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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Goodreads | Eric_W Welch (Forreston, IL)'s review of Henry McGee Is Not Dead

I went back and downgraded a [book:Burning the Apostle|1559602] review , part of Granger’s November Man series because this one is just so much better.

Devereaux, his code name is “November,” wants nothing more than to continue playing the IF game with members of Section R, one of those elusive agencies hiding within the intelligence bureaucracy that is used often to accomplish tasks that border on the illegal (the ethics of such a system we won’t debate here.)  He has a nice relationship with Rita, who hates the agency.

The R Section offices were in parts of two Department of Agriculture buildings:  The intelligence section had been first funded under subparagraph R of a funding bill for all agriculture. The funds that established R section were vaguely labeled as money for “agricultural crop estimates and international grain reportage,” clumps of words intended to make legislative eyes glaze over.” No doubt a very accurate portrayal of how agencies get hidden and buried within the larger bureaucracy.  I just wonder how many of them are there and no one knows what they do nor to whom they might be accountable.

Devereaux is persuaded he must trek off to Alaska in search of Henry McGee, an elusive spy who was supposed to be dead, but now seems to be sending a signal that he is not.  A trapper by that name has been found shot in the wilderness. Of course, that wasn’t his real name, so when his prints find their way to Washington, Section R becomes concerned and Devereaux, their senior agent is charged with finding out what’s going on.

Mix in a couple of former Soviet agents being hidden in the Witness Protection Service, a rogue double-agent who wants to leave the business and gains funds to do so by blackmailing a former and current Senator by threatening the oil pipeline in Alaska with total destruction (does he or does he not have a suitcase atomic weapon?) and a very bright Civil Service employee who actually takes her job seriously, and you have all the elements of a very nice espionage novel.

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