The Peacock and the Sparrow

By I S Berry,

Book cover of The Peacock and the Sparrow

Book description

A NEW YORKER BEST BOOK OF THE WEEK

During the Arab Spring, an American spy’s final mission goes dangerously awry in this explosive and “remarkable debut” (Joseph Kanon, New York Times bestselling author) from a former CIA officer that is perfect for fans of John le Carré, Viet Thanh Nguyen,…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked The Peacock and the Sparrow as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Author I.S. Berry’s debut is perfect for people like me who love a realistic spy story.

Her protagonist, Shane Collins, is straight out of a John le Carré novel, and his superpower is a dogged determination to end his long, questionable career by doing something right. This jaded spook is in Bahrain, caught up in the Arab Spring.

I adored how Berry captured the reality on the ground and the complexity of the modern world, and I loved the complexity of Shane Collins, a man on his way out who finds real love and something to fight for, maybe for…

Bahrain during the Arab Spring, a burned-out CIA officer, a full-of-himself Station Chief, and an agent who may or may not be what everyone thinks.

Former CIA officer I.S. Berry captures the essence of spy tradecraft accurately and authentically—what happens when you’re trying to avoid both the “friendlies” and the “bad” guys—as she describes life in a station and on the street with the pressure to produce accurate intelligence when everyone is pushing a different story. 

Her great story goes through several unexpected flips, all very well executed, which gives the finalé even more impact. She has hit the nail…

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