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The Amateur Spy    by Dan Fesperman order for
Amateur Spy
by Dan Fesperman
Order:  USA  Can
Vintage, 2009 (2008)
Hardcover, Softcover, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Freeman Lockhart and his younger Bosnian wife Mila have left the field of aid work (in some very dangerous spots in the world) and retired to their house on the Greek island of Karos. But a slower-paced life is not to be for the couple.

Freeman is coerced by three shady characters to go to work for an old friend of his in Iran, to see if the friend's charity setup is legitimate. He leaves Mila in trepidation, fearing for her safety as well as his own. Acting as a spy is not in his job description and he enters into his new occupation with grave misgivings.

Things do not coalesce as he wished. Freeman feels watched at every turn, and seems unable to trust anyone even the old friends whom he contacts. Meanwhile, an Arab-American, sent off the rails by the tragic death of his daughter in Iran, plots and plans to do some dirty work in Washington that could cause many deaths.

Although it's slow moving in spots, The Amateur Spy is a thriller in every sense of the word. Author Dan Fesperman paints a picture of today's Iran in organized chaos - but chaos nonetheless. His characters present themselves as people caught up in circumstances beyond their control. Intrigue and disinformation run rampant. The climax will have the reader holding his or her breath until the very last page.

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