cover image Supernotes


Agent Kasper and Luigi Carletti, trans. from the Italian by John Cullen. Doubleday/Talese, $26.95 (272p) ISBN 978-0-385-54007-0

In this confusing based-on-a-true-story thriller from Kasper, a former operative of the Italian intelligence services and the CIA, and Italian journalist Carletti, a man with the code name Kasper—“secret agent, spy, double-oh-seven, agent provocateur, imposter”—finds himself detained at the Prey Sar Correctional Center near Phnom Penh, Cambodia, in 2009. For the prisoner, “Prey Sar is the place of no return.” Kasper has been investigating the supernotes of the title: “counterfeit U.S. bank notes, hundred-dollar bills, very high quality, practically perfect.” He has clearly rubbed someone the wrong way to end up in Prey Sar, though he does have allies on the outside. In Rome, lawyer Barbara Belli is working on his release and learning of Kasper’s shadowy past. The book provides a fascinating peek behind the curtain of today’s global intelligence community, but the back-and-forth narrative essentially destroys the story’s momentum. [em]Agent: Alan Nevins, Renaissance Literary and Talent. (Jan.) [/em]