Blowback by Valerie Plame

Blowback is term used by the CIA meaning there were unintended consequences during the course of a covert operation which affect the aggressor. Counter attacks that are unforeseen. Once you start reading this book you’ll understand why this title works.

Overall I liked this novel and main character Vanessa Pierson. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that Valerie Plame’s initials are the same as Vanessa Pierson. It’s probably not a coincidence that Vanessa is tall, athletic, blonde and works undercover in Counter-proliferation operations. Pierson’s background is threaded throughout the book so you slowly get to know her. You know she is driven, she breaks rules, she gets results and she is obsessed with capturing Bhoot, an international arms dealer who has given everyone the slip for many a year.

The character Pierson is a cross between James Bond (without the gadgets) and a character from the old show Mission Impossible. Get in and do your work then disappear. Nice spy story with settings in Washington DC, Prague, London, Paris and Vienna.

The first half of the novel kept me reading but it was the windup that had me completely hooked. So much happening all at once and the ends are tied up fairly neatly. It’s obvious there will be a follow up book and I will definitely read it.

Certainly this is not a foodie book but there were a few mentions here and there. Black tea and Honey; caramelized frog legs from a Masterchef television show; bourbon and more bourbon…there was a mention of marzipan Mozartkugeln (Mozart balls) regarding a key character. He had a sweet tooth and so, tracing his steps in previous days before he was murdered revealed a trip to a sweet shop.


By the way, I didn’t spoil anything for you by mentioning murder 🙂
More on Valerie Plame

Happy Reading!!



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