Friday, October 6, 2023

Paul Vidich

Paul Vidich's new novel is Beirut Station: Two Lives of a Spy. His previous novel, The Mercenary, was selected by CrimeReads as one of the top 10 espionage novels of 2021. His debut novel, An Honorable Man, was selected by Publishers Weekly as a Top 10 Mystery and Thriller in 2016. It was followed by The Good Assassin. His third novel, The Coldest Warrior, was widely praised in England and America, earning strong reviews from The Wall Street Journal and The Financial Times. It was shortlisted for the UK’s Staunch Prize and chosen as a Notable Selection of 2020 by CrimeReads.

Recently I asked Vidich about what he was reading. His reply:
I read a lot of spy fiction, but I alternate novels with non-fiction written by men and women who worked in the CIA and who provide an insider’s view of that world. All the books go through a CIA vetting process to be certain that potentially compromising information does fall into the hands of the opposition, which makes it difficult sometimes for these authors to provide a credible account of their years in spy work.

I just picked up The Recruiter by Douglas London, a fascinating insider’s look at his life as a senior intelligence officer who recruited foreign assets for the CIA for over 25 years. The narrative spent four months being reviewed by agency censors, which London describes in his forward, but the redacted portions don’t detract from his fascinating account. And, as he is quick to point out, many of the redactions have nothing to do with hiding secrets, and a lot to do with the agency removing material that would cast the agency in an embarrassing light. His book came out when Mike Pompeo and Gina Haspel were Directors of Central Intelligence, and they were super conscious not to offend the Trump White House. This book is for anyone interested the what a covert operations officer stationed overseas does for a living – fascinating, enlightening, and very well written.
Visit Paul Vidich's website.

Q&A with Paul Vidich.

My Book, The Movie: The Mercenary.

The Page 69 Test: The Mercenary.

The Page 69 Test: The Matchmaker: A Spy in Berlin.

--Marshal Zeringue