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A Quick Snapshot

These thrillers usually involve high-stakes games played in the corridors of power in Washington, DC. Political struggles, abuse of power, cover-ups, conspiracies, assassinations, and indiscretions by men in power abound.

Senators and other political figures, including the President, may play major roles in the plot. The protagonist usually is someone who has access to the hallowed halls, but is in some sense an outsider – as for example, disgraced former Secret Service Agents Sean King and Michelle Maxwell in David Baldacci’s acclaimed King & Maxwell series.

There is some overlap between this sub-genre and the Spy Thriller sub-genre, but political thrillers tend to take place on the domestic stage rather than an international one.


Part of the Mitch Rapp thriller series.

On a normal Washington morning, the sanctity of the White House is suddenly shattered by a barrage of terrorist gunfire. Thanks to the expert actions of the Secret Service, the President is safely evacuated to his underground bunker. But dozens of innocent people have been killed, and nearly a hundred hostages taken.

While military leaders and politicians argue over how to negotiate with the terrorists, the CIA’s top counterterrorism operative, Mitch Rapp, discovers the President is still in grave danger and sets out to save him.

Now, moving stealthily through the corridors and secret passages of the White House, Rapp’s pulling out all the stops. But a hidden enemy within his own government is working against him, and time is running out…


Charlie Marder is an unlikely Congressman, thrust into office by family ties after the mysterious death of his predecessor.  Now he finds himself struggling to survive the riptides of 1950s Washington, DC, along with his wife Margaret, a zoologist with her own ambitions.

When a suspicious fatal car accident plunges the young couple into an underworld of backroom deals, secret societies, and a plot that could change the course of history, Charlie finds himself fighting not only for his principles and newfound political career… but also for his life. 

THE FIRST LADY by James Patterson & Brendan Dubois

James Patterson Teaches You To Writer A Bestseller. Learn More.

A top Secret Service agent in charge of the Presidential Protection team, Sally Grissom knows something is wrong when she’s summoned to a private meeting with the President and his Chief of Staff without any witnesses. But in her wildest dreams she never would have imagined she’d be forced to take on an investigation into the mysterious disappearance of the First Lady, and ordered to keep it a secret.

The First Lady’s absence comes in the wake of a scandalous public revelation that the President has been having an affair, so initially it appears that she’s simply cutting off all contact while she recovers at a horse farm in Virginia. But that illusion is soon dispelled when a ransom note arrives at the White House… along with the First Lady’s finger.

HOUSE OF CARDS by Michael Dobbs

The USA Today Bestseller from the Executive Producer of the Netflix hit series House of Cards.

In this dark, explosive tale of greed, corruption, passion, and insatiable ambition in the corridors of power, Francis Urquhart has his hand on every secret in politics and is willing to betray anyone in his circle in order to become Prime Minister.

Mattie Storin is a tell-it-like-it-is young reporter with a knack for ferreting out the real stories behind the spin. When she uncovers a scandalous web of financial corruption and intrigue at the highest levels, she vows to reveal the truth, even though it will mean battling her own demons.

Now these two are set on a collision course. And only one can survive…


Lt. Commander James Reece returns from his last deployment where his entire team was killed in a devastating ambush, only to contront a new tragedy. On the day of his homecoming those dearest to him are murdered, and Reece discovers they’re victims of a conspiracy involving the highest levels of government.

Now Reece is going to apply the lessons he’s learned in more than a decade of constant warfare to avenge the deaths of his family and teammates.


Book #1 of the Matthew Richter series.

Caught in a game of chess he didn’t even know he was playing, the President makes a devastating move, plunging Washington and the nation into chaos. Reeling from the shock, Vice President David Kendall takes the oath of office and tries to heal a nation in mourning. But when a fatal decision triggers consequences he never envisioned, President Kendall finds himself embroiled in the same high-stakes game that cost his predecessor his life.

Meanwhile Secret Service Agent Matthew Richter is haunted by the death of the man he vowed to protect at any cost. When his girlfriend breaks up with him and his boss tells him his job’s on the line, he thinks things can’t get any worse.

Until he finds himself fighting to save another President from the deadly forces he’s unwittingly unleashed…


Book #1 of the Blake Jordan thriller series.

When his wife is murdered, strictly-by-the-book agent Blake Jordan immerses himself in the one thing he’s always been good at, his job. But he’s so devastated by his loss that he doesn’t notice someone is watching him from the shadows.

Asked to handle security for Senator Keller the night he’s set to receive his party’s nomination for President, Blake accepts the assignment. And is alarmed and guilt-stricken when the Senator is abducted on his watch.

Now in order to get him back, Blake’s going to have to break every rule he’s lived by…

Because what the kidnappers are planning to do next is is unbelievably shocking. And far darker and more personal than he could imagine.

TARGET: ALEX CROSS by James Patterson

Book #26 of the thriller series featuring Alex Cross, a homicide detective with a Ph.D. in psychology.

A leader has fallen, and Alex Cross joins the procession of mourners from Capitol Hill to the White House.

Then a sniper’s bullet strikes an important target in the heart of DC. And Alex’s wife, Bree Stone, newly promoted chief of DC detectives, has to solve the case or risk losing her coveted position.

Secret Service and FBI agents take an active role in the race to find the shooter as well. And Alex is tasked by the new President himself with leading an investigation that’s unprecedented in scope and scale.

But is the sniper’s strike just the beginning of a larger attack on the nation?

SPLIT SECOND by David Baldacci

SPLIT SECOND is the first book of Baldacci’s wildly popular King & Maxwell series.

Michelle Maxwell has just destroyed her promising career as a Secret Service agent. Against her instincts, she let a presidential candidate out of her sight for the briefest moment and the man whose safety was her responsibility vanished into thin air.

Sean King knows how the younger agent feels. Eight years earlier, the dedicated Secret Service agent allowed his attention to be diverted for only a split second. And the candidate he was protecting was gunned down right before his eyes.

Now as their destinies converge, the two discredited agents are drawn into a maze of secrets, deception, and deadly coincidences. And they’re about to discover a shocking truth.

The separate split-second acts of violence that ripped their lives apart were really a long time in the making. And they’re far from over…



See other types of thrillers

Please feel free to share your comments or questions below. I’m always happy to hear from you!

Thrillingly yours,

Kristy Dark


Hey, check out my super-suspenseful thriller novel!

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