"Romantic love is the most sublime experience known to man," is a trite, tired and perhaps true statement that one frequently encounters in the works of the undistinguished.
Is the Central Intelligence Agency really as bursting with ninnies as is thought by many, including, it would seem, by Claire Berlinski? Her first novel pulls back the curtains on the process by which members of the Clandestine Service are trained for action. Anyway, it purports to do so: It's hard to believe America could have averted another 9/11 or similar calamity — so far, at least — if our intelligence providers had been quite as dimwitted as the book suggests.
Selena Keller, a young scholar of Sanskrit literature, just isn't cut out for the life of an obscure academic. Impulsively, she answers an ad to work for the CIA, and the savvy New Yorker soon finds herself caught up in a culture as alien as any she had experienced in India or academia.
Claire Berlinski has written a book with an authentic feel about a love affair between officers in the Central Intelligence Agency.... The main character is attractive, and the writing is tight and witty.
Berlinski's first novel gets inside the top-secret world of CIA trainees. Selena Keller, a Sanskrit expert, decides that the CIA promises more excitement than a university career. She passes the initial exams and soon finds herself in training at the Farm.
Berlinski writes about the CIA with wit and authority. . . . Combing through the various knots of betrayal will hold your attention till the end and make you wish for a sequel.
Sharp wit that would make the Sex and the City girls proud; a heroine who refreshingly does not fall for Joe Stud. Grade: A.
Gidget joins the CIA in political writer Berlinski's rousing, hilarious, compulsively readable debut about a restless New Yorker who enlists in the secret service and learns about truth and justice the hard way.