book cover of The Peacock and the Sparrow
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The Peacock and the Sparrow

(2023)
A novel by

 
 
A NEW YORKER BEST BOOKS SELECTION • AN NPR BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR

During the Arab Spring, an American spy’s final mission goes dangerously awry in this explosive and “remarkable debut” (Joseph Kanon, New York Times bestselling author) from a former CIA officer that is perfect for fans of John le Carré, Viet Thanh Nguyen, and Alan Furst.

Shane Collins, a world-weary CIA spy, is ready to come in from the cold. Stationed in Bahrain off the coast of Saudi Arabia for his final tour, he’s anxious to dispense with his mission—uncovering Iranian support for the insurgency against the monarchy. But then he meets Almaisa, a beautiful and enigmatic artist, and his eyes are opened to a side of Bahrain most expats never experience, to questions he never thought to ask.

When his trusted informant becomes embroiled in a murder, Collins finds himself drawn deep into the conflict and his growing romance with Almaisa upended. In an instant, he’s caught in the crosshairs of a revolution. Drawing on all his skills as a spymaster, he must navigate a bloody uprising, win Almaisa’s love, and uncover the murky border where Bahrain’s secrets end and America’s begin.

“A breathless tour-de-force, the perfect spy tale” (Ian Caldwell, author of
The Fifth Gospel) and dripping with authenticity, The Peacock and the Sparrow is a timely story of the elusiveness of truth, the power of love and belief, and the universal desire to be part of a cause greater than oneself.

Genre: Thriller

Praise for this book

"Not since The Spy Who Came in from the Cold has there been such a riveting and thought-provoking story of international espionage. In the tradition of John le Carre and Graham Greene, former spy Berry has woven a twisted, richly evocative tale--one that plunges the reader into the depths of the Arab Spring and the blackest recesses of human nature. A breathless tour-de-force that smuggles the reader form the souks of Bahrain to the simmering streets of Phnom Penh, Berry's debut delivers the perfect spy tale." - Ian Caldwell

"The Peacock and the Sparrow is that rare thing: a genuine page turner that also has something to say. A sharp, knowing look at today's CIA, with the moral complexities of the best spy fiction and a Persian Gulf setting so richly detailed and immediate you feel you could reach out and touch it. A remarkable debut." - Joseph Kanon


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