Cover image for THE PALADIN:  A SPY NOVEL
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CIA operations officer Michael Dunne is tasked with infiltrating an Italian news organization that smells like a front for an enemy intelligence service. Headed by an American journalist, the self-styled bandits run a cyber operation unlike anything the CIA has seen before. Fast, slick, and indiscriminate, the group steals secrets from everywhere and anyone, and exploits them in ways the CIA can neither understand nor stop.Dunne knows it's illegal to run a covert op on an American citizen or journalist, but he has never refused an assignment and his boss has assured his protection. Soon after Dunne infiltrates the organization, however, his cover disintegrates. When news of the operation breaks and someone leaks that Dunne had an extramarital affair while on the job, the CIA leaves him to take the fall. Now a year later, fresh out of jail, Dunne sets out to hunt down and take vengeance on the people who destroyed his life.

Author Notes

David Ignatius is a prize-winning columnist for the Washington Post and has been covering the Middle East and the CIA for nearly four decades. He has written several New York Times bestsellers, most recently The Director. He lives in Washington, D.C.

Reviews 1

Kirkus Review

CIA tech specialist Michael Dunne returns to the scene of a crime he didn't commit, seeking revenge after wrongly serving a year in prison. In 2016, Dunne was given the ultrasecret assignment of penetrating Fallen Empire, a leftist WikiLeaks-like operation that may be linked to the Russians. When the FBI arrests him for running a spy operation against American journalists--really Fallen Empire operatives working under that guise--the CIA abandons him, letting him take the fall. He's also abandoned by his beautiful and pregnant wife, who doesn't take kindly to compromising photos of her husband with a young Swiss beauty, even if it was a setup. After his release from prison, Dunne returns to his hometown of Pittsburgh, where he puts together a private cyberconsulting outfit. Against everyone's advice, he jumps back into the fray to track down those who betrayed him. Ultimately, he must race against time to prevent a hacking plot from wreaking havoc on world financial systems. Dunne is not the most consistent hero. Known by his colleagues as "the iceman" for his cool under pressure, he is anything but cucumberlike after his arrest. "I did nothing wrong!" he whines, over and over. And Ignatius (The Quantum Spy, 2017, etc.), who, for an esteemed journalist, is quick to dump on reporters, substitutes a quick fade-out (perhaps with a sequel in mind) for a satisfying climax. But for the most part, the book does a nice job of sustaining its slow-boil suspense. Lifted by nifty surveillance schemes, the plot hums. A solid, low-key spy thriller by a veteran of the form. Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.