Guest Post – Contributor UNKNOWN
Peyton Stone is a 6 foot 3 inch, 200 pound “nonofficial asset”, a title given to a CIA contractor engaged when the US government needs a modicum of deniability on its secret missions. Partnering improbably with a former member of the Chinese Ministry of State Security, Peyton travels extensively to stop a crazy Iranian from ending the world.
Written by William Sewell, whose GOODREADS profile touts him as a former US Air Force veteran and sometime clandestine agent of the US Government, 2013 Irwin Award Winner, Nonofficial Asset is, I assume, in part an enhanced semi-autobiography, just a little I’m sure, with highly improbable bad guys, a hot girl and a super, albeit aging, American hero.
Peyton Stone never quit his day job. But it’s his other profession that might just get him killed.Islamabad. Baghdad. Shanghai. Kazakhstan, Kabul. Langley. For Peyton Stone, that’s a work commute. But his is no normal job. On the surface he’s a world-renowned security expert. But his real occupation is serving as a “nonofficial asset,” a contractor working for the CIA when the government needs complete deniability.While advancing American interests globally, Stone discovers that those interests can exact a steep personal price. And when his business partner is murdered in a Shanghai hotel, ominous ghosts from his past return and he’s drawn deeper into the covert maze, on the hunt for a stolen nuclear weapon and the rogue Iranian admiral hell-bent on using it. In Nonofficial Asset his skills, training, tactics, mettle, and allegiance to family and country are all pushed to the limit as he races to prevent nuclear catastrophe.
The story plays out against the backdrop of a peace treaty with Iran which, given the 2013 accord with that country over its nuclear program, makes the author (who wrote the work in 2012) look somewhat prescient. The book is fast-paced and, at points, its little descriptive details seem to reflect Sewell’s travels for his work. I did, however, struggle to understand why the author, who purportedly worked in the Middle East, would refer to Iranians as “Arabs,” and why a most assuredly Shia Iranian would frequent a Sunni mosque in Pakistan. He seems to use the word Arab to describe Iranians (they’re not Arabs), but then like most North Americans I only just learned the difference thanks to Season Two of Homeland. These quibbles aside, the book was an easy read and you could do worse if you’re looking for a breezy espionage thriller with which to pass some time.
By: Karlos Dainger (no relation to Anthony Weiner)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
If William “Bill” Sewell believes in a guiding principle, it comes from world champion racecar driver Mario Andretti, who said, “If things seem really under control, you’re not going fast enough.” Sewell spends his life pushing to find that razor’s edge between velocity and control.
William Sewell lives with his wife in Southern California.