CAREER ADVICE TO ASPIRING SPIES: IF YOU WANT TO JOIN THE CIA, DON’T FALL IN LOVE. AND IF YOU DO FALL IN LOVE, WATCH YOUR MOUTH.
Few books about life inside the Central Intelligence Agency have been written by women, and none have the wit, suspense, and authenticity of Loose Lips, Claire Berlinski’s dazzling first novel about a love affair between intelligence officers.
New Yorker Selena Keller has just completed a doctorate in Oriental studies. Unemployed and dismayed by her dull job prospects, she sends her résumé to the CIA on a whim. Within weeks, she is contacted by an Agency recruiter, who asks her how she would feel about convincing another human being to commit treason.
Despite her checkered past, Selena passes the background investigation, the polygraph, and a battery of bizarre CIA aptitude tests. Living under cover as a government budget analyst, she begins her education in espionage at the Farm, the CIA’s covert facility.
All CIA officers must survive a demanding training program, and it is there that Selena becomes romantically involved with Stan, a brilliant but darkly paranoid fellow student with presidential ambitions. What happens next is a fascinating inside portrait of the Agency—how spies are recruited, how they are trained, who they meet, where they go, and most important . . . what happens when they fall in love, and begin spying on one another.
A wonderful, pitch-perfect roman à clef that blends satire, romance, and suspense, Loose Lips offers a unique insight into the culture of the CIA.