A period piece, from 1948 into 1953. It’s when Communism fever was hot and spies were a big deal in the Cold War. Joseph McCarthy was badgering a variety of government employees, among other targets. The book had a minor figure in the story, modeled on him.
But, the plot is mostly about who is the mole in the CIA passing info to the Russians. There are multiple suspects in the office where protagonist George Muller works. Along the way, there’s some familial challenges and romance; the latter is well-written. For a debut novel, character development, dialogue and personal habits were well done.
The only shortcoming I found came in the stereotypical conflict between the counterintelligence agents from the FBI and the CIA folks. It might have been a little better handled. As anyone who reads this type of story must know, the CIA is not supposed to be working in the USA. But then, the limitations on when they could do may not have been fully developed in 1953.
I recommend the book.
NOTE: I have a two-hour course to present at the Western Institute of Lifelong Learning (WILL) on October 9th. WILL is affiliated with Western New Mexico University, here in Silver City. I have much work still to complete so I will be taking a break on this blog until after the class.