9 Heart-Pounding Novels Featuring Deadly Assassins

Nothing makes a story exciting like life-and-death situations, and when you're reading books about highly-skilled assassins, the stakes are bound to be high. Thrill-seeking readers are sure to enjoy the nine thrillers listed here, which feature anti-heroes, contract killers, and well-trained soldiers. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

Thrillers About Assassins: Our 9 Picks

Title Author
1. True Conviction James P. Sumner
2. Raging Against the Storm Maynard Sims
3. Assassin’s Run Ward Larsen
4. Al Shabah A.E. Sawan
5. The Assassins Gayle Lynds
6. Blood Run Jamie Freveletti
7. Terminal Marshall Karp
8. Screenshot John Darrin
9. An Imperial Gambit Jeffrey L. Kohanek

8 Great Assassin Films

  1. Hitman (2007)
  2. La Femme Nikita (1990)
  3. Assassins (1995)
  4. Crank (2006)
  5. Point of No Return (1993)
  6. The Mechanic (2011)
  7. Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005)
  8. The Day of the Jackal (1973)

The Origin of the Word "Assassin"

In Depth

In the best thrillers and murder mysteries, it's all about the art of the chase. With tales featuring trained killers using their skill to track their targets and dastardly villains who rely on henchmen to do their dirty work, here, in no particular order, are some fast-paced reads that will have you looking over your shoulder every time you turn the page.

In the #1 spot is "True Conviction" by James P. Sumner. In Heaven's Valley, Nevada, contract killer Adrian Hell finds himself in deep trouble with his employers when a hit goes wrong. What seemed like a run-of-the-mill murder is actually linked to one of the most far-reaching terrorist plots of the 21st century. The problem is, he doesn't exactly have the law on his side. Will Adrian outwit the mob, or will he end up just another dead body on Nevada's sin-paved streets?

For #2, we find "Raging Against the Storm" by Maynard Sims. Some come to the Bahamas for a relaxing getaway. Harry Beck is there to heal from a broken marriage and the sudden death of a friend. What he didn't count on was being followed by a ticked-off assassin and a corrupt captain of industry, both of whom want him dead. With a target on his back and a boatload of bad decisions in tow, it's time for Beck to sober up and fight for his life before death catches up to him.

Some come to the Bahamas for a relaxing getaway.

At #3 is Ward Larsen's "Assassin's Run." Israeli killer David Slaton is a legend in the field, with a well-known style. After a Russian politician is taken out with a single shot to the head, intelligence officers can think of only one gun that could have made such a clean kill. With the Russians putting a price on his head, Slaton has to get answers and clear his name, though he knows putting himself out in the open also means potentially ending up in his copycat's crosshairs.

For #4 we get "Al Shabah" by A.E. Sawan. Growing up in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon, Paul is no stranger to violence. His background and firsthand experience in the country's brutal civil war make him the perfect choice for a mission to break up a jihadist group from the inside. Still, for Paul, it's not so simple. He grew up with the people he's now being trained to hunt, and there's one terrorist in particular he'd do anything to finally confront face to face.

Coming in at #5 is "The Assassins" by Gayle Lynds. Years ago, six world-class assassins banded together to pull off the ultimate heist. The job wen badly, causing each killer to retreat into the shadows. But when ex-spy Judd Ryder spots a man dressed as his double, he knows something's up. Along with his partner, CIA trainee Eva Blake, he has to unravel the mystery of why the Carnivore, one of the deadliest killers out there, is stealing his identity. What the two agents uncover could be enough to bring down an empire.

Years ago, six world-class assassins banded together to pull off the ultimate heist.

At #6 is Jamie Freveletti's "Blood Run." While en route to Dakar to provide Africans with free vaccines, chemist Emma Caldridge is hijacked by a group of armed killers. As it turns out, the vials she's helped transport into the country contain strains of smallpox used by rebel armies to spread disease. With violent insurgents coming from all sides, she'll have to act fast to save herself and stop the virus from killing millions.

For #7, we find Marshall Karp's "Terminal." As LAPD detectives, Mike Lomax and Terry Biggs have seen it all, so there's not much that will shock them, no matter how gruesome. This latest string of crimes, however, puts all the rest to shame. Someone is using terminal patients with nothing to lose as trained killers for hire across the city. With the author's trademark wit, Lomax and Briggs work together to find out who's behind it all while understanding just how tempting it would be to trade a life in order to take care of those you leave behind.

At #8 is "Screenshot" by John Darrin. For some criminals, killing isn't enough. They need an audience to watch them do it. Known simply as "Screenshot," this assassin has taken vigilante justice to a whole new level by capturing pedophiles and gangsters and screening their torture for an interactive audience. How do you stop a killer who broadcasts his crimes to the world, enlisting viewers to help him? It's not going to be easy, but if a cop, a scientist, and a reporter can uncover his identity, maybe the bloodshed will cease.

They need an audience to watch them do it.

Finally, at #9 is Jeffrey L. Kohanek's "An Imperial Gambit." In a world where magic and firearms go head to head in battle, being an espion is a high, yet dangerous, honor. Brandt and Quinn know the risks well. They've been working undercover to dismantle the dictatorship of the Empire, but their time is running out. With the help of their fellow fighters and the ancient art of Chaos magic, the two will have to choose their weapons wisely. Should the Empire emerge as the victor, magic will be outlawed forever, and their execution will be imminent.