Former spy Valerie Plame is back in the headlines again, this time for her new spy fiction novel Blowback. She'll join the likes of John le Carré, Ian Fleming and Graham Greene, all former agents who penned thrillers based on their former trade. Whether Blowback — the writing of which was "aided" by author Sarah Lovett, according to the Washington Post — will be any good, though, is something we'll have to wait for and see.
Plame's first book was her 2007 memoir Fair Game, which covered her unfortunate outing by the Bush administration in 2003; it was later turned into a movie starring Naomi Watts.
In fiction, she's sticking to what she knows. Her heroine (Vanessa Pierson, another VP) is a “young, blonde, lithe and nicely sexy” go getter, based a younger version of Plame. Time magazine published an excerpt of the book back in May, and it seems like your usual summer beach read spy pulp novel. Some of our favorite bits are:
- "But there’d been nothing normal about this op from the beginning."
- "Fear for him whispered through her..." & "The first glimmer of the icy panic rose."
- “'For one of your colleagues at Natanz who enjoys the soft porn of Game of Thrones. Leave it where it will be used often and shared.'”
- "Pushing strands of her dark bobbed wig behind one ear, Vanessa set the butt of the rifle squarely to her right shoulder."
- "Four shots, four targets blown apart."
But quality aside, this has all the elements of a successful series. That's largely because Vanessa Pierson is Valerie Plame, whom The New York Times described as "an ambitious, gung-ho professional, dedicated to her work yet colorful in ways no Hollywood storyteller would dare to make up." The film version her memoir was well reviewed, even if it only made $9.5 million. Even better, there's a second Vanessa Pierson book on the way, and Hollywood loves franchises.