An Honorable Man (George Mueller #1) by Paul Vidich
Set in Washington DC in 1953, the operations of the CIA are being compromised by a double agent, identity unknown. Suspicions abound, and agent George Mueller is investigating.
“The lie detector didn’t actually measure lies, the choices a man made to conceal or prevaricate. It didn’t measure free will. It recorded excitement. It recorded changes in breathing, blood pressure, heart beat, and sweat. Mueller understood the theory. All case officers did. When a person lied, the stress produced physiological changes that could be measured. And case officers knew the techniques of how to lie without detection.”
“The moon hung like a lantern in the sky and illuminated the four-masted barque moored mid-channel. Its spindly mass fused with the dark water and tiny bulbs ran stem to stem like Christmas lights.”
This is a classic spy story with some tension and suspense, as there should be in a spy story, but for me there was not quite enough buildup to make this a page-turner. I thought the plot was well-constructed with enough “drip-fed” information to allow the reader to guess the identity of the traitor. Overall, I liked the book, but probably not enough to read the next in the series.
Kirkus:“Dead-on Cold War fiction. Noir to the bone.”
Publishers Weekly: “Set in Washington, D.C., in 1953, Vidich’s well-written first novel is long on atmosphere but short on narrative momentum. … an intelligent, old-fashioned spy thriller.”