In the Mail: Courting Disaster

Courting Disaster: How the CIA Kept America Safe and How Barack Obama Is Inviting the Next Attack Marc Thiessen


White House speechwriter Marc Thiessen was locked in a secure room and given access to the most sensitive intelligence when he was tasked to write President George W. Bush’s 2006 speech explaining the CIA’s interrogation program and why Congress should authorize it. Few know more about these CIA operations than Thiessen, and in his new book, Courting Disaster, he documents just how effective the CIA’s interrogations were in foiling attacks on America, penetrating al-Qaeda’s high command, and providing our military with actionable intelligence. Thiessen also shows how reckless President Obama has been in shutting down the CIA’s program and releasing secret documents that have aided our enemies.

The Faithful Spy by Alex Berenson

Cover of "The Faithful Spy: A Novel"

The Faithful Spy: A Novel

I used to read a great deal of espionage thrillers.  I especially liked a series with a repeating central character.  In high school and college I used to devour them.  I would find an author I liked and read every book they had written.  There was somehing satisfying about being emersed in a series and a character.

These days my tastes are a little more eccelctic and I have a great deal less time.  No more going back and reading a newly discovered author’s backlist from the start.  This bugs me because I am the kind of person who likes to read a series in order for fear of missing some key fact or even just the more nuanced perspective you get from reading every book in a series or even in an author’s career.

But when Alex Berenson’s latest John Wells novel, The Silent Man, arrived at my door I felt like I needed to read the first two books before jumping in.  Thankfully it was only two books and they are quick reads.

Which brings us to the first book in the series, The Faithful Spy, which won the Edgar Award for a first novel in 2007.  If you like “ripped from the headlines” thrillers with a nice blend of action and geopolitical tension then The Faithful Spy is your kind of book.

Despite being firmly in the international/espionage thriller camp, Berenson brings a great deal of plausibility to his plots and depth to his characters.  They are fast and entertaining reads.

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