Roger Ferris is one of the CIA's soldiers in the war on terrorism. He has come out of Iraq with a shattered leg and an intense mission-to penetrate the network of a master terrorist known only as "Suleiman." Ferris's plan for getting inside Suleiman's tent is inspired by a masterpiece of British intelligence during World War II: He prepares a body of lies, literally the corpse of an imaginary CIA officer who appears to have accomplished the impossible by recruiting an agent within the enemy's ranks. This scheme binds friend and foe in a web of extraordinary subtlety and complexity, and when it begins to unravel, Ferris finds himself flying blind into a hurricane. His only hope is the urbane head of Jordan's intelligence service-a man who might be an Arab version of John le Carre's celebrated spy, George Smiley. But can Ferris trust him?
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is a very bad book, for reasons covered by many of the other negative reviews. However, it was about Chapter 10 that the underlying reason struck me. This wasn't written to be a book, but rather is a precursor to a screenplay for a big budget Hollywood action movie [...] Things that make no sense for a book make perfect sense when viewed as part of a screenplay.
The author is horrible on the "love story" components - it ranges from plodding to painful. Yet the love story is such a large portion of the book that it squeezes out the spy story.
And the spy story seems to be warped to favor visuals and dialog over thinking.
The author does not live up to his reputation as a writer of spy stories (from recommendations - this is the first of his books I read). The implausibilities and nonsense are glaring and far too numerous. The love story destroys the pacing of the spy story. The ending is badly forced (both in pacing and content) - it feels...
BODY OF LIES is startlingly contemporary--a story of the front lines of the intelligence war against Al Qaeda by a journalist who has covered both the CIA and Iraq for a quarter of a century. It is at once sobering, touching and invigorating. Fans of Ignatius's earlier works should know that this book is his best; those who have not yet discovered this prolific spy novelist (whose day job is as columnist for THE WASHINGTON POST) should do so. Inside a detailed and authoritative story of how both Western and Arab secret services fight what has been called "the long war" against violent Islamic terror, Ignatius has created a story of identity in the hall of mirrors that is the contemporary Middle East, and a love story that is powerful in its evocation of the ways that love can make us treasure life, and at the same time lay it down for those we love. Cancel your weekend plans; you won't be able to put BODY OF LIES down.
Having seen David Ignatuis interviewed by Charlie Rose, and seduced by the device of a "loaded" human corpse as a Trojan Horse strategy to convince Al Qaeda that we had somehow infiltrated the core of their network, I eagerly set out to read "Body of Lies." At the outset I realized that the book had something to live up to: Ewen Montagu's World War II classic, "The Man Who Never Was."
Ignatius' book is neither a total failure nor a total success. His strong suit is plotting and holding together a complex and multi-layered concoction of head games, played out by masters to whom the pawns are readily sacrificed, and dismissed. He is weakest in the love angle, where he becomes trite and predictable, getting precariously near to "sudsy" when the love interest of Alice Melville becomes a major focal point.
Against a mounting background of suicide bombing incidents in Europe, Roger Farris, former journalist and present CIA agent devises a plan to plant a suitable...
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