A beautiful, driven, possibly unstable CIA agent. A dangerous undercover operation. A global conspiracy.
No,Â itâs âBlowbackâ â the upcoming spy novel by ex-undercover CIA agent Valerie Plameâ which feels like a chapter from the addictive Showtime series.
You remember Plame: the glamorous spy exposed by the Bush administration in 2003 during its feud with her husband, former ambassador Joe Wilson. The scandal caused a huge uproar, Plame and Wilson briefly became Washingtonâs sensational âitâ couple, and Plame authored a heavily-redacted memoir, âFair Game,â in 2007.
Now Plame, aided by veteran author Sarah Lovett, has penned a first novel: A spy thriller about Vanessa Pierson (hmm, familiar initials), a âyoung, blonde, lithe and nicely sexyâ covert agent who appears incapable of taking orders and finds herself at the center of a deadly race to locate and eradicate an Iranian nuclear threat â which dovetails neatly into Plameâs real life as an activist on the issue of nuclear proliferation.
We reached out to Plame, but her rep told us sheâs âoff the table for book-related commentâ until a big media rollout in two weeks. In PR copy for the book, Plame says that her heroine is âa reflection of my younger selfâ when she worked at the CIA: âassertive, sometimes brash and so focused on getting the job done that she doesnât always recognize when she has ruffled feathers.â
So, how is it? What espionage fans call âspy lightâ: Two-page chapters with cliffhanger endings, predictable clashes (âYouâre acting like a goddamn cowboy â I canât begin to list your sins,â her supervisor angrily tells her after yet another breach of protocol) and years of covert operations somehow packed into a couple weeks of action.
Set aside, if you will, the reality that most undercover agents spend years living pretty boring lives. Vanessa ricochets across the globe, fighting the clock and her bosses at Langley to capture an international criminal mastermind. Despite several close calls, she manages to stay in the field (âI may be crazy, but Iâm counting on your instincts,â says her boss) and saves the day.
Doesnât really matter how well âBlowbackâ sells: âBurned,â the second Vanessa Pierson book in the spy series, is already in the works. âMore thrills, danger, romance and sex!â Plame promises in the release.
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