM   #2

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Barry Sadler(ex Green Beret) wrote a book called Morituri about a gladiator who wins his freedom and ends up in Germany. I can not help but believe it was the inspiration for Gladiator the movie.

Herman Hesse's Sidhartha was well studied.

The list of people I can not recommend is longer
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Old July 7th, 2016, 10:55 PM   #3

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Space Shark View Post
There's innumerable thriller novels out there with claims to shocking revelations concerning chapters of history previously unknown. Which authors/books have you found to be the most accurate and/or give most attention to detail? I ask because writing one of these kind of novels has been a lingering thought in my head for some time, and I'd like to get a look at the best in the genre.
I think authors like Bernard Cornwell, Conn Iggulden, Ben Kane, Dudley Pope and CS Forester pay great attention to detail in the way they describe the background, attitudes, and general minutiae of the times they are writing about, even when they may take some liberties with historical events in order to make a good story. But I am someone who finds all the background detail just as fascinating as the main story.
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Old July 8th, 2016, 01:35 AM   #4

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Old July 14th, 2016, 03:22 AM   #5

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Belgarion View Post
I think authors like Bernard Cornwell, Conn Iggulden, Ben Kane, Dudley Pope and CS Forester pay great attention to detail in the way they describe the background, attitudes, and general minutiae of the times they are writing about, even when they may take some liberties with historical events in order to make a good story. But I am someone who finds all the background detail just as fascinating as the main story.
From those, the one I know better is Bernard Cornwell, and although prolific I consider him quite good. He usually studies and goes to the terrain to understand the themes that he writes about. As for CS Forester I am not a fan. In the depictions of the characters he is a product of his time.

Some time ago I was very fond of the “detective” thrillers of Steven Saylor. Well paced and also a good enough knowledge about the republican Rome.
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Old August 23rd, 2016, 05:13 PM   #6
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Something more recent, and maybe outside the scope of this thread.....Don Winslow's: The Cartel. I feel it paints a very vivid and realistic portrayal of the drug war in Mexico/North America. Very gritty and dark.
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Old January 17th, 2017, 01:18 AM   #7

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Herman Wouk's classic books i ) The Winds of War ii ) War and Remembrance ii ) The Caine Mutiny are not only good literature but, I believe, greatly accurate.
I like especially the first book where the Henry family is introduced. The hero, if one can call him that, Victor Henry comes across the pages of the book as if he is a real historical character whose biography is what we are reading. The character is most probably based on quite a few real life characters. And that causes the details to be true to life.
Similarly the Caine Mutiny reads as if you are reading the diary of a real life ship, USS Caine.
Great reading, all three books !
I also like C.S.Forester' s Hornblower series. Highly realistic in the portrayal of the sea battles during the Napoleonic days, the detailing is superb but never lengthy or boring.
C.S.Forster's extraordinary novels other than Hornblower such as i ) Brown on Resolution ii ) The African Queen are also superb !

Last edited by rvsakhadeo; January 17th, 2017 at 01:24 AM.
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Old January 17th, 2017, 12:14 PM   #8
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C J Sansom's Shardlake novels really bring to life the sounds,smells and feel of Tudor England. Not so with the characters themselves, but still very good reads.
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Old January 17th, 2017, 01:32 PM   #9

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Collen McClollough wrote a Historical novel series on Rome about the late Republican period. I only read the first three, as it was beginning to reach the story of Julius Caesar – I've gotten enough of JC to last me a lifetime.
The books seem to be researched very intensely. She put dramatized events in her books that aren't on Wikipedia. Some of them are very hard to find on the internet at all.

The books cover great periods of time, but not as much as Michener (thank god). It begins with the rise of Gaius Marius and Sulla, and goes on for some time after the dominance of Pompey and Caesar. Caesar was a young man when book three ended, and Pomey had just returned from fighting Sertorius in Hispania – Spartacus was beaten.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masters_of_Rome

Lot's of Latin words had me always jumping to the index to learn the meanings of them. A good but hard read.
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Old January 17th, 2017, 01:53 PM   #10
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I agree about C J Sansom, in my opinion the best historical crime/thriller novels.

I like Forester too, but in that naval genre I think Patrick O'Brian is in a class of his own, both for historically believable characters and sheer fine writing.
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