The Amateur
Robert Littell
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The Amateur

Robert Littell
Overlook Press
252 pages
October 2003
rated 3 of 5 possible stars
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The Amateur is the story of what happens when a mild-mannered man, a cryptographer for the Company, develops an entirely different personality when circumstances beyond his control run away with him. Terrorists murder his fiancée, then the Agency for some inexplicable reason decides not to pursue the guilty parties - so this quiet man takes matters into his own hands.

He goes from being in the back office to being on the front lines in a matter of minutes. The odds are stacked against him. After all, he has had no professional training as an agent. So when he finds it necessary to blackmail the Central Intelligence Agency, he must tread lightly. And when he goes behind the Iron Curtain to kill for the first time, he must plan with deft coldness the acts he must perform with swift surety. Going against the odds of success since he is a novice, he also is up against the fact that the CIA wants him eliminated. All he has is his maniacal thirst for revenge and his slim chances for success.

The Amateur is a fast-paced, hard-hitting espionage thriller. The plot and pacing are perfect for this type of story, and the dialogue adds to the frenetic pace of the action. The settings are well described. The anger of Charlie Heller is almost palpable. This is an excellent - even classic - thriller.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at © Camden Alexander, 2004

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