Book picks similar to
The Soul of Viktor Tronko by David Quammen
Robert Littell - 2002
In a style intelligent and ironic, Littell tells it like it was: CIA agents fighting not only 'the good fight' against foreign enemies, but sometimes the bad one as well, with the ends justifying such means as CIA-organized assassinations, covert wars, kidnappings, and toppling of legitimate governments. Behind every manoeuvre and counter-manoeuvre, though, one question spans the length of the book... Who is the mole within the CIA? The Company - an astonishing novel that captures the life and death struggle of an entire generation of CIA operatives during a long Cold War.
Joseph Kanon - 2012
Even American businessman Leon Bauer has been drawn into this shadow world, doing undercover odd jobs and courier runs for the Allied war effort. Now as the espionage community begins to pack up and an apprehensive city prepares for the grim realities of post-war life, he is given one more assignment, a routine job that goes fatally wrong, plunging him into a tangle of intrigue and moral confusion.Played out against the bazaars and mosques and faded mansions of this knowing, ancient Ottoman city, Leon's attempt to save one life leads to a desperate manhunt and a maze of shifting loyalties that threatens his own. How do you do the right thing when there are only bad choices to make? Istanbul Passage is the story of a man swept up in the aftermath of war, an unexpected love affair, and a city as deceptive as the calm surface waters of the Bosphorus that divides it.Rich with atmosphere and period detail, Joseph Kanon's latest novel flawlessly blends fact and fiction into a haunting thriller about the dawn of the Cold War, once again proving why Kanon has been hailed as the "heir apparent to Graham Greene" (The Boston Globe).
The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War
Ben Macintyre - 2018
In his grey suit and tie, he looked like any other Soviet citizen. The bag alone was mildly conspicuous, printed with the red logo of Safeway, the British supermarket.The man was a spy for MI6. A senior KGB officer, for more than a decade he had supplied his British spymasters with a stream of priceless secrets from deep within the Soviet intelligence machine. No spy had done more to damage the KGB. The Safeway bag was a signal: to activate his escape plan to be smuggled out of Soviet Russia. So began one of the boldest and most extraordinary episodes in the history of spying. Ben Macintyre reveals a tale of espionage, betrayal and raw courage that changed the course of the Cold War forever...
Jason Matthews - 2013
In present-day Russia, ruled by blue-eyed, unblinking President Vladimir Putin, Russian intelligence officer Dominika Egorova struggles to survive in the post-Soviet intelligence jungle. Ordered against her will to become a “Sparrow,” a trained seductress, Dominika is assigned to operate against Nathaniel Nash, a young CIA officer who handles the Agency’s most important Russian mole.Spies have long relied on the “honey trap,” whereby vulnerable men and women are intimately compromised. Dominika learns these techniques of “sexpionage” in Russia’s secret “Sparrow School,” hidden outside of Moscow. As the action careens between Russia, Finland, Greece, Italy, and the United States, Dominika and Nate soon collide in a duel of wills, tradecraft, and—inevitably—forbidden passion that threatens not just their lives but those of others as well. As secret allegiances are made and broken, Dominika and Nate’s game reaches a deadly crossroads. Soon one of them begins a dangerous double existence in a life-and-death operation that consumes intelligence agencies from Moscow to Washington, DC.Page by page, veteran CIA officer Jason Matthews’s Red Sparrow delights and terrifies and fascinates, all while delivering an unforgettable cast, from a sadistic Spetsnaz “mechanic” who carries out Putin’s murderous schemes to the weary CIA Station Chief who resists Washington “cake-eaters” to MARBLE, the priceless Russian mole. Packed with insider detail and written with brio, this tour-de-force novel brims with Matthews’s life experience, including his knowledge of espionage, counterintelligence, surveillance tradecraft, spy recruitment, cyber-warfare, the Russian use of “spy dust,” and covert communications. Brilliantly composed and elegantly constructed, Red Sparrow is a masterful spy tale lifted from the dossiers of intelligence agencies on both sides of the Atlantic. Authentic, tense, and entertaining, this novel introduces Jason Matthews as a major new American talent.
The Trinity Six
Charles Cumming - 2011
And people are killing for it… London, 1992. Late one night, Edward Crane, 76, is declared dead at a London hospital. An obituary describes him only as a 'resourceful career diplomat'. But Crane was much more than that – and the circumstances surrounding his death are far from what they seem. Fifteen years later, academic Sam Gaddis needs money. When a journalist friend asks for his help researching a possible sixth member of the notorious Trinity spy ring, Gaddis knows that she's onto a story that could turn his fortunes around. But within hours the journalist is dead, apparently from a heart attack. Taking over her investigation, Gaddis trails a man who claims to know the truth about Edward Crane. Europe still echoes with decades of deadly disinformation on both sides of the Iron Curtain. And as Gaddis follows a series of leads across the continent, he approaches a shocking revelation – one which will rock the foundations of politics from London to Moscow…
The Charm School
Nelson DeMille - 1988
In a place called Mrs. Ivanova's Charm School, young KGB agents are being taught by American POW's how to be model citizens of the USA. The Soviet goal -- to infiltrate the United States undetected. When an unsuspecting American tourist stumbles upon this secret, he sets in motion a CIA investigation that will reveal horrifying police state savagery and superpower treachery.
Len Deighton - 1983
But soon, Samson is confronted with evidence that there is a traitor among his colleagues. And to find out who it is, he must sift through layers of lies and follow a web of treachery from London to Berlin until hero and traitor collide.From the Paperback edition.
The Billion Dollar Spy: A True Story of Cold War Espionage and Betrayal
David E. Hoffman - 2015
A man on the curb handed him an envelope whose contents stunned U.S. intelligence: details of top-secret Soviet research and developments in military technology that were totally unknown to the United States. In the years that followed, the man, Adolf Tolkachev, an engineer in a Soviet military design bureau, used his high-level access to hand over tens of thousands of pages of technical secrets. His revelations allowed America to reshape its weapons systems to defeat Soviet radar on the ground and in the air, giving the United States near total superiority in the skies over Europe.One of the most valuable spies to work for the United States in the four decades of global confrontation with the Soviet Union, Tolkachev took enormous personal risks—but so did the Americans. The CIA had long struggled to recruit and run agents in Moscow, and Tolkachev was a singular breakthrough. Using spy cameras and secret codes as well as face-to-face meetings in parks and on street corners, Tolkachev and his handlers succeeded for years in eluding the feared KGB in its own backyard, until the day came when a shocking betrayal put them all at risk.Drawing on previously secret documents obtained from the CIA and on interviews with participants, David Hoffman has created an unprecedented and poignant portrait of Tolkachev, a man motivated by the depredations of the Soviet state to master the craft of spying against his own country. Stirring, unpredictable, and at times unbearably tense, The Billion Dollar Spy is a brilliant feat of reporting that unfolds like an espionage thriller.
David Ignatius - 2011
It falls to Sophie Marx, a young CIA officer with a big chip on her shoulder, to figure out who's doing the killing and why. Her starting point is Alphabet Capital, the London hedge fund that has been providing cover for this secret operation, but the investigation soon widens to include the capitals of the Middle East and the cruel hills of South Waziristan.Sophie thinks she has the backing of her hard-nosed boss, Jeffrey Gertz, and his genial mentor at headquarters, Cyril Hoffman. In addition, she gets help from the well-mannered lieutenant general heading Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate. But the closer Sophie gets to her quarry, the more she realizes that nothing in this gallery of mirrors is quite what it seems. This is a theater of violence and retribution, in which the last act is one that Sophie could not have imagined.David Ignatius has written a disturbing and compelling novel where the price of unchecked government is paid in blood, and peace can be bought only through betrayal.
The Russia House
John le Carré - 1989
Navigating readers through the shadow worlds of international espionage with critical knowledge culled from his years in British Intelligence, le Carré tracks the dark and devastating trail of a document that could profoundly alter the course of world events. In Moscow, a sheaf of military secrets changes hands. If it arrives at its destination, and if its import is understood, the consequences could be cataclysmic. Along the way it has an explosive impact on the lives of three people: a Soviet physicist burdened with secrets; a beautiful young Russian woman to whom the papers are entrusted; and Barley Blair, a bewildered English publisher pressed into service by British Intelligence to ferret out the document's source. A magnificent story of love, betrayal, and courage, The Russia House catches history in the act. For as the Iron Curtain begins to rust and crumble, Blair is left to sound a battle cry that may fall on deaf ears.
The Book of Spies
Gayle Lynds - 2010
Soon an attempt is made on Eva’s life. Determined not only to survive but to uncover the truth, Eva turns to the only person she can trust—Judd Ryder, a former intelligence agent with his own agenda and a troubled past. Together, Judd and Eva embark on an international adventure from London to Rome, Istanbul, and Athens. Somehow they must do what no one else has been able to do – find the library and stay alive.
Henry Bromell - 2001
In 1958, at the height of the Cold War, CIA agent Mack Hooper arrived in the tiny middle-eastern kingdom of Kurash with a mission to befriend and protect its inexperienced young ruler. Now, forty years later, the country no longer exists and Mack’s son Terry is trying to piece together his father’s story. Was he a friend to the young king, or a diplomat-seducer sent to betray him? And what happened to the lost kingdom? Moving deftly between the feudal world of Kurash and the martini-washed enclaves of the American spies, Little America is a riveting and unexpectedly moving tale of honor and betrayal as well as a brilliant evocation of espionage in the darkest days of the Cold War.
An Officer and a Spy
Robert Harris - 2013
This is the story of the infamous Dreyfus affair told as a chillingly dark, hard-edged novel of conspiracy and espionage. Paris in 1895. Alfred Dreyfus, a young Jewish officer, has just been convicted of treason, sentenced to life imprisonment at Devil’s Island, and stripped of his rank in front of a baying crowd of twenty-thousand. Among the witnesses to his humiliation is Georges Picquart, the ambitious, intellectual, recently promoted head of the counterespionage agency that “proved” Dreyfus had passed secrets to the Germans. At first, Picquart firmly believes in Dreyfus’s guilt. But it is not long after Dreyfus is delivered to his desolate prison that Picquart stumbles on information that leads him to suspect that there is still a spy at large in the French military. As evidence of the most malignant deceit mounts and spirals inexorably toward the uppermost levels of government, Picquart is compelled to question not only the case against Dreyfus but also his most deeply held beliefs about his country, and about himself. Bringing to life the scandal that mesmerized the world at the turn of the twentieth century, Robert Harris tells a tale of uncanny timeliness––a witch hunt, secret tribunals, out-of-control intelligence agencies, the fate of a whistle-blower--richly dramatized with the singular storytelling mastery that has marked all of his internationally best-selling novels.
Plum & Jaggers
Susan Richards Shreve - 2000
The family troupe's fame gathers momentum as they rise from open-mike nights, to small comedy clubs to late-night television spots, until it threatens them with unforeseen and new dangers. With compassion, warmth, and wit, Susan Richards Shreve has crafted a powerful story about family tragedy and one person's refusal to accept fate.
Frederick Forsyth - 2018
Most weapons you can control.But what if the most dangerous weapon in the world isn’t a smart missile or a stealth submarine or even an AI computer programme? What if it’s an 18-year-old boy with a blisteringly brilliant mind, who can run rings around the most sophisticated security services across the globe, who can manipulate that weaponry and turn it against the superpowers themselves? How valuable would he be? And what wouldn’t you do to get hold of him?The Fox is a race-against-time thriller across continents to find and capture, or protect and save, an asset with the means to change the balance of world power. Whatever happens he must not fall into the wrong hands. Because what follows after that is unthinkable…'Forsyth deserves his place among the thriller greats.' The Times'The master of the modern espionage novel returns . . . this is Forsyth at his spellbinding best.' Daily Mail