Sunday, March 28, 2010

"Once A Spy"

Keith Thomson has been a semi-pro baseball player in France, editorial cartoonist for Newsday, filmmaker with a short at Sundance that won the Napor Award, and a screenwriter. Now a resident of Alabama, he writes about intelligence and other matters for The Huffington Post.

He applied the Page 69 Test to his new novel, Once a Spy, and reported the following:
Once a Spy is about a retired spy who has Alzheimer’s disease and is seen as a risk to leak secrets to anyone, be it the hot dog vendor down the street from his Brooklyn home or an enemy spy disguised as a hot dog vendor. So his former colleagues decide it best to neutralize him—spy parlance for kill him.

The only person he can turn to for help is his estranged son, a horseplayer/ne’er-do-well who has always thought of Dad as a boring old appliance salesman. Father and son need to catch up fast, as assassins are about to catch up to them.

What follows is basically a 300-page chase scene.

Page 69 features Nick Fielding, who is representative of Once a Spy insofar as nothing is what it initially seems. At first, Fielding is seen as a bright-eyed, forty-something ex-surfer from San Diego who would be selling real estate or insurance if not for his string of finds, which range from a cache of centuries-old gold coins to the wreck of a legendary pirate ship. On page 69, he reveals that his treasure hunting is cover for an illegal arms trafficking operation. Later in the story, his illegal arms operation is revealed to be cover for the CIA covert operation about which the operators want the retired spy silenced. Of course, that, too, turns out to be other than what it initially seems.
Read an excerpt from Once a Spy, and learn more about the book and author at Keith Thomson's website.

Check out the complete list of books in the Page 69 Test Series.

--Marshal Zeringue