Title: Satan’s Spy
Author: André Le Gallo
Le Gallo, André (2015). Satan’s Spy. D Street Books : Made available through hoopla
|Summary:||We first meet Steve Church on a business trip in Bahrain where terrorists attempt to take over the hotel where he is staying. Using prior CIA training and tradecraft, Steve is able to blunt the attack until the police arrive. On the same day, the Director of the National Clandestine Service at the CIA calls to tell him that she wants to see him urgently. Steve, not knowing the nature of her interest, is conflicted. He is not wild about getting involved again with an overly bureaucratic CIA, and he knows that another CIA assignment would kill his relationship with his live-in girlfriend Kella, a former French intelligence officer. Nevertheless, without being an adrenalin junky, he prefers the excitement of the CIA to working for West Gate, a defense contractor, where he is a fast tracker. Initially astonished and dejected that Steve will again risk his life to obtain information that policy makers will ignore, Kella is unable to change Steve’s mind. Not willing to break off the relationship, Kella executes a mental somersault and recruits herself to go with Steve as his communicator. Meanwhile in Iran, the man who will become Steve’s nemesis, Ali Mousavi, captures, interrogates and executes a scientist suspected of working for the CIA, the Great Satan’s spy agency. He also orders a young American with uncertain loyalties, to Tehran from his home in California to work on a special project. Although Steve’s father Marshall is now semi-retired from the CIA (does a spy ever retire?), he recruits an Iranian intelligence operative on a secret mission to the United States. Without a permanent presence in Iran, the CIA turns to Steve to handle the new agent (XYSENTINEL) in Tehran. Under business cover, Steve and Kella take over the case in Tehran. Their initial goal is to collect intelligence on Iran’s nuclear plans and capabilities. Instead, they learn that Iran is preparing a massive cyber attack against the United States. Iran’s theocracy, humiliated by the American Navy’s control of the Persian Gulf, feels that anonymous cyber warfare is the card to play to force the Great Satan’ to withdraw from the region. From the start, external factors begin to trump Steve’s clandestine tradecraft. At stake is the future of the Middle East, the health of America’s economy, and the lives of Steve and Kella. Today’s headlines will take on an entirely new meaning after you read Satan’s Spy.|
Date Posted: April 20, 2017
Reviewed by AFIO
This second novel from le Gallo is based on his CIA career, especially his experiences in Iran. The novel will resonate with anyone interested in current affairs.
The story catches up with Steve Church and Kella Hastings from their previous assignment (see le Gallo’s The Caliphate,) as they are sent to Tehran on a CIA mission to determine the status of Iran’s nuclear weapons program. While undercover, they unveil an insidious plan to cripple America’s infrastructure and must evade capture to prevent a disaster worse than Pearl Harbor and 9/11 combined. The backdrop to the story includes naval clashes in the gulf, Inside-the-Beltway intrigue, and Iran’s religious and tribal mosaics. You will never read the headlines in quite the same way again!
The author has also written papers for intelligence journals and has spoken on intelligence topics to universities on each coast (e.g. Harvard Law and Stanford), to the national laboratories, as well as in the Distinguished Author Series at the National Counterterrorism Center. He was a Visiting Scholar at the Hoover Institution. Further details are available on the Mountain Lake Press website.