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Friday, 20 May 2016

Trapped in a Hall of Mirrors: How the Luckiest Man in the World Became a Spy by Michael Connick

Computers, spies and excitement                                      My rating:  5 out of 5

This novel, based on true events, tells of how Stephen Connor, a US University graduate, accepts employment by the NSA (National Security Agency) to avoid conscription into the Vietnam War.   Following working as a programmer in the early days of computers, Stephen  is then is transferred to the CIA and a role in Iran where the Shah is still in control.  Whilst there, working for Iran's secret intelligence service, he becomes a source of great concern to the KGB.  Then follows an assignment to Vienna, Austria - working with Austrian counter intelligence and anti-terrorism.  The KGB, completely unknown to Stephen, can't believe that he has yet again turned up at the place of a major operation they are carrying out, and so Stephen's life is in grave danger - whilst he is happily visiting the tourist sites of Vienna.

A great book that starts off with interesting glimpses into the computer world in its early days, then moves into the fascinating final part of the Shah's reign, and gallops into excitement and action when Stephen arrives in Vienna.  The book contains humour - mostly involving Stephen's unwitting and naive tumbles into the world of espionage and danger, and the chaos he causes within the secret service agencies.  It contains many interesting stories and historical facts of the years between 1968 and 1982 and it has excitement and heart racing moments as Stephen's gets the action and excitement that he imagined the espionage world was full of.

A short, interesting and gripping self-published book.  Well worth reading.

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