Monday, December 26, 2016

BOOK REVIEW: The Spy's Son by Bryan Denson

My history/historical fiction book club us meeting in early January to discuss The Spy’s Son by Bryan Denson. It’s very recent history, written by a journalist, so it’s different in content and style from the usual history and biography that I read. The story of CIA agent turncoat spy Jim Nicholson is a rather horrifying narrative of a despicable, self-serving man whose ego and sense of entitlement led him to betray his country out of greed. (He was also narcissistic and a bully to his long-suffering wife, who got out when she could, but not before having three children with him.)

Nicholson is caught and sent to Federal prison. While the backstory dragged a bit, the account of the cloak-and-dagger surveillance and eventual takedown of the spy sucked me in. It’s hard to fathom this stuff going on in the real world.

If Nicholson’s first act wasn’t bad enough, his subsequent manipulation of his own youngest son, an emotionally fragile and eager to please young man, will leave readers cringing. Nathan Nicholson’s gullibility could only be excused by his devotion to a father whose motivations he couldn’t see clearly.

Those who enjoy spy stories will surely find this real-life account gripping.

1 comment:

  1. Susan, I'd love to be a fly on the wall of that conversation. I've attended quite a number of book clubs, and women "get" the subtleties of the book better than many men. Thanks for the kind review.