I'd say John Le Carre is the best spy novelist. I've read a few Tom Clancys , and mostly I liked them . I'm sorry to confess I never really got on to Robert Ludlum, but I love Le Carre's stuff.
JLC's third novel, "The spy who came in from the cold " is a masterpiece of clean, focused writing (IMO) and of course ,"Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy." is considered one of the greatest ever. Tinker Tailor.. is the first novel in a trilogy. The second being "The Honourable schoolboy ", and the third "Smileys People " the second and third books are just as good as Tinker tailor.. and should be read to complete the story.
" The Little Drummer girl " , " The night Manager "," The Constant Gardener ", and "Mission Song " are all good reads, To name a few.
Re: So who is the second best author after SK? Who else should every SK fan know abo
Brian Keene. I used to be strictly a Stephen King snob when it came to horror. No one else in the genre could touch him. Until one day I came across The Rising. After that I started gobbling up all things Keene. Stephen is and always will be the best but Keene fills the void in between new King releases. For gore I recommend The Rising, City of the Dead, and Dead Sea (all though Conqueror Worms is also amazing). For a damn good read look to Ghoul. It was Ghoul that shot Keene into the realm of King for me.