Graham Greene Books: Top 11 Mysteries and Thrillers

Graham Greene Books: Henry Graham Greene OM CH (2 October 1904 – 3 April 1991), professionally known as Graham Greene, was an English writer and journalist regarded by many as one of the leading English novelists of the 20th century. Combining literary acclaim with widespread popularity, Greene acquired a reputation early in his lifetime as a major writer, both of serious Catholic novels, and of thrillers (or “entertainments” as he termed them).

He was shortlisted, in 1966 and 1967, for the Nobel Prize for Literature. Through 67 years of writings, which included over 25 novels, he explored the ambivalent moral and political issues of the modern world, often through a Catholic perspective. We hope that you enjoy our list of the top 11 Graham Greene Books.

Graham Greene Books

The Power and the Glory Mar 13, 2018 by Graham Greene

In the Mexican state of Tabasco in the 1930s, all vestiges of Catholicism are being outlawed by the government. As churches are razed, icons are banned, and the price of devotion is execution, an unnamed member of the clergy flees. He’s known only as the “whisky priest.” Beset by heretical vices, guilt, and an immoral past, he’s torn between self-destruction and self-preservation. Too modest to be a martyr, too stubborn to follow the law, and too craven to take a bullet, he now travels as one of the hunted—attending, in secret, to the spiritual needs of the faithful. When a peasant begs him to return to Tabasco to hear the confessions of a dying man, the whisky priest knows it’s a trap. But it’s also his duty—and possibly his salvation.

The Quiet American Mar 13, 2018 by Graham Greene

 
It’s 1955 and British journalist Thomas Fowler has been in Vietnam for two years covering the insurgency against French colonial rule. But it’s not just a political tangle that’s kept him tethered to the country. There’s also his lover, Phuong, a young Vietnamese woman who clings to Fowler for protection. Then comes Alden Pyle, an idealistic American working in service of the CIA. Devotedly, disastrously patriotic, he believes neither communism nor colonialism is what’s best for Southeast Asia, but rather a “Third Force”: American democracy by any means necessary. His ideas of conquest include Phuong, to whom he promises a sweet life in the states. But as Pyle’s blind moral conviction wreaks havoc upon innocent lives, it’s ultimately his romantic compulsions that will play a role in his own undoing.

Our Man in Havana Apr 10, 2018 by Graham Greene

James Wormold, a cash-strapped vacuum cleaner salesman in Havana, finds the answer to his prayers when British Intelligence offers him a lucrative job as an undercover agent. To keep the checks coming, Wormold must at least pretend to know what he’s doing. Soon, he’s apparently deciphering incomprehensible codes, passing along sketches of secret weapons that look suspiciously like vacuum parts, and claiming to recruit fellow operatives from his country club, all to create the perfect picture of intrigue.
 
But when MI6 dispatches a secretary to oversee his endeavors, Wormold fears his carelessly fabricated world will come undone. Instead, it all comes true. Somehow, he’s become the target of an assassin, and it’s going to take more than a fib to get out of Cuba alive. Her Majesty’s man in Havana may have to resort to spying.

The End of the Affair Mar 13, 2018 by Graham Greene

Maurice Bendrix, a writer in Clapham during the Blitz, develops an acquaintance with Sarah Miles, the bored, beautiful wife of a dull civil servant named Henry. Maurice claims it’s to divine a character for his novel-in-progress. That’s the first deception. What he really wants is Sarah, and what Sarah needs is a man with passion. So begins a series of reckless trysts doomed by Maurice’s increasing romantic demands and Sarah’s tortured sense of guilt. Then, after Maurice miraculously survives a bombing, Sarah ends the affair—quickly, absolutely, and without explanation. It’s only when Maurice crosses paths with Sarah’s husband that he discovers the fallout of their duplicity—and it’s more unexpected than Maurice, Henry, or Sarah herself could have imagined.
 

Travels with My Aunt Apr 10, 2018 by Graham Greene

Now that the dullish Henry Pulling has left his job with an agreeable pension and a firm handshake, he plans to spend more time weeding his dahlias. Then, for the first time in fifty years, he sees his aunt Augusta at his mother’s funeral. Charging into her seventies with florid abandon, not a day of her life wasted, and her future as bright as her brilliant red hair, Augusta insists that Henry abandon his garden, follow her, and hold on tight.
 
With that, she whisks her nephew out of Brighton and boards the Orient Express bound for Paris and Istanbul, then on to Paraguay, and down the rabbit hole of her past that swarms with swindlers, smugglers, war criminals, and rather unconventional lovers. With each new stop, Henry discovers not only more about his aunt and her secrets but also about himself as well.

The Heart of the Matter Apr 10, 2018 by Graham Greene

In a British colony in West Africa, Henry Scobie is a pious and righteous man of modest means enlisted with securing borders. But when he’s passed over for a promotion as commissioner of police, the humiliation hits hardest for his wife, Louise. Already oppressed by the appalling climate, frustrated in a loveless marriage, and belittled by the wives of more privileged officers, Louise wants out.
 
Feeling responsible for her unhappiness, Henry decides against his better judgment to accept a loan from a black marketeer to secure Louise’s passage. It’s just a single indiscretion, yet for Henry it precipitates a rapid fall from grace as one moral compromise after another leads him into a web of blackmail, adultery, and murder. And for a devout man like Henry, there may be nothing left but damnation.

The Ministry of Fear Apr 10, 2018 by Graham Greene

On a peaceful Sunday afternoon, Arthur Rowe comes upon a charity fete in the gardens of a Cambridgeshire vicarage where he wins a game of chance. If only this were an ordinary day. Britain is under threat by Germany, and the air raid sirens that bring the bazaar to a halt expose Rowe as no ordinary man. Recently released from a psychiatric prison for the mercy killing of his wife, he is burdened by guilt, and now, in possession of a seemingly innocuous prize, on the run from a nest of Nazi spies who want him dead.
 
Pursued on a dark odyssey through the bombed-out streets of London, he becomes enmeshed in a tangle of secrets that reach into the dark recesses of his own forgotten past. And there isn’t a soul he can trust, not even himself. Because Arthur Rowe doesn’t even know who he really is.

Brighton Rock Apr 10, 2018 by Graham Greene

Seventeen-year-old Pinkie Brown, raised amid the casual violence and corruption in the dire prewar Brighton slums, has left his final judgment in the hands of God. On the streets, impelled by his own twisted moral doctrine, he leads a motley pack of gangsters whose sleazy little rackets have most recently erupted in the murder of an informant. Pinkie’s attempts to cover their tracks have led him into the bed of a timid and lovestruck young waitress named Rose—his new wife, the key witness to his crimes, and, should she live long enough, his alibi. But loitering in the shadows is another woman, Ida Arnold—an avenging angel determined to do right by Pinkie’s latest victim.
 

The Comedians Apr 10, 2018 by Graham Greene

Haiti, under the rule of Papa Doc and his menacing paramilitary, the Tontons Macoute, has long been abandoned by tourists. Now it is home to corrupt capitalists, foreign ambassadors and their lonely wives—and a small group of enterprising strangers rocking into port on the Dutch cargo ship, Medea: a well-meaning pair of Americans claiming to bring vegetarianism to the natives; a former jungle fighter in World War II Burma and current confidence man; and an English hotelier returning home to the Trianon, an unsalable shell of an establishment on the hills above the capital. Each is embroiled in a charade. But when they’re unsuspectingly bound together in this nightmare republic of squalid poverty, torrid love affairs, and impending violence, their masks will be stripped away.

Orient Express May 15, 2018 by Graham Greene

The Orient Express has embarked from Ostend for a three-day journey to Cologne, Vienna, and Constantinople. The passenger list includes a Jewish trader from London with business interests in Turkey—and a score to settle; a vulnerable chorus girl on her last legs; a boozy and spiteful journalist who’s found an unrequited love in her paid companion, and her latest scoop in second class—a Serbian dissident in disguise on his way to lead a revolution; and a murderer on the run looking for a getaway. As the train hurtles across Europe, the fates of everyone on board will collide long before the Orient Express rushes headlong to its final destination.

A Sense of Reality: Stories Jul 10, 2018 by Graham Greene

In “Under the Garden,” William Wilditch, a restless loner given to wanderlust, takes one final journey as he approaches death—back to his childhood home where he discovers that the memories of his youth are simply not to be believed. In “A Visit to Morin,” an admirer and old friend of a once-renowned Catholic writer is unprepared for the startling confessions of the spiritually bereft, now-reclusive scribe. On a vast plantation, a peculiar wish is granted a poor leper by his physician-in-charge—and for one rowdy winter night, a “Dream of a Strange Land” becomes a reality. Finally, for a group of children scouting the apocalyptic ruins at the edge of their village, “A Discovery in the Woods” opens their eyes to a lost world they never knew existed.