The Man With the Golden Mind by Tom Vater
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The Man With the Golden Mind
I'll have a longer review to follow but Tom Vater's book is a top-notch spy thriller that just happens to unwind the still-hidden truth of the disastrous American Secret War in Laos. I've worked in the news business for most of my life and, until I read this and watched the documentary that Tom wrote, I really had no idea of sheer size of the CIA's operation.
The book is a quest for truth, a search for a father and family, and a journey through the lies, betrayals, hot sex, and odd friendships that are the reality of the spy trade. There is kidnapping, gunshots, insane maniacs hiding in the deep jungles. If it wasn't for the documentary--which is not available in the United States but should be (there is a stolen copy on YouTube)--you could believe that it's all fantasy and fiction.
It's the best of both. A great spy thriller wrapped around a real mystery and a real crime. Hell, most writers are lucky if they can make up a central mystery that's good enough to hold your interest. The Man with the Golden Mind is a rarity because the central mystery is not only mind-blowing but true.
(Disclosure: Yep, Tom is another writer being published by Exhibit A who will be releasing my book in May and this is written from an Advanced Review Copy off NetGalley. If I'm lucky, I could grow up to be as good a writer as Tom Vater.)
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