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billion dollar spy book coverReviewed by Sarah McCubbin

The Billion Dollar Spy takes readers deep undercover to tell the true story of Soviet spy activity on behalf of the United States in the late 1970s and early 80s. Relying on eyewitness accounts and valuable declassified  documents, author David E. Hoffman unravels a true story of one Russian engineer who worked with Soviet military intelligence and the layers of deception he perpetrated to obtain revenge on the Soviet government for the wrongs they had exacted.

On a cold winter night in February 1978, a man approached the car belonging to the CIA director of the Moscow outpost. Through a crack in the window, he passed an envelope filled with classified Soviet military information. This began a relationship that lasted for years. To most people who knew Adolf Tolkachev, he was a quiet, unassuming engineer who kept to himself and lived a quiet life with his wife and son. But that mild demeanor hid a determined individual. The work he did photographing classified documents gave the U.S. valuable intelligence worth well over a billion dollars. Of course, no spy efforts are without risk and those details are what make this story absolutely fascinating. The author carefully spells out the the calculated planning and efforts used for each and every meeting to avoid the efforts of the KGB to monitor every aspect of life.

Ever wonder what a spy could be paid? Many of the conversations relating to payment are included in this story as well as other interesting requests made by Tolkachev. Every detail of how agents and CIA operatives worked gave me a greater appreciation for the efforts unknown people make on behalf of our safety all the time. Unlike camouflaged warriors in the desert or jungle, these individuals wage battles with entirely different tools–subterfuge, coded messages and classified secrets. They too risked their lives and the well-being of their families.

Go behind the scenes with real-life operatives and agents. Experience just a taste of life always on the edge of detection. Sense the weight of every choice knowing that any compromise can lead to imprisonment or death. Anyone who is a fan of history or real life thrillers will enjoy this book by David Hoffman!

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Sarah McCubbin is a homeschooling and foster mom in NE Ohio where she resides with her husband and 7 children. In addition to reading great books, she enjoys gardening, traveling and blogging at Living Unboxed.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Anchor. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.