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A Firing Offense Book Review Summary

Detailed Plot Synopsis of A Firing Offense

A young, talented journalist working and writing in Paris named Eric Truell is on the fast track to success when he writes about corruption in the award of a huge Chinese telecommunications contract to a French company. As Truell gets deeper into the details of the story he also learns of French-supported biotech weapons research being conducted in Beijing. More than a coincidence, Truell is being fed information about these events by a disillusioned CIA agent, ultimately uncovering the fact that the two stories are connected to a corrupt French government official.

He begins fearing for his safety going to New York to talk about the implications of the bigger story with his boss. By chance he turns to an older, trusted foreign correspondent named Arthur Bowman. Arthur is knowledgeable about much of what is going on having covered France as part of the New York Mirror's Paris bureau for many years. Truell feels he is being turned into a CIA operative, manipulated in a high stakes game of cat and mouse but his journalistic instincts compel him to follow the story even at great risk to himself. He turns to his ex-girlfriend Annie for comfort while back home in Washington, DC.

Even though he is certain Arthur has been a pawn for the French, for years writing in support of the government and probably taking money for it, he accompanies Arthur to China for an international consortium. Truell eludes those trailing him and makes contact with the French researcher, whom he had interviewed once before back in France. He is able to pass along a coded message. In the chaos that ensues, Arthur confesses his ethical sins but is later deliberately run down by a truck. He had become a liability to his French handlers and needed to be silenced. Truell makes his way back to DC to help bury his deceased colleague, come clean about his use of his CIA sources to his boss and publisher, and come to terms with Annie whom he learned was having an affair with married Arthur.
This report prepared by David Fletcher








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Chapter Analysis of A Firing Offense

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 30%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 20%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 20% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) Time/era of story:    -   1980's-1999 Spying/Terrorism Thriller    -   Yes Cloak & Dagger Plotlets:    -   stopping a saboteur/spy Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Search for technology?    -   bioweapon/cure

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   journalist Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American

Setting

United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Northeast Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   France Asia/Pacific    -   Yes Asian country:    -   China City?    -   Yes City:    -   Washington D.C. Misc setting    -   scientific labs

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Explicit sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   vague references    -   descript of kissing Unusual forms of death    -   run over Unusual form of death?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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David Ignatius Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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