Excerpt from An Ordinary Spy by Joseph Weisberg, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

An Ordinary Spy

A Novel

By Joseph Weisberg

An Ordinary Spy
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Hardcover: Dec 2007,
    288 pages.
    Paperback: Jan 2009,
    288 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


These more detailed files were, of course, the ones I liked reading the most. They were filled with cables that described operational meetings in great detail—what the target or agent was wearing, what their facial expressions were like, how they responded to what the case officer said and did. In just a few months, I’d be running meetings like this, and these real-world examples were an education in how much less formal and systematic the recruitment process was than the way it had been taught in training.

In addition to the operational cables, a file might or might not include intelligence reports. Unlike the other traffic, these                                                        . It was the information you were actually after when you recruited an agent in the first place. Whether there were a lot of them or just a few of them in the file depended on whether or not the officer at Headquarters in charge of the case was conscientious about putting them in. Most of the intel reports that were there were pretty dull, and it was hard to imagine them being that useful to an analyst. Friends in the Directorate of Intelligence (DI) had told me that the secret intelligence coming from the DO rarely had much of an impact on their analysis, and I could see why. On the other hand, there was an occasional nugget of information that seemed enormously important and useful.

2

About a week into the file review, I opened a folder labeled TDTRACER (all the cryptonyms, pseudonyms, and names in this book have been changed). The top cable was stamped                             , which was a complete surprise. My heart started racing a little bit as soon as I saw it.                             cables were more compartmentalized than other traffic, and normally they wouldn’t be in a regular file. I hadn’t seen any of these since starting at the Agency, except to sign for their delivery to the office once or twice. I’d certainly never read one. Arguably, I shouldn’t read this one without getting clearance, but here it was in front of me, and I was supposed to be doing the file review.

The cable had originated in          , where I was going to begin serving in about a month. I was, obviously, particularly interested in cases that took place there, especially more recent ones where the agent might still be active. The cable was dated June 2000, so it was certainly possible that it dealt with an agent who was still being run (this was the summer of 2002). Under the date was the normal range of headers —                                                                         written by a C/O with the pseudonym Franklin D. McCelvoy and then the text of the cable, which ran more or less as follows (                                                            ) 

AS PART OF ONGOING EFFORT TO DETERMINE THE WHEREABOUTS OF STATION ASSET TDTRACER, C/O FRANKLIN D. MCCELVOY RAN A 48- HOUR HOT WATCH OF         EMBASSY. WATCH BEGAN 6/19/00 AT 2200 ZULU. WHEN C/O MCCELVOY ARRIVED AT WATCH SITE 6/20/00 AT 0800 ZULU TO RELIEVE HEADQUARTERS SPECIAL PROJECTS TEAM MANAGER GRIMES, HE WAS DEPLOYED AT           IN CONTRAVENTION TO SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS GIVEN AT OUTSET OF OPERATION. VISUAL AND       OBSERVATION GAVE NO SIGNS OF TEAM HAVING BEEN DETECTED.

Reprinted by permission of Bloomsbury USA.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Promise
    The Promise
    by Ann Weisgarber
    Canadian author, Lucy Maud Montgomery of Anne of Green Gables fame, once wrote that "...all things ...
  • Book Jacket: Black Moon
    Black Moon
    by Kenneth Calhoun
    The popularity of book-turned-movie World War Z and television series The Walking Dead points to a ...
  • Book Jacket: Hyde
    Hyde
    by Daniel Levine
    In Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 novel, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the story ends ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin

Published Apr. 2014

Join the discussion!

Win this book!
Win The Steady Running of the Hour

The Steady Running of the Hour

"Exciting, emotionally engaging and ambitious. I loved it!" - Kate Mosse

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

I T T O A Eye

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.