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Blowback (A Vanessa Pierson Novel) Hardcover – October 1, 2013
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From Publishers Weekly
Aided by Lovett (Dark Alchemy), former CIA agent Plame (Fair Game with Laura Rozen) makes her fiction debut with an able contemporary thriller centered on Iranian nukes. Plame's fictional alter ego, Vanessa Pierson, is waiting in a Vienna amusement park for a vital Iranian asset, Arash Farah, when she receives and ignores a text from headquarters to abort the rendezvous. Farah, who arrives late, reveals that he knows the location of an Iranian weapons facility, but before he can give exact details, a sniper shoots him dead. Finding herself in professional trouble after the murder, Vanessa gambles that Farah's widow can both escape to safety and help her identify the facility's geographical coordinates. Her willingness to take a creative approach to regulations extends to her personal life as well, making her a multifaceted maverick. Readers looking for a strong female lead will be rewarded. Author tour. Agents: Elyse Cheney, Elyse Cheney Literary (Plame); Theresa Park, Park Literary (Lovett). (Oct.)
“Plame, aided by crime writer Sarah Lovett, hits the target in her fiction debut, setting up a planned series with a high-octane tale of deception.” –Entertainment Weekly
“A tense spy thriller, with a smart, sexy heroine, international danger and yes, a love interest…. [Blowback] reads like Clancy, Cussler, or Ludlum…Destined to become another great part of American literary fiction.” –The Huffington Post
“A classic spy tale.” –The Daily Beast
“A fine, fast-moving spy saga….Plame and Lovett tell their story in short, fast-paced action scenes that steadily build momentum…. Pierson emerges as a smart, sexy action hero, a kind of James Bond with high heels, short skirts and a Glock in her purse….Check out this seductive spy; she’s likely to be around for a while.” –The Washington Post
“Plame, the now ex-CIA agent notably exposed by the Bush II White House, mines her experience as an operative in this debut novel. She shines a bright light on illegal international arms trading to show how its tentacles reach deeply into the intelligence activities of the West’s spymasters.… A tightly wound, vigorously deployed thriller echoing the real-life stories of CIA agents and their enemies.” –Library Journal (starred)
“Propulsive and accurate.” –Salon
“Want to read a thriller about the real CIA and how it actually works? Then dive into this corker from former agent Valerie Plame and Sarah Lovett.” —James Patterson
"Great storytelling, real insider authenticity, and above all a fascinating main character in Vanessa Pierson. And maybe those initials are not a coincidence—sometimes fiction can reveal things that nonfiction can't." —Lee Child
"Plame and Lovett have hit a home run in their fiction debut. The opening scenes of Blowback are filled with a shattering realism that only someone like Plame, who has walked the walk and talked the talk, could inspire. Vanessa Pierson is a flesh-and-blood field operative whose life literally depends on not really trusting anyone, not even those on her side. Action aplenty, what sets this story apart from many of its kind are the insights into Pierson's (and Plame's) mind and the nuanced details that really matter in the world of intelligence operations. Blowback is an outstanding addition to the thriller genre and ushers in a writing team that I hope will enthrall us for years to come." —David Baldacci
“Blowback is one wild ride, a riveting cat-and-mouse game set within the world of international terrorism, covert operations, blackmarket WMDs, and brutal assassinations. Plame and Lovett know their stuff cold and have written a realistic, vivid, fast moving story full of shocking twists and unexpected turns. This is truly an epic thriller--the first in what promises to be a fantastic series. I highly recommend it.” —Douglas Preston, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Monster of Florence and co-creator of the legendary Pendergast novels
“Blowback is a stunning debut novel by former CIA agent Valerie Plame and suspense writer Sarah Lovett—a thriller rich with international intrigue and details of spycraft and secret ops that only an insider could bring to the genre. It’s a well-told tale of high stakes and lives on the line, starring a brilliant, edgy protagonist I can’t wait to see more of. A powerful read.” —Linda Fairstein
"With an alpha female heroine and a plot as familiar as her own backyard, Blowback is a stunning debut. Here's to many more." –Steve Berry
“I couldn’t put it down! Blowback is beautifully written, incredibly well-informed and an amazing treatment of profound female courage. This is not even a genre I follow—but this book transcends genre.” –Naomi Wolf
Top customer reviews
Vanessa Pierson is “younger, smarter version of me" says Valerie Plame. She is a direct very focused woman, focused on her job and her informers. She has been banished to Cyprus because of a foul-up. Her bosses are angry and are watching her carefully. However, this is not a woman who follows orders, ever, but she does seem to get results. She likes to relax by watching coking channels and drinking bourbon. Otherwise she has her trusty computer by her side . She has an excellent communication system with the CIA and her colleagues all over the world. Her focus at this time is bringing down an international arms dealer by the name of Bhoot, and this novel is all about her exploits
We learn a little about her family and her love life, and her anxieties and how she functions. She is a whirlwind of emotions and is always busy, rarely sleeps. Essentially she is the kind of woman I would want to be in charge if getting the 'man'. She seems trustworthy and loyal, a good sharp shooter, one of a kind, loner, spy for the CIA.
The last third of the book kept me on tenterhooks, well written, charged with excitement. The fact that this woman seems to be the star of the US Spy network is a little over the top, but a good story.
Recommended. prisrob 10-8-13
"Blowback" gives us a view into the vicious world of nuclear counterproliferation. It's a thriller so some of the details are spiced up - I'd be disappointed if they weren't! - and names and places changed. What we see in "Blowback" is magnificent. We learn anti-surveillance tradecraft, we see how important it is to follow money trails, we get a sense of who is on our side and who is aligned against us. We also get some fun details about international capitals. Any idea what a Mozart ball is? (Not what you might think...)
The main character, Vanessa Pierson, is portrayed with tough, lean prose, debuting in this novel as one of the strongest female characters in recent memory. She is a multi-dimensional young agent, and we go with her as she navigates a violent world to a thrilling showdown. Along the way we see her battle CIA internal politics - almost as important to the mission as negotiating international politics - as she rips across time zones in pursuit of a network of bad guys.
It's a delightful first novel. Prepare for a great ride, and with it you'll get an education about the most important national security issue we face - preventing nutjobs from getting a bomb.
Valerie Plame is the survivor they couldn't count out. Now she's back, standing tall and laying it all out for the world to see. Today's stakes aren't about the rich, petty politics or settling scores. The future rests on a ticking nuclear time bomb that's ready to explode in your face.
Blowback (A Vanessa Pierson Novel)
The prose is interesting in how much and how naturally it puts into Vanessa thoughts and feelings (emotional and physical), a great debut from the former spy; looking forward to the next Vanessa Pierson tale.