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American Spy

American Spy

LITERARY HUB MUST READ BOOKS OF 2019

‘A Spy thriller like you’ve never read before’ TIME

‘This unflinching debut combines the espionage novels of John le Carré with the racial complexity of Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man’ PUBLISHERS WEEKLY

‘A morally nuanced and atmospheric political thriller’ WASHINGTON POST

‘With unforgettable characters, it’s a stunning book, timely as it is timeless’
PAUL BEATTY, WINNER OF THE 2016 MAN BOOKER PRIZE

‘Like all great novels, this one teaches us most about ourselves and our values’ SARA NOVIC

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‘My most important secret – and this is how I met my sons’ father – is that I was once a spy.’

It’s 1986, the heart of the Cold War, and Marie Mitchell is an intelligence officer with the FBI. She’s brilliant and talented, but she’s also a black woman working in an all-white boys’ club, and her career has stalled with routine paperwork – until she’s recruited to a shadowy task force aimed at undermining Thomas Sankara, the charismatic, revolutionary president of Burkina Faso, whose Communist ideology has made him a target for American intervention.

In the year that follows, Marie will observe Thomas, seduce him, and ultimately, have a hand in the coup that will bring him down. But doing so will change everything she believes about what it means to be a spy, a lover, and a good American.

Inspired by true events – Thomas Sankara is known as ‘Africa’s Che Guevara’, but his story is not widely known across the world – this novel is sweeping historical fiction with an enthralling espionage thriller at its core, and introduces a powerful new literary voice.
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Genre: Fiction & Related Items / Thriller / Suspense

On Sale: 12th February 2019

Price: £13.99

ISBN-13: 9780349700977

Reviews

Lauren Wilkinson reminds us of a less-covered side of the Cold War with her debut set in 1986 Africa. FBI agent Marie Mitchell is stationed in Burkina Faso, and when she's assigned to shadow Thomas Sankara, 'Africa's Che Guevara,' the personal, political and professional collide for her in unforgettable ways
Washington Post
It might seem hyperbolic to say that this book is riveting and thrilling from the very first page, except that it totally is. . . . It's a refreshing take on an espionage story . . . that's sexy and suspenseful in equal measure
Marie Claire
This unflinching debut combines the espionage novels of John le Carré with the racial complexity of Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man
Publishers Weekly
A gutsy new thriller . . . challenging boundaries is what brave fiction does, and Wilkinson proves confident enough to carry it off
New York Times
An expertly written spy thriller . . . that tackles issues of politics, race and gender . . . Like the best of John le Carré, it's extremely tough to put down. It marks the debut of an immensely talented writer who's refreshingly unafraid to take risks, and has the skills to make those risks pay off
NPR
Echoing the stoic cynicism of Hurston and Ellison, and the verve of Conan Doyle, American Spy lays our complicities-political, racial, and sexual-bare. Packed with unforgettable characters, it's a stunning book, timely as it is timeless
Paul Beatty, Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Sellout
American Spy is by turns suspenseful, tender, and funny, always smart and searingly honest. Lauren Wilkinson renders the world of spies with vivacity and depth, and shines a penetrating light on what it's like to be a black woman in America. But like all great novels, this one teaches us most about ourselves and our values
Sara Novic, author of Girl at War
[In] this genre-defying novel . . . Marie's journey into the moral and spiritual morass of espionage is inventive . . . Unlike the heroes of John Le Carré's novels, Marie must also grapple with the cognitive dissonance of serving a country in which she is regarded as a second-class citizen
Vulture (Best Books of 2019 So Far)
For the novel's engaging intelligence and serious reckoning with the world's postwar order, Wilkinson deserves the comparisons to John le Carré she's already receiving. But in bringing a virtually unheard-from fictional viewpoint to espionage literature, she has reinvigorated the genre
Time