The Amateur Spy: Book summary and reviews of The Amateur Spy by Dan Fesperman

The Amateur Spy

A Novel

By Dan Fesperman

The Amateur Spy
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  • Published in USA  Mar 2008,
    384 pages.

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Book Summary

Burned out by years of humanitarian-aid work, Freeman and Mila Lockhart have retreated to an idyllic Greek island. But on the first night of their new life they are surprised by three intruders who seem to know everything about Freeman - including a haunting secret he has long kept from Mila. They use it to blackmail him into spying on an old Palestinian friend in Jordan. Overnight, Freeman is plunged into the maelstrom of the Middle East and is quickly in over his head.

In suburban Washington, D.C., meanwhile, a prosperous Palestinian-American couple, Abbas and Aliyah Rahim, are still grieving for their daughter, accidentally killed while vacationing abroad. Abbas, a surgeon whose patients number among the nation’s elite, blames her death on the bureaucratic machinations of overly suspicious officials. Aliyah fears he may be reeling toward fanaticism, and her efforts to avert this take her to Jordan. Like Freeman, she is soon overwhelmed by the region’s dangerous passions and complexities.

As their paths converge, Freeman and Aliyah—both desperately worried about the loved ones they left behind—must swiftly separate fact from illusion, enemy from friend. The consequences of failure could be catastrophic. . . .

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Freeman may be an amateur spy, but Fesperman...proves once again that he's a consummate professional. " - Publishers Weekly.

"A subtle summary partway through helps keep the plot cooking and the reader's elbows on the table. The conclusion is sudden but the book satisfying in its entirety." - Library Journal.

"Despite the flaws, well worth reading-Fesperman's empathy for his protagonists, struggling to do the right thing, is impressive." - Kirkus Reviews.

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Author Information

Dan Fesperman Author Biography

Dan Fesperman grew up in North Carolina and has reported for the Fayetteville, Durham Morning Herald, Charlotte News, Miami Herald and The Baltimore Sun, and worked in its Berlin bureau during the years of civil war in the former Yugoslavia, as well as in Afghanistan during the recent conflict. His travels as a writer have taken him to 30 nations and three war zones.

Fesperman's first novel, Lie in the Dark, won the Crime Writers Association of Britain's John Creasey Memorial Dagger Award for best first crime novel, and The Small Boat of Great Sorrows won the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award for best thriller. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland with his wife and children.

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