The Amateur Spy
The Amateur Spy
Vintage Books USA, Paperback, 9781400096152, 367pp.
Publication Date: March 10, 2009
Freeman Lockhart, a humanitarian aid worker and his Bosnian wife have just retired to a charming house on a Greek island. On their first night, violent intruders blackmail Freeman into spying on an old Palestinian friend living in Jordan. Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., a Palestinian-American named Aliyah Rahim is worried about her husband, who blames their daughter's death on the U.S. anti-terror policies. Aliyah learns that he is plotting a cataclysmic act of revenge; in a desperate effort to stop him, she flies to Jordan to meet her husband's co-conspirators. There she encounters Freeman neck-deep in his own investigation. As their paths intertwine, the story rises to its fast-paced, explosive climax.
“Intensely provocative. . . . Leaves the reader turning pages and looking over his or her shoulder with equal rapidity.”—The Baltimore Sun“Exceptional. . . . Fesperman writes so well that it's easy to follow wherever he leads. . . . Chilling.”—The Washington Post“Fesperman has mastered his genre.”—San Francisco Chronicle "An unflinching look at the festering atmosphere inside a Palestinian refugee camp in Jordan."—USA Today“War correspondent Fesperman shines the light of his insider's knowledge into the dark corners of Jordan and Jerusalem in his gripping fifth thriller . . . Freeman may be an amateur spy, but Fesperman proves once again that he's a consummate professional.”—Publishers Weekly“Foreign correspondent and novelist Fesperman has created another contender for his growing list of prize winners . . . The plot is complex, the sense of place powerful, and the characterization memorable . . . Fesperman expertly builds the tension.”—Library Journal“More classy suspense from Fesperman.”—Kirkus ReviewsPraise from the UK:“Dan Fesperman, a war correspondent with the Baltimore Sun, has served his time in Bosnia, Afghanistan and the Middle East. It shows: The Amateur Spy offers a gritty verisimilitude against a subtle political backdrop . . . Fesperman is especially good on the murky frontier where journalists, aid-workers and spies trade information, each seeking something for nothing. He is honing the genre of intelligent political thrillers. Foreign correspondents should note: they now have some new standards to match.”—The Economist“Fesperman has few equals when it comes to generating tension . . . But he is equally good at characterizing his vulnerable, conflicted protagonists . . . Powerful.”—Daily Express“Dan Fesperman’s novels always offer interesting and thought-provoking commentary on contemporary world events and in The Amateur Spy he tackles Middle East terrorism with a story that contains a disquietingly topical element . . . A fine thriller to add to his impressive body of work.”—Sunday Telegraph