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A former CIA case officer's novel about two embattled spies who go to extraordinary lengths to keep their informants out of harm's way, published as vetted by the agency itself.
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 [REDACTED], where he hobnobs with foreign diplomats and informants, who have access to [REDACTED] information and contacts like the powerful General [REDACTED], in the hopes of recruiting them as agents. But, when he falls for the wrong woman, he's quickly sent back to [REDACTED], 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. Published with redacted material throughout the novel, An Ordinary Spy is a riveting and dramatic portrait of modern espionage, filled with suspense, intrigue, and betrayal.
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Joseph Weisberg is the author of the critically acclaimed 10th Grade, which was a 2002 New York Times Notable Book. A former CIA officer, he grew up in Chicago and currently lives in New York City.From Publishers Weekly:
Mimicking many nonfiction books about the CIA, Weisberg, a former CIA officer, has included a blizzard of redacted (blacked out) words and sentences in his second novel (after 10th Grade), as if the agency's publications review board had worked the manuscript over with a heavy hand. Did they? Or is it just a clever ploy for verisimilitude? Mark Ruttenberg, a newly minted agent, is on his first foreign assignment trying to persuade citizens of an unknown country (the location has been redacted) to spy for American interests. He's doing well until he starts sleeping with one of his contacts and his superiors eventually fire him. Back in America, Ruttenberg meets another cashiered spy, Bobby Goldstein, and the two men share their experiences. Ruttenberg and Goldstein may be pretty ordinary spies, as the title suggests, but their stories compel, thanks to the author's deft prose and insider expertise. Given the quantity of blacked-out material, some readers may be more annoyed than intrigued as they puzzle over the missing information. (Jan.)
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