A Spy’s Lonely Path


Title:                      A Spy’s Lonely Path

Author:                 Gene Coyle

Coyle, Gene (2014). A Spy’s Lonely Path. Self Published: AuthorHouse

OCLC:    871318270

Date Posted:      April 22, 2015

Reviewed by Hayden B. Peake[1]

Gene Coyle spent 14 of his 30 years with the CIA abroad working undercover. Now a professor at Indi-ana University Bloomington, he has combined experiences from his former profession to answer a long latent “literary itch!” A Spy’s Lonely Path is his fourth and most recent espionage novel.[2]

Coyle’s protagonist, Robert Hall, is a young CIA operations officer who meets Alexander Golovin, a Russian diplomat, at an arms negotiation conference in Vienna. When Hall learns Golovin is also a professor at Moscow University who has developed a sophisticated risk assessment algorithm relied on by the Russian president, Golovin becomes a potentially valuable target for recruitment. When Golovin learns Hall is CIA, the recruitment takes a surprising turn. But Hall is not the only one interested in Golovin; the Russian security service (the FSB) is monitoring him closely because of his contacts with the president and thus becomes aware of his contacts with Hall. The recruitment is complicated by Golovin’s relationship with his graduate assistant, Elizaveta Petrvicha, as his marriage fails.

Coyle lets the reader follow the recruitment by including Hall’s cables to headquarters and the responses that both encourage his efforts and reveal attempts by a headquarters superior to take undeserved credit. The operation end in a series of events engineered in part by the FSB without realizing they have endorsed the inaccurate results produced by the risk assessment algorithm, which embarrasses the president on the world stage. A Spy’s Lonely Path is both entertaining and informative-a pleasure to read.

[1] Hayden B. Peake in the Intelligencer (21, 1, Winter 2014-15, p. 136). Hayden Peake is the Curator of the CIA’s Historical Intelligence Collection. He has served in the Directorate of Science and Technology and the Directorate of Operations. Most of these reviews appeared in recent unclassified editions of CIA’s Studies in Intelligence. These and many other reviews and articles may be found on line at http://www.cia,gov.

[2] Gene Coyle’s previous novels are The Dream Merchant of Lisbon: The Game of Espionage (Xlibris, 2004); No Game For Amateurs: The Search for a Japanese Mole on the Eve of WWII (AuthorHouse, 2009), and Diamonds And Deceit: The Search for the Missing Romanov Dynasty Jewels (AuthorHouse 2011).

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