American Spy

American Spy

A Novel

eBook - 2019
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“American Spy updates the espionage thriller with blazing originality.”—Entertainment Weekly “There has never been anything like it.”—Marlon James,  GQ “So much fun . . . Like the best of John le Carré, it’s extremely tough to put down.”—NPR NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY CHICAGO TRIBUNE AND ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • Time • NPR • Esquire • Vulture • Real Simple • Good Housekeeping • The New York Public Library What if your sense of duty required you to betray the man you love?  It’s 1986, the heart of the Cold War, and Marie Mitchell is an intelligence officer with the FBI. She’s brilliant, but she’s also a young black woman working in an old boys’ club. Her career has stalled out, she’s overlooked for every high-profile squad, and her days are filled with monotonous paperwork. So when she’s given the opportunity to join a shadowy task force aimed at undermining Thomas Sankara, the charismatic revolutionary president of Burkina Faso whose Communist ideology has made him a target for American intervention, she says yes. Yes, even though she secretly admires the work Sankara is doing for his country. Yes, even though she is still grieving the mysterious death of her sister, whose example led Marie to this career path in the first place. Yes, even though a furious part of her suspects she’s being offered the job because of her appearance and not her talent. In the year that follows, Marie will observe Sankara, seduce him, and ultimately have a hand in the coup that will bring him down. But doing so will change everything she believes about what it means to be a spy, a lover, a sister, and a good American. Inspired by true events—Thomas Sankara is known as “Africa’s Che Guevara”—American Spy knits together a gripping spy thriller, a heartbreaking family drama, and a passionate romance. This is a face of the Cold War you’ve never seen before, and it introduces a powerful new literary voice. Shortlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize “Spy fiction plus allegory, and a splash of pan-Africanism. What could go wrong? As it happens, very little. Clever, bracing, darkly funny, and really, really good.”—Ta-Nehisi Coates “Inspired by real events, this espionage thriller ticks all the right boxes, delivering a sexually charged interrogation of both politics and race.”—Esquire “Echoing the stoic cynicism of Hurston and Ellison, and the verve of Conan Doyle, American Spy lays our complicities—political, racial, and sexual—bare. Packed with unforgettable characters, it’s a stunning book, timely as it is timeless.”—Paul Beatty, Man Booker Prizewinning author of The Sellout
Publisher: [S.l.]: Random House Publishing Group, 2019.
ISBN: 9780812998962
Characteristics: 304 p.
Additional Contributors: cloudLibrary

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IndyPL_KimE Dec 09, 2019

American Spy is narrated as a letter and set in 1986 during the Cold War. Marie Mitchell is the only black female working for the FBI in her stale position as an agent. She works dutifully with informants which she hopes will show her boss that she is capable of leading a special case.

Soon she is given an opportunity to work with a CIA task force to undermine the President of Burkina Faso, Thomas Sankara. Marie is smart enough to know that she must get close enough to Sankara to undermine him. But what will she sacrifice in order to complete the mission? What is truly at stake?

With a nod to author John le Carré (which perhaps will make me read him now), I was blown away by this spy thriller that kept me interested the whole way through.

This is a carefully woven story about Marie Mitchell’s mission, her identity and family.

a
acornsandnuts
Sep 29, 2019

What, at first glance, may seem a simple spy thriller turns into something far more compelling and satisfying. Beyond our protagonist, Marie, a black woman working for the FBI during the 80s, and the settings of Martinique and West Africa, so unusual for a Cold War spy novel, AMERICAN SPY also gives the reader such well thought out and well executed writing: a piece of information shared well into the book that, for me, completely changed the book I thought I was reading, and the confidence to give the reader the ending the book deserves, rather than what we might want. Wilkinson is one to watch.

c
csrandle
Aug 29, 2019

It started off with a bang then seemed to settle into details and backgrounds. I was determined to stick it out and was glad that I did. Around chapter 8, the story really seemed to get to the meat of it, and from then on I couldn't put it down.

a
Audrey_1974
Aug 25, 2019

Part of former US President, Barack Obama's summer reading list for 2019.

t
ttolka
Jul 23, 2019

The way the story is told made it initially a bit confusing to me, but, once I settled in it became difficult to put this one down. I enjoyed it overall.

m
Margush
Jul 22, 2019

Such a boring book for such a promising title. Had a great difficulty to engage with the book and gave up.

k
klbrooker40
May 20, 2019

Excellent book! Unexpected and very well drawn out characters.

j
jenniemj
May 19, 2019

Lauren's writing would be entertaining if her plot were better. It's boring and a little confusing. I think she means to build suspense. I really wanted to like it because I haven't seen another book like it. I am happy she made the attempt but I got to p 175 and I am throwing in the towel.

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c
csrandle
Aug 29, 2019

csrandle thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

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