... tense and perfectly paced ... an absolutely stunning way to end this taut novel ... made such an impression on me that I want to seek out Dan Fesperman’s backlist. This is the thinking-man’s espionage book and the type of story you will have a difficult time not finishing in one sitting. Fesperman’s writing style does not overload you with data and acronyms, but makes you feel like you are there with the characters and experiencing each plot twist along with them. This brilliant read is not to be missed.
The author specializes in humanizing the internecine turf battles between and within competing intelligence agencies. With The Cover Wife, he has produced another intelligent, tense and sharply written espionage thriller.
Dan Fesperman charts a different, braver course, working his fiction seamlessly into the facts, writing his characters into the past and weaving his story into the warp of history’s nightmares. The result is a sharp, smart novel that hits fast and hard, its reverberations echoing after the last page is turned ... The writing is sometimes less than fresh and characters with dramatically important secrets seem to think undercover, even when the narration is deep in their minds. Are they dissembling even to themselves? Or just conveniently staying in character for the reader’s sake? ... But these quibbles matter little as the story picks up speed, and Fesperman plays to his strengths, fashioning gripping plotlines out of his deep knowledge of history and politics, setting and culture, sketching in C.I.A. operatives, Muslim extremists and F.B.I. agents with equal credibility. I was particularly taken with how he manages to shift the tone of the narrative as momentum builds.