Readers who relish courtroom dramas will find much to love in the feisty character of Brent, who willingly goes out of his way to defend an underdog who may be innocent even if it involves spying, ferreting out secrets, and destroying his life and career in the name of justice and pursuing what is right.
It's these dilemmas, injected into courtroom proceedings, which lends The Spy Files such a powerful story line: readers simply don't expect that many of Brent's foundations (laid out in prior books) will be shaken up so thoroughly in this one.
Brent is the kind of attorney who goes to bat for the underdog against all odds, and he will change his life for what he believes to be right. Action is swift as he challenges the forces amassing against him - including his own beloved girlfriend - and as he fights for what he believes.
It's these moments of conviction and willingness to not just take risks, but risk everything, that makes Brent such a likeable character. Eade paints the portrait of a man who is not foolhardy or unbelievable, but of a real human being who faces ethical and moral challenges and temptations to support the status quo with an uncanny ability to stick to his guns in over he believes is right, despite his sorrows, pain, and uncertainties during the process.
Larger, real-world themes of surveillance, government control of public records, privacy challenges, and intrusion on the private lives of citizens are embedded into the story line, offering a contemporary perspective that embraces all of the headline news surrounding Homeland Security activities and the rights of citizens.
Readers who love vivid courtroom dramas, detective and spy sagas, and a plot immersed in the latest social concerns of our times will find The Spy Files a riveting, highly recommended addition to the ongoing story of Brent Marks. While no prior familiarity with the series is required for a smooth read of his latest book, most newcomers will want to return to the prior, powerful reads once they absorb the character and concerns of this feisty, involved attorney who goes beyond professional boundaries to set his life and job on the line in the name of justice." Midwest Book Review
From the Author
The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is frequently used by reporters in order to obtain information from the government. In 2006, the FBI claimed that it had inadvertently sent classified and privileged documents to the Washington Post, and requested the Post to return them, claiming that any further review, disclosure, retention, and/or dissemination of the classified document may be a federal crime. The Post returned the document, because it did not directly relate to the story it was working on (Editor & Publisher, March 3, 2006, Post Did Not Feel it Had to Return Classified Document.) An article in the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Vol. 163, 1038, Abel, Do You Have to Keep the Government's Secrets? notes that: "while no journalists have ever been prosecuted for publishing classified information, now such a prosecution is cause for concern, even for those who think the First Amendment would ultimately prevail."
The danger in the government using the 98 year old Espionage Act is that its misuse is stifling freedom of the press and freedom of expression, making government less transparent. The federal government has so much power with regard to federal prosecutions that it is virtually impossible for an ordinary citizen to defend him or herself if they decide to charge or indict you.
There are several alarming trends I have seen in the news that impact on our civil rights. One of them is the trend toward sacrificing privacy for national security, which has reached the point where the government is demanding the ability to access information, whether or not it violates your civil right to privacy. Another dangerous trend is that the government is becoming less and less transparent, which is the opposite of what was intended by the founders of our country. They are going to greater lengths to protect their secrets, including re-classifying material and asking for it back. Journalists who dare to publish information the government says is classified run the risk of prosecution.
Finally, in this novel, I wanted to show another trend, and that is the government going after lawyers in criminal prosecutions. This is nothing new, and, if a lawyer commits a crime, it should be done. However, a lawyer is often asked where the line can be drawn between legal and illegal, and that can often be a gray area. Legal interpretations are essentially opinions, and they differ from one lawyer to another, as they do from one court to another. If lawyers are exposed to the same risks as their clients when they give advice, you may see them offering less of it in the future, or vigorously advocating a particular position.