Monday, May 15, 2006

To Buy: The Faithful Spy

I like spy stories, but I'm picky about them. I grew up reading Ian Fleming's stuff and frankly, I don't really care if I never read another spy novel. I can always go back and re-read those. But every once in a while someone comes along with something new to say about the genre other than "the Columbian drug lords are the new Soviets" or "Muslim extremists are the new Columbian drug lords." Alex Berenson seems to have done that.

Berenson's The Faithful Spy doesn't exploit the events of 9/11 and the War on Terror. It uses them to create a situation that couldn't exist at any other time. Well, maybe it could, but not as powerfully. According to Bookgasm, "CIA agent John Wells is pretty deep undercover. He’s immersed himself among the mujahedeen of Afghanistan, gone to fight for Muslims in Chechnya, converted to Islam, and done what no other agent has been able to do: infiltrate al-Qaeda to the point that many of the terrorists believe he’s on their side. He might have done too good a job, because after failing to provide an alert about 9/11, the CIA isn’t exactly sure what side he’s on."

I don't think I'd be interested in reading an entire series about John Wells, but watching him get out of this particular mess sounds like something I definitely want to do. And who knows? If Berenson comes up with another adventure that's just as intriguing, I'll probably be up for that too.


Klaus Kinski Jr said...

Don't give up on the Spy Fictioncheck out Len Deighton. They are the only books actually read by real British spies. Try and find Ipcress File or Funeral in Berlin. Or better yet try the Bernad Samson saga which starts with Berlin Game, Mexico Set, and London Match.

Michael May said...

Excellent! Thanks for the suggestions.

It's not that I've given up on spy fiction, it's just that I don't know where to look for the good stuff. I appreciate the leads!


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