3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
The 2nd Lieutenant Spy by Peter Roman is a C/T/M/H set in the Cold War (in 1968). Sam Carpenter is the main character. He is a former marine working for the CIA. Although he is the protagonist, he is not the one who controls the course of events. It is the big shots from his agency and KGB members who make the significant decisions.
Although some events also occur in West Germany and the USA, the book is set mainly in Luxembourg. The book was tailor-made for readers who like action, violence, espionage, covert operations, and acid humor. The environment of doubt and distrust is portrayed brilliantly. Both the CIA and the KGB do not know what the other side knows or how to behave in all situations. The two organizations try to deceive and devise schemes to convince the other side of their omniscience. There is a description of foolish people in positions of command and brilliant people following orders, as it happened and still happens nowadays. There are also racial slurs and a lot of swear words in the book.
After finishing this work, the aspect that most caught my attention was the author's knowledge about the Cold War. I had already read some books about the KGB and Stasi, and everything discussed in the book looks pretty reliable and realistic. The author also mentions the definitive work on the Spanish Civil War written by Hugh Thomas, which only a scholar could do. Besides, the book is professionally edited. I couldn't find one single grammatical error.
The main criticism that a discerning reader could make about this book is that the plot is hard to follow. In many parts of the book, the reader is in doubt about who the main character is. There are constant changes in focus, and the excessive time given to the secondary characters makes the storyline predictable. In a part of the book where there should be a doubt about a KGB operation, the reader finds out what will happen quickly.
All in all, The 2nd Lieutenant Spy by Peter Roman deserves three out of four stars. The book is a classic case of an excellent idea that was not well implemented. I don't know the author's life story, so I can only make assumptions. In my opinion, Peter Roman is an author who has potential but is still very inexperienced. It was for the reasons mentioned in the paragraph above that I had to deduct one star from the final score. The book needs another round of editing (in order to make it simple to understand and remove the unnecessary babble). After that, I would recommend it to lovers of the C/T/M/H genre.
The 2nd Lieutenant Spy
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon