Mark Ruttenberg may not be fit for the CIA. Early in his tenure with the agency, he learns about a former operative, Bobby Goldstein, and becomes curious about the case that led to his termination. Before he can get to the bottom of what happened, however, he's shipped off to , where he hobnobs with foreign diplomats and informants, who have access to information and contacts like the powerful General , in the hopes of recruiting them as agents. But, when he falls for the wrong woman, he's quickly sent back to , with nothing to show for his secretive work but a mysterious postcard with an unknown address on it. Who sent the postcard, and where is it supposed to lead him? Could this all be an ops test, with Mark's future hanging in the balance? Soon, he'll have to decide if righting an old wrong is worth taking a terrible and very personal risk.
Several months before I was scheduled to leave for , I was assigned
to the office in
. In my case, I was
shipping out in August, so I would be in for most of the summer.
It was a busy time in , but the officers running country desks liked to handle their own work. Theyd give me an occasional name trace to run, or have me coordinate a cable with another division. But I wasnt busy. Id read the morning trafficcables from the stations in , and what ever traffic was coming in. Id stop by my friends offices throughout the building or meet them for coffee in the cafeteria. And one or two days a week, Id take care of various tasks I had to accomplish before going abroad, like &...
An Ordinary Spy is deeply engrossing and gratifying, first for the details of spycraft, but lastingly for the contortions to which it puts the reader's mind as it wends its way though its complex moral questions.
(Reviewed by Amy Reading).
Full Review (1120 words).
Redactions in Modern
Though the memo at the end of the novel from the CIA Publications Review Board is addressed to the novel's protagonist, Mark Ruttenberg, thus revealing the redactions (blanked out text) as a fictional device to create an aura of authenticity, the novel did actually pass by the PRBsix times. Weisberg preemptively redacted his own work for security reasons as well as literary ones, ...
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