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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
Have you ever wondered what the true lives of spies are like? For 15 years FBI agent Robert Philip Hanssen pulled off a fantastic charade while receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Soviet government, until an FBI sting operation brought him to justice in February 2001. Adrian Havill, author of While Innocents Slept, takes readers on a harrowing trip through the life and actions of the accused spy.
After interviewing hundreds of Hanssen's friends, family members, and former coworkers, Havill details Hanssen's childhood in Chicago, his college and graduate school years, his early career with the Chicago Police Department's secret C-5 Unit, his involvement with the Opus Dei religious movement, and his eventual employment with the FBI. Relying strictly on the facts, The Spy Who Stayed Out in the Cold peers into the psyche of Hanssen and aptly reveals how an FBI agent, supporting a family of eight on less than $40,000 a year, made the decision to turn against all that the FBI stands for and sell government secrets, first to the Soviet Union and, subsequently, to Russia.
Havill's straightforward text pulls the reader from page to page in this spellbinding account of a traitor who fooled those closest to him into believing he was a pious Catholic, a devoted father of six, and a hardworking government employee. Hanssen's secret life as a double agent may be over, but the repercussions and ramifications of his actions will take years to settle. (Eric Zeman)
Eric Zeman lives in West Orange, New Jersey.