Cover image for The peregrine spy
The peregrine spy
Murray, Edmund P.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Press, [2004]

Physical Description:
456 pages : map ; 25 cm
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Frank Sullivan, an occasional contract employee of the CIA, has been recruited again-this time for work in an Iran where the Islamic revolution of 1978-79 is already well underway.
Frank's assignment is to work for the Agency under US Air Force cover while officially serving as a propaganda adviser to the Iranian military. As Frank conflicts with an agency bureaucracy seeking field reporting that justifies Washington's already-determined conclusions, he gains a growing awareness of the inadequacy of American intelligence on the revolution's real nature. And as he witnesses the overrunning of the American embassy by militants, he realizes how intertwined his job has become with his life.
Trying to survive a chaotic civil war is the least of Frank's problems as he becomes involved in efforts to recruit a high-level Russian KGB agent and to learn the identity of a mole back at Agency headquarters. But the closer he gets to the objects he pursues, the more likely it becomes that he won't make it out alive.
Set during the final days of the Shah and the consolidation of power under Ayatollah Khomeini, "The Peregrine Spy "is a stunning novel of a time and place that has never left the public conscious. It is also a keenly told story of the inner workings of the CIA and the extent of its reach.

Author Notes

Ed Murray was a media adviser to the Iranian military during the Islamic revolution (1978-79) when the Shah fell and Ayatollah Khomeini came to power. He has worked as a journalist and contract CIA agent in this country and many parts of Africa, Europe and the Middle East. His previous books include Kulubi , a novel set in Ethiopia, and The Passion Players , a novel based on a production of the Passion Play. Mr. Murray's short story, "His Cuban Situation," published in the literary magazine Contact , won the William Carlos Williams Award.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

From the former media advisor to the Iranian military during the Islamic revolution comes a tight, lavishly detailed spy thriller about an advisor to the Iranian military during the Islamic revolution who is really a CIA agent. Frank Sullivan, for whom the phrase reluctant hero might have been coined, has a lot on his plate: not only must he keep his cover secure; not only must he try to seduce a KGB agent to change sides; he must also figure out which of his colleagues at CIA headquarters is a traitor. Fans of spy thrillers told with an insider's eye for detail will be absolutely delighted with this one. As a chronicle of the Islamic revolution of the late 1970s, the book is informative and full of the kind of insights only someone intimately familiar with the events could provide. Definitely for the le Carre crowd rather than the more action-oriented Ludlum camp, this is a smart, well-crafted thriller. --David Pitt Copyright 2004 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Murray's third novel (after The Passion Players) is a complex spy story set in 1978- 1979 in Iran around the time of the fall of the Shah and the Islamic revolution. CIA agent Frank Sullivan is sent to Iran to judge the durability of the Shah's regime and the increasing influence of an unknown Islamic cleric named Ayatollah Khomeini, as well as to keep an eye on Soviet activities in the region. Frank, however, has some baggage that will greatly complicate an already hazardous mission. He and the Shah share an unusually friendly and trusting relationship, which angers some dangerous people. Frank must also contend with an old enemy, Soviet KGB agent Vassily Lermontov, a clever spy who may either want to defect or kill Frank, and who suggests there is a high-level mole at CIA headquarters. Frank's cover job is with the Iranian military as a media specialist, and what he learns from the Shah, Lermontov, some informers and a scary group of Iranian air force men scares the daylights out of him. Murray, himself a former media adviser to the Iranian military during the Islamic revolution, masterfully depicts the complexities of intelligence collection, the risks and tension of not trusting anyone (even your own people) and the complicated and deadly combination of politics, religion and hatred that brought down the Shah. Add treachery, assassination, torture, petty bureaucratic bickering and turf battles, and some very clever cloak and dagger tricks, and this spy novel offers exciting history wrapped in thoughtful fiction. Agent, Carl Brandt at Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents Inc. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved