BREAKING THE RING: The Spy Family That Imperiled America by John Barron

BREAKING THE RING: The Spy Family That Imperiled America

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The full implications of the John Walker spy case were probably lost on the American public. Not too surprising since the government wasn't too anxious to reveal the terrible truth--for years the Russians knew almost every secret we had in detail. Here, Barron tells the story of how the FBI discovered and tracked down spymaster John Walker and broke up his ring. How could an American with years of quality military service behind him betray his country and do it so effortlessly? When caught, Walker was a retired Navy man with a profitable private security business; betrayal had caused him no pangs of conscience--to him it was a great way to make a buck. Although he tried to recruit his whole family, he only succeeded in getting his brother and son to spy for him. His downfall was caused by an anonymous letter and a conscience-stricken ex-wife. Letters to the FBI are often the work of nuts and cranks, but an alert employee recognized one of them as important and insisted that her boss stop everything and read it. The author tells us enough intimate details to transform the agents and FBI employees from faceless operatives to full-blooded human beings, and as a result, their dedicated efforts to break the ring make compelling reading. A well-paced, suspenseful story with the good and bad guys clearly delineated. A very solid entry in the spate of books ready to flood the market on the Walker case.

Pub Date: March 23rd, 1987
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin