Political Thrillers to Take to the Polls

Post by Director of Suspense Molly Odintz

As we all gear up for Super Tuesday, and curse ourselves for missing out on early voting, here are some recommended reads for those hours you’ll spend in line, or for that post-election plane ride to Anywhere Else. Some of the following volumes inspire us to embrace our duties as citizens, while others feed on the paranoia suffusing our souls.

9780062259349Pleasantville by Attica Locke

Set during a hotly contested election in Houston, Pleasantville uses political competition as a perfect venue to explore the city’s changing neighborhoods and delve into the effect of gentrification on black voting power. A murder lands a politician’s nephew in jail who swears he’s innocent, and it’s up to civil rights lawyer Jay Porter to find out why the young man is being framed.

You can find copies of Pleasantville on our shelves and via bookpeople.com


The Day of the Jackal by Frederic Forsyth

As far as paranoid thrillers go, this one’s my favorite. Forsyth borrows techniques from reportage for a nail-biting tale of attempted assassination against Charles de Gaul that’s (mostly) based on history. You may feel an urge to re-watch The Manchurian Candidate after finishing this one!

You can find copies of The Day of the Jackal on our shelves and via bookpeople.com


Deadly Election by Lindsey Davis

Take a trip to ancient Rome for the bloodiest democracy of all! A body is found in a closet, an election may be rigged, and Flavia Albia, heir to a family know for its ability to solve even the most puzzling crime, must find out whether corrupt politicians or shady businessmen lie at the heart of her investigation. This thrilling, bloody take should please those who enjoy Stephen Saylor’s ancient-Rome-set ‘Gordianus the Finder’ series.

Copies of Deadly Election are available by special order and via bookpeople.com


Citizen Vince by Jess Walter

As the 1980 election approaches, Vince Camden is in witness protection, living a life of limited criminality and excited to cast his ballot. He goes on a mission to New York to confront his past, and both his life and right to vote are soon in danger. An affecting meditation on the precious rights of citizenship, such as voting, that many of us take for granted, yet are denied to millions of ex-felons across the United States in numbers that could have swayed many of our closest elections.

Copies of Citizen Vince are available by special order and via bookpeople.com. 


Anything that George Pelecanos has ever written

Why pick one, when Pelecanos has been the bloody bard of our nation’s capital for decades? His books may not take place during an election, but they certainly are tuned in to the vicious infighting and glorious gossip of Washington, D.C.

You can find a selection of Pelecanos’ works on our shelves, or via bookpeople.com. 



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