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
  • First Published:
    Dec 2007, 288 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2009, 288 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Amy Reading

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!

One Month Free Membership

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Underground Airlines
    by Ben Winters

    "The Invisible Man meets Blade Runner in this outstanding alternate history thriller." - PW Star

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Book That Matters Most
    by Ann Hood

    An enthralling novel about love, loss, secrets and friendship.

    Read Member Reviews

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
This Must Be the Place
by Maggie O'Farrell

An irresistible love story for fans of Beautiful Ruins and Where'd You Go, Bernadette?

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Lady Cop Makes Trouble

The Kopp Sisters Return!

One of the nation's first female deputy sheriffs returns in another gripping adventure based on fact.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

Manners M (T) M

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

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

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.