This book was a girly girl read from beginning to end. Being a guy, I still found this a mildly entertaining read but I was put off by all of the references to this is how I felt at the moment type of dribble that some women love to expound upon. Then there is the group dynamics that are reported on from the author’s perspective, another female trait. Men do this too, but usually more succinctly and with less importance. This was my second read in a sequence of three former spies coming in from the cold. The first book, See No Evil, by Robert Baer is my top choice because it seemed to get closer to the actual working day for a spy. A Spy’s Journey A CIA Memoir by Floyd L. Paseman is my second choice because it seemed to offer less of the dirt and grime and the interpersonal dynamics were portrayed how effective an individual was at accomplishing his job. It read like a management guide. But it did not inflict upon me the female perspective that seemed to be in conflict with the situations. My last pick is Blowing My Cover for the reasons listed above. Now from a women’s perspective I suspect the ranking might be inverted.
All three books came up pretty much with the same conclusions that some of the political appointees put in charge of the CIA had pretty much made a mess of that agency. The withdrawal of operatives in the field in favor of sterile satellite photographs for Intel is a mistake most high school child would not make and to believe well educated adults put forth this change is utterly appalling. Then the lack of language skilled agents working in foreign countries is way beyond stupid. Paseman thinks the agency is coming back but his book seemed to be written so he would not tell the whole truth at the expense of being hired back into the agency. So do we agree with his assessment?
All three books offered humorous incidents. See No Evil, for me, was the most fun to read.
As for trade craft, See No Evil explained best of the three books some of the methods spy’s used. I was really surprised at what lengths and immense amounts of time these spies took to make sure no one knew who they were, where they came from, and protect the person they were rendezvousing with.