Books

American Spy

A novel by Lauren Wilkinson.

Lauren Wilkinson

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. 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 Sankara 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 Sankara, 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" — American Spy 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. (From Random House)

From the book

I unlocked the safe beneath my desk, grabbed my old service automatic, and crept toward my bedroom doorway, stealthy until I was brought to grief by a Lego Duplo that stung the sold of my foot. I hobbled the rest of the way to the door and crouched behind it.

A few moments passed, just enough time for me to feel ridiculous. I told myself that what I'd heard was the house settling. That was always what it wound up being.

The room was still and ark; the only light was from the moon. Poochini, our German shepherd mix, was closed in your bedroom with you. He let out a single, cautious bark. I heard the whoosh of tires on asphalt — a car passing on the Boston Post Road, which was hidden just behind the tangle of woods at the back of our small house. Then it was quiet again.


From American Spy by Lauren Wilkinson ©2019. Published by Random House.

 

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