cover image The Director

The Director

David Ignatius. Norton, $26.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-393-07814-5

In this frighteningly convincing spy thriller from Ignatius (Bloodmoney), former entrepreneur Graham Weber has a new job: director of the Central Intelligence Agency, an organization suffering in “the post-Snowden era” of whistle-blowers and cyberterrorism. During Weber’s first week on the job, Rudolf Biel walks into the U.S. consulate in Hamburg, Germany, and tells base chief K.J. “Kitten” Sandoval that “your messages can be read.” Weber sends his brilliant technologist, James Morris, director of the agency’s Information Operations Center, to Germany to meet with Biel, but Biel is shot and killed before he can be interviewed. The action revolves around the source of the leak Biel identified, which turns into a plot to hack and destroy the Bank of International Settlements. Why this bank? “Because it’s a symbol of everything that has gone wrong since 1945.” Ignatius builds palpable momentum and creates engaging, fully human characters, notably the fallible and conscientious Weber. Moreover, he writes with great authority on hackers’ technologies and motivations, as well as the history and culture of the CIA. Agent: Raphael Sagalyn, Sagalyn/ICM. (June)