Body of Lies

( 52 )

Overview

Roger Ferris is one of the CIA's soldiers in the war on terrorism. He has come out of Iraq with a shattered leg and an intense mission—to penetrate the network of a master terrorist known only as "Suleiman." Ferris's plan for getting inside Suleiman's tent is inspired by a masterpiece of British intelligence during World War II: He prepares a body of lies, literally the corpse of an imaginary CIA officer who appears to have accomplished the impossible by recruiting an agent ...

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Body of Lies: A Novel

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Overview

Roger Ferris is one of the CIA's soldiers in the war on terrorism. He has come out of Iraq with a shattered leg and an intense mission—to penetrate the network of a master terrorist known only as "Suleiman." Ferris's plan for getting inside Suleiman's tent is inspired by a masterpiece of British intelligence during World War II: He prepares a body of lies, literally the corpse of an imaginary CIA officer who appears to have accomplished the impossible by recruiting an agent within the enemy's ranks.

This scheme binds friend and foe in a web of extraordinary subtlety and complexity, and when it begins to unravel, Ferris finds himself flying blind into a hurricane. His only hope is the urbane head of Jordan's intelligence service—a man who might be an Arab version of John le Carre's celebrated spy, George Smiley. But can Ferris trust him?

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Editorial Reviews

Adrian McKinty
The book works extremely well, and its imagery and characters linger in the memory. We need gifted and intelligent thriller writers like David Ignatius. One hopes that he has another book in the planning stage and is already filling in form DS-4085, requesting yet more visa pages for his well-worn passport.— The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly

Displaying his trademark expertise and writing skill, Washington Postcolumnist Ignatius (Agents of Innocence) has crafted one of the best post-9/11 spy thrillers yet. Subtly framing a highly elaborate plot, Ignatius tells the story of idealistic CIA agent Roger Ferris, newly stationed in Jordan after being wounded in Iraq. After a failed initiative to flush out a terrorist mastermind known as Suleiman, Ferris, who's dedicated to forestalling further al-Qaeda attacks, develops an intricate scheme modeled after a British plan used successfully against the Nazis. Ferris's plot to turn the terrorists against each other by sowing seeds of suspicion that their leaders are collaborating with the Americans puts his personal life in turmoil and threatens his professional relationship with the head of Jordanian intelligence. Few readers will anticipate the jaw-dropping conclusion, and the pairing of first-rate espionage suspense with fully developed characters should propel this onto the bestseller lists and possibly attract Hollywood interest. Author tour. (Apr.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Publishers Weekly
Displaying his trademark expertise and writing skill, Washington Post columnist Ignatius (Agents of Innocence) has crafted one of the best post-9/11 spy thrillers yet. Subtly framing a highly elaborate plot, Ignatius tells the story of idealistic CIA agent Roger Ferris, newly stationed in Jordan after being wounded in Iraq. After a failed initiative to flush out a terrorist mastermind known as Suleiman, Ferris, who's dedicated to forestalling further al-Qaeda attacks, develops an intricate scheme modeled after a British plan used successfully against the Nazis. Ferris's plot to turn the terrorists against each other by sowing seeds of suspicion that their leaders are collaborating with the Americans puts his personal life in turmoil and threatens his professional relationship with the head of Jordanian intelligence. Few readers will anticipate the jaw-dropping conclusion, and the pairing of first-rate espionage suspense with fully developed characters should propel this onto the bestseller lists and possibly attract Hollywood interest. Author tour. (Apr.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Having covered the Middle East and the CIA for more than 25 years, prize-winning Washington Post columnist Ignatius turns to crafting the story of an injured CIA agent intent on bringing down a master terrorist called -Suleiman. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
From Washington Post columnist Ignatius (The Sun King, 1999, etc.), one of the new breed of post-9/11 thrillers, involving Middle East foreign policy, political intrigue, convoluted intelligence operations and the ubiquitous CIA. Former Time magazine reporter Roger Ferris has joined the CIA, and after a terrorist bombing in Berlin develops an obsessive desire to take down "Suleiman," a key al-Qaeda operative whose true identity is unknown. With the help of his boss, crusty Near East Division Chief Ed Hoffman, Ferris begins a journey of deception in which he tries to play an innocent middle-eastern architect to flush out and reveal Suleiman and ultimately take down his whole terrorist operation. But what of the motives of Hani Salaam, the smooth and unruffled chief of the General Intelligence Department in Jordan? He desperately wants to be a part of the operation-but is he a victim of manipulation, or himself a master of the game? The action takes place in Washington and Jordan, where "hypocrisy was mother's milk." Lies, deception, manipulation and hypocrisy pervade the atmosphere like thick, acrid smoke from a Turkish cigarette. Ferris is caught not only between competing policies (mainly illicit) but also between competing women-his wife, Gretchen, herself a master manipulator on the domestic front, and Alice Melville, who aids Palestinians in refugee camps and who views lies, rather than truth, as dangerous. In contrast, Ferris works under the cynical yet pragmatic assumption that "this was a business where any action was sanctioned, so long as it worked." Ironically, however, Ferris develops his own brand of idealism-after all, he's dedicated to his mission to take down the "badguys," and there are, in fact, dangerous people out there. Ferris chillingly counts on undermining truth with doubt, "the great destroyer," and ultimately uncovers secrets about his own past as well. A fast-paced novel with all the ingredients for a bestseller.
From the Publisher
"Ignatius has crafted one of the best post-9/11 spy thrillers yet." —-Publishers Weekly Starred Review
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393331585
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 4/7/2008
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 463,855
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

David Ignatius, a prize-winning columnist for the Washington Post, has covered the Middle East and the CIA for many years. Among his best-selling novels are Body of Lies and The Increment, soon to be a major motion picture. He lives in Washington, DC.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 52 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(9)

4 Star

(17)

3 Star

(15)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 52 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2008

    Ignatius Know s His Stuff

    An intellectual's espionage novel, it weaves a complex plot thst sometimes becomes bogged down in its intricacy. Still, it is an enjoyable read and decent addition to the genre.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2008

    Not my brand of vodka.....

    In this reader's opinion this book lacked the action needed to accompany all the 'game within the game' plotting done by the main characters. If your a fan of mental warfare and disinformation tactics than you'll likely love this book. If you're looking for a military/CIA action read then this isn't for you.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    HAUNTING IN ITS PROBABILITY

    Body of Lies is surely an apt title for this taut thriller from Washington Post columnist David Ignatius because for starters - a body is needed, a dead body. Not just any corpse, mind you: 'It took nearly a month to find the right body. Roger Ferris had very particular requirements: He wanted a man in his thirties, physically fit, preferably blond but certainly and recognizably Caucasian. He should have no obvious signs of disease or physical trauma. And no bullet wounds, either. That would make it too complicated later.' Complicated is a mild description of what is to come later as Roger Ferris, one of the CIA's top operatives in today's war on terrorism, is assigned to Jordan following wounds he received in Iraq. To date no one has been able to net Suleiman, the Muslim terrorist behind car bombings throughout the world. He's hidden deep in the desert, unapproachable, invisible. Ferris is an idealist, determined that 9/11 won't happen again and to this end he initiates a complex scheme used by the British in their war against the Nazis. The British World War II plot was called Operation `Mincemeat,' a clever stratagem that allowed the British to feed false information to the Nazis through the dead body of a decoy British agent. Ferris's ploy, dubbed 'taqiyya' (ancient Arabic for a necessary lie) is intended to convince Suleiman that American agents have already worked their way in to Al-Qaeda, and he is in danger. Risky? Undoubtedly, but Suleiman must be stopped and so far American efforts have been slow, ineffective, and riddled with errors. Film rights for this powerful novel have already been acquired by Warner Bros. Rightly so, as David Ignatius can write with a keen understanding of CIA operations and international terrorism. He has studied and covered both in his 25 years as reporter, foreign correspondent, and editor. He's a strong writer, and his story is a gripping one made even more compelling by its probability. Highly recommended. - Gail Cooke

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2007

    Read the original

    Started off very well, lots of detail and convincing action. But the more the characters were developed, the less probable the whole story becomes. A lot of the credibility of the story relies on the motivations of the characters. The love affair between the main characters is highly unlikely (enthusiastic Palastinian social worker and CIA agent) and the rationale for his divorce is ridiculous. The characters become more and more superficial as the book moves along, so the plotting becomes more absurd. This book draws much of its plot from a classic WW2 espionage story, The Man Who Never Was. That was non-fiction, and this is non believable fiction.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    great espionage thriller

    While working in Iraq CIA agent Roger Ferris is hit his leg is filled with shrapnel, but he knows he is lucky as his driver is dead. He is sent to Amman, Jordan to recover and to begin a new effort along with the Jordanian ¿Heart¿ Intel operatives led by Hani Salaam to uncover the identity of the brilliant al-Qaeda mastermind Suleiman, who has taken the war to the West via bombs in Milan and Berlin. --- Ferris¿ new plan is to use the British WW II concept of the ¿Man Who Never Was¿ to divide the Suleiman team. He selects thirty something James Borden found in a Florida morgue and gives the dead Caucasian male a new identity as the ¿legendary¿ Harry Meeker of the US Agency for International Development he even gives Harry a beautiful blond as expected by those who think James Bond is the modern day western operative. Ferris ¿becomes¿ a Middle East architect seemingly not involved, but able to observe. The divide and conquer scheme has begun to make it look like some of Suleiman¿s lieutenants are talking to the west as truth and honesty are not important in the Global War Against terrorism. --- BODY OF LIES will be one of the top five espionage thrillers of the year as the suspense keeps growing until the incredible climax that will stun the audience. The story line is fast-paced from the opening sequence of creating Meeker until the final altercation. The support cast is strong from James¿s boss to the chief of the Jordan Intelligence Agency to a woman working a refugee camp and others. However, this predominately cat and mouse encounter that modernizes Hitchcock into a post 9/11 world belongs to the obsessed Borden who will do anything to destroy his enemy and his shadowy adversary who will do anything to destroy the west. --- Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2012

    Disappointing

    I only have the one word to describe this book, disappointing, the story line was interesting but the dialog was not.

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  • Posted July 23, 2011

    Excellent international action ; might make you a conspiacy buff

    Interwoven plots abound in this international espionage thriller. The international relations are so tense you just hope this is fiction!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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