I’ve got a spy thriller for you today. Introducing Charles Ameringer’s The Old Spook
The spy/thriller The Old Spook is a roman a clef story about a fictional CIA special operations officer (Tom Miller) that takes the reader on a journey of adventure and intrigue during the Cold War. The novel begins with Miller reflecting on his 26-year career of spookery (1951-1977), during which he collaborated with rebel chieftains in Cuba, Nicaragua, and Bolivia; plotted the assassination of Fidel Castro with Mafia dons in Miami; and matched wits with KGB agents in Mexico and Chile. Forced to retire owing to the reduction in force (RIF) of the CIA’s clandestine services in the wake of revelations of CIA “dirty tricks” during the Nixon administration, Miller retreats to his hometown Milwaukee.
But wait! Not ready to call it quits, he draws on his spying skills to set up a one-man detective agency. In his sleuthing, he takes on a missing person case that unwittingly puts him on the trail of a Mafia hit man, which, in turn, threatens to reopen the can of worms about his previous dealings with the Mafia. To avert this problem, the CIA reinstates Miller and sends him packing to Central America to make war on the Sandinistas. There, he builds a secret airfield, clashes with drug lords, and is the victim of a bombing. The man just can’t stay out of trouble. And the reader will enjoy every minute of it.
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Three of today’s top action novelists have high praise for The Old Spook. Nik Morton and Frank O’Neill rate it five stars; James Bruno rates it four.
Charles Ameringer is professor emeritus of Latin American history at Penn State University, a former captain in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, and before beginning his teaching career served as an intelligence analyst for eight years with the U.S. Department of Defense.
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