Ignatius (The Increment, 2009, etc.) continues his series of top-notch CIA thrillers with this fast-paced new entry.
CIA field agent Sophie Marx recently returned from an overseas assignment where she narrowly escaped being killed. Now Sophie’s working in a special off-the-books project run by the dangerous but capable Jeff Gertz. Gertz alone knows the full story behind the Hit Parade, a separate, untraceable operation of the CIA that is hidden in Los Angeles behind the façade of an entertainment company. From this seemingly innocuous office, Gertz runs operatives all over the world whose jobs, it appears, are to bring assets into the fold. But then something goes wrong, and those operatives start dying. One by one, the Hit Parade is losing some of its best agents to an unknown threat and Gertz, who never lets anyone see him sweat, decides that Sophie, his newly named chief of counterintelligence, is exactly the right person to keep his boss at the CIA and the White House off his back. When Sophie heads out to investigate, she finds much more than she anticipated. A longtime contributor to the Washington Post, where he has covered both the CIA and the Middle East, Ignatius writes with authority and skill about a shadow world in which nothing is as it seems and money is power. This may be fiction, but in the end the reader will be struck by how feasible the story really is.
A terrific, believable novel about the intersection of politics, ethics and finance.