Wednesday, August 14, 2019

American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson

American Spy
by Lauren Wilkinson

Find out more about this book and author:

Published: 2019
Publisher: Random House
Genre: Historical, Mystery, Africa
Hardback: 304
Rating: 4

First sentence(s):
I unlocked the safe beneath my desk, grabbed mud old service automatic, and crept toward my bedroom doorway, stealthy until I was brought to grief by a Lego Duplo that stud the sole of my foot.

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, and 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 Thomas 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 Thomas, 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"--this novel 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.

My two-bits:

When romance and work intermingle in an espionage setting things can get hazardous.

Interesting to learn about some of unglamorous parts of the spy life.


* part of the Camp ToB 2019 (here)


  1. Yeah, this would be an intriguing read since its not the typical Cold War spy thriller and already sounds like a good conflict with her situation.

  2. I liked this one. It was a different take and it was enjoyable.


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