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


Book Reviewed by:
Amy Reading

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


Seegram initially suggested to TRACER that they get together to discuss their respective countries’ interest in a trade pact with       . They had lunch, and when it went well, Seegram suggested they get together again. Over the course of several more meetings, they became quite friendly. TRACER was guarded when discussing       and his work at the embassy, but that was to be expected. Seegram was concerned that TRACER might be an intelligence agent himself, developing Seegram for recruitment. Likewise, there was a possibility that TRACER might have been a double agent the         was dangling. But these were always potential concerns, and as Seegram and TRACER spent more time together—primarily lunches and dinners at local restaurants—Seegram became increasingly convinced TRACER was neither an intel officer nor a double agent. Much of this was based on intuition, which is not considered a reliable guide in intelligence. But especially in the early stages of a recruitment, there often isn’t much else to go on.

The cables went into less and less detail as the development of TRACER went on. Presumably, Seegram started to ask more and more questions about             policy and what went on at the embassy, and TRACER responded. In a textbook case, TRACER would eventually cross a line where he was revealing things he should not have been. Seegram would continue to gently guide him down this path. Eventually a formal recruitment would take place.

However it did progress, a cable in December said that TDTRACER had been formally recruited. Subsequent cables ticked off the C/ O’s standard work at this point. Seegram moved their relationship into a fully clandestine mode, moving all meetings to secure locations. He trained TDTRACER in the fundamentals of tradecraft, including                               . A form of payment was set up,                                           by the case officer.

The operational cables now began to be interspersed with intelligence reports. There were three or four of them on             economic policy, none spectacularly interesting but one or two containing information that seemed like it would have been of interest to analysts working on       .

Seegram and TRACER had had five or six meetings since his recruitment, over the course          , when the cable traffic written by Seegram suddenly stopped. Seegram’s last cable detailed a fairly ordinary meeting at which                                                        . Then came McCelvoy’s                     cable, dated two weeks later, in which he reported that TDTRACER was still missing and that the station was losing confidence in the case officer with the pseudonym "Seegram."

I went back to the file cabinet to see if there was another TDTRACER folder. Sometimes folders were misfiled, so I looked all through the cabinets, but there was nothing else there.

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
    •  
Sign up, win books!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    The Search
    by Geoff Dyer
    All hail the independent publisher! In May 2014, Graywolf Press brought two of long-revered British ...
  • Book Jacket
    Mrs. Hemingway
    by Naomi Wood
    Naomi Wood's latest novel, Mrs. Hemingway, is a fictionalized biography covering in turn writer...
  • Book Jacket
    The Stranger on the Train
    by Abbie Taylor
    The opening chapter of Abbie Taylor's debut novel, The Stranger on the Train, took me right back to ...

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 City
by Dean Koontz

Published Jul. 2014

Join the discussion!

  1.  95Tomlinson Hill:
    Chris Tomlinson

All Discussions

Win this book!
Win The Angel of Losses

The Angel of Losses

"Family saga, mystery, and myth intersect in Feldman's debut novel." - Booklist

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

E C H A Silver L

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.