Another Review at MyShelf.Com

BY J. R. Seeger

No Frills Buffalo
May 23, 2018 / ISBN 9780999620878

Reviewed by Elise Cooper

Mike4 by J. R. Seeger brings to life the work of a CIA operative. Using his own experiences, he can tell a realistic story. His accomplishments include having served as platoon leader, company XO, and multiple staff assignments in the Airborne Infantry from 1981 to 1985, as well as Chief of Station, Chief of Base, and Unit Chief for the CIA from 1987 to 2004.

The fictional plot finds Sue O’ Connell deciding to follow in her parents’ footsteps and become an operative for the CIA. Her assignment is to find terrorists so that SOF assault teams can “finish” the target. Just as the author came from a military background, before joining the CIA, so has Sue. An injury forces O’Connell to leave the military and join other SOF operators training to become counterterrorism intelligence collectors. But as she continues her training, given the code name Mike4, and after joining the surveillance world, she finds her family held secrets. Beyond just the covert world of their profession, they have a history that includes both counterintelligence secrets and a 60-year old Russian vendetta.

Since Russia is the adversary, Seeger wanted to show how “The Russians’ purpose is to create sufficient chaos in the West, doing whatever they please in what they would call “the near abroad.” The Russians are taking active measures all across Europe, the UK, and the US. The objective to have the Western world totally focused on the political chaos within their systems instead of Russian expansionism. This geo-political perspective is very much consistent with what was going on during the Cold War in the 1950s, 1960s. The difference is they are using inexpensive yet sophisticated methods, doing it with the Internet instead of tanks. This is why I put in the book quote, ‘Americans believes in open-source intelligence and think tanks. Russians understand the outside world is a created reality… and understand that the real world is a world of secrets, backroom deals, deceit, and theft.’”

This riveting tale allows someone to take the journey with Sue as she goes from the CIA training at the Farm to a field operator. Anyone wanting to understand the shadowy often hard-edged world of counter-terrorism within a mysterious plot should read this novel.

Reviewed 2018