A spy novel in which readers are introduced to the ruthless world of international intrigue through novice CIA agent Anna Barnes. The time is 1979 and the U. S. appears to be losing the upper hand to the Soviet Union. The Shah of Iran has just fled, and in the U. S. Embassy Americans are being held hostage. The stability of the Middle East is wavering. In Latin America, the U. S. backed dictator of Nicaragua has sought refuge in the United States, and a treaty has just been signed with Panama to turn over control of the Panama Canal by the year 2000. The good old boys of the CIA are being called to task for this unsettling state of affairs by watchdog Congressional committees. The novel is fast paced, accurate, and suspenseful; the characters are memorable. Ignatius draws upon his experience as the foreign editor of the Washington Post to create a story that is so realistic that it is difficult to believe it is fiction.
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