Having told her real-life story in the memoir Fair Game (2007), former CIA agent Plame teams with Lovett, author of the Dr. Sylvia Strange series, to relate the adventures of undercover CIA operative Vanessa Pierson.
Pierson is obsessed with tracking down the world's most dangerous terrorist, Bhoot, who is said to be stockpiling weapons of mass destruction in Iran. His location is secret, but his closest associate, a grim sniper assassin named Pauk, is roaming around, knocking off people who threaten to expose closely held secrets. Those targets include Vanessa's informers, the first of whom gets shot in the head in Prague in a meeting she was told to abort. Readers who have watched TV's Covert Affairs, featuring slightly perkier undercover agent Annie Walker, will pretty much know what to expect here. In her intense pursuit of justice, which takes her to numerous scenic locations, Vanessa goes against her superiors' orders and violates basic rules—including the one that you don't get romantically involved with a connection in the field. That leads her to a predictable dilemma in which she has to decide whether or not to trust her lover. However unoriginal it is, the book moves along briskly and intelligently, informed by the disillusionment Plame suffered in having her cover blown by the Bush administration. There are plenty of action scenes for Vanessa to fling herself into and, in this first installment in the series, a decently drawn, if not yet scare-inducing, villain.
Making her spy fiction debut, Plame, with the seasoned Lovett's help, delivers a solid, entertaining thriller.