AN UNLIKELY SPY Robert Popovich
Advanced Reviews: It's a suspense novel from beginning to to end. The events are so historically accurate, people, places, and events, it's difficult to separate fact from fiction. It will be up to the reader to decide. In the end it's a runaway train without a brake pedal so hold on tight, and when you get off, you might want to rethink history as we know it.
AN INFORMATION COLLECTOR - AN UNLIKELY SPY—An Unlikely Spy is a non-fiction novel about how a young US Army military volunteer, a product of Eastern European parents, becomes an unwilling spy during the height of the US/Soviet Cold War. After fulfilling his military obligation as a Russian intelligence analyst, he sets his sights on calmer waters of pursuing a university education, and a law degree, in hopes of joining the corporate world and living a “normal” life.
Whether destiny, or if you subscribe to Jung’s theory of Synchronicity, “normal” quickly fades into the unimaginable depths of international intrigue—betrayal upon betrayal; lies toppling lies; black and white conclusions quickly fading into unalterable shades of grays; and the rest beyond the scope of anyone’s imagination.
This early innocent is thrust into the world that tests every lesson of truth, honesty, and faith that formed his character and beliefs. If he is to survive, he must compromise all of these values to the brink of never being able to redeem any semblance of his former self. He becomes one of the unenviable few who has experienced the sensation of “absolute divorce” to one’s soul.
It all begins innocently when he is sent by his global corporation to attend a conference in Kabul, Afghanistan. His last refueling stop on Pan American flight number one—is Tehran, Iran. It is at the height of the Iranian Revolution, and westerners of any kind are considered, justifiably or not, the divine enemy.
Not surprisingly, he is accused of being a CIA operative. He is held hostage for weeks with little or no hope of ever being released or worse. He survives the ordeal, but it is only the beginning of a journey filled with trepidation and deceit. Unbeknownst to him, it reaches back into his past, when he discovers his father’s true identity. In the end, he is confronted by his long-ago fellow linguist, closest friend, mentor, and ally, who asks him to betray his country for “the greater good,” and if he refuses, he was ordered to kill him.
His journey begins in West Berlin, where he spends months of weekends, trying to infiltrate the formidable layers of a Communist state, all orchestrated by Mother Russia. The years pass, and times change. The former enemy turns into a moderate ally by embracing free markets, all under the newly opened umbrella of ‘glasnost’ and ‘perestroika.”
A war in Bosnia takes him into the womb of his former archenemy; and now, after thirty years, he sits across the table with a newly formed global partner—it is truly the ‘paradox of paradoxes, which spawns the conundrum of conundrums. Woven between all of this are the inherent twists, turns, and betrayals associated with espionage. Call it a necessity; call it convenience; call it a part of a nation’s policy—in the end, betrayal in any form rarely measure up to being justified, but that will be for you to decide.
In the end, he is left to his own devices and basic human instincts to survive. He is a pawn that must turn himself into a knight with chameleon-like timing. He is forced to reconcile the irreconcilable. He survives, but at what cost? The stars of honor placed in the entrance way at CIA Headquarters, in Langley, VA. Anonymously acknowledge those few brave souls who chose to put the nation’s welfare over their own. Those that survive often suffer a fate worse than death—they become unwanted symbols of bravery and honor, and must suffer within themselves for the rest of their lives, asking the same question over and over again—“Was it worth it.” How others value our efforts, are subjective at best; but in the end, it is our own assessment that will determine our life’s total sum. His story is now in your hands; we leave it for you to decide . An Information Collector—An Unlikely Spy