Monday, February 22, 2016
Secret Mission: Istanbul
Secret Mission #5: “Istanbul” by Don Smith. Bill McKay, from the American State Department in Paris, contacts Phil Sherman requesting he drops what he’s doing and make a trip to Istanbul. There he is to be met by someone who will introduce him to a Russian agent wishing to defect to the US. He meets CIA agent David Conway in Istanbul and taken the Russian, but there is a catch. The Russian wants Sherman to bring his wife out for him. Against his better judgment, he agrees to carry a message to Tania, telling her agents will meet her with a boat. But Russian agents have her room bugged, and kill her contacts and she is arrested. Now Sherman feels obliged to help her escape and carry her back to Istanbul himself. There are a lot of twists, and Tania isn’t what she appears. This is another pretty good story featuring the occasional CIA operative, who only does favors for the agency. Why anyone would put their life at risk for an agency that would let them rot in jail, or be tortured, is anyone’s guess. However, Phil Sherman usually goes into every case knowing the worst could happen to him. The author is a good writer, but I was in Turkey around this period, and nothing sounded like the Turkey I was familiar with. A fun read, however.