an ordinary spy by joseph weisberg

December 18, 2007

i just finished an ordinary spy by joseph weisberg.

ordinary spy

i just finish this book last night. i really liked it. at first i had a hard time getting into it. it is written by a former cia operative. the manuscript had to be submitted to the cia for review and they cut out quite a lot. instead of editing the text to make it more pc, weisberg left the text as is with the redacted text blacked out. once i got used to it, i couldn’t put the book down.

the main character is a first tour case officer headed out to his first overseas assignment. where this is, i have no idea. it was redacted. while learning the ropes of his new station and working on making contacts, he gets involved with a woman who he was trying to recruit, tries to keep it secret, gets caught, then is finally sent home. while trying to figure out what he is going to do with his life, he gets a card with an address on it, nothing else. curiosity gets the best of him and he goes to find out what and who is at that address.

i almost didn’t finish this book. the redacted text drove me nuts. it’s hard to [blank] when you [blank blank blank] and [blank blank]. but once i got used to it, the book was much easier to read. i’m glad it kept going. it was worth it.

this is NOT your typical spy novel. most (vince flynn, ken follett, daniel silva, etc) spy novels are fast-paced and full of action. an ordinary spy is much more realistic. there is more intrigue than action, more trade craft than torture. it has the feel of an intelligent read more than an exciting read.

my only read beef with the book comes at the end. i thought that the ending displayed a bit of the author’s lack of imagination. i felt it was so predictable that i was surprised when i read it. maybe that was what he intended, but i could definitely go for a rewrite of the ending.

although i was disappointed in the ending, i will never not recommend a book’s first 260 pages just because i didn’t like the last ten. i would certainly recommend this title. i’ll make sure it gets on to a good display in the store and i’m sure we’ll sell a couple. if you enjoy espionage/intrigue novels, this is worth your time.

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