From bestselling author Susan Isaacs comes her "feisty, funny, and smart" (New York Times) novel about a successful TV writer who once worked for the CIA.
Katie seems to have the perfect life—a great husband, a precocious and winning ten-year-old son; and a glamorous job as writer for the long-running TV series, Spy Guys, based on her own surprisingly successful novel. But for Katie, writing about the spy business isn’t as satisfying as working in it. Fifteen years ago, she was working at CIA headquarters. She loved her job, and especially her boss. Then, suddenly, for no apparent reason, she was fired. Katie comes from a family of Manhattan achievers, so it’s been tough to accept such humiliation. She’d give almost anything to know what falsehoods lay in her personnel file. A surprise call from former colleague Lisa gives Katie hope. Lisa says she urgently needs Katie’s help on a matter of national importance and promises to reveal all if Katie will work with her. Then Lisa disappears. One person is dead, then another. Who will be next? With some help from a couple of colorful ex-spies, Katie embarks on a scary mission, leading her back to the extraordinary and eerie days as the Berlin Wall was about to crumble. Flawlessly crafted, witty and suspenseful, Past Perfect is classic Susan Isaacs in top form.
Isaacs's 11th novel has fewer sparks flying than nets dragging, but most fans won't mind a bit, given the amount of outside-the-bedroom adventure. Despite reinventing herself as the author of the novel Spy Guys and the creator of the resultant TV show, Katie Schottland remains wounded by her still-unexplained firing from the CIA, where she wrote intelligence briefs as the Cold War ended, 13 years earlier. When she gets a distress call from an old co-worker, Lisa Golding, who subsequently disappears, Katie plunges back into the notes she smuggled out of the office. She seeks help from an old flame and another ex-agent (now a log-cabin recluse) who helps her trace three of Lisa's former charges at the CIA, East German asylum seekers transported to America and given new names. When two of them turn up dead within weeks of each other, Katie decides to give chase to locate the third before the woman becomes the next casualty. And she still hopes she'll coerce her ex-employer to give up the truth about her termination. The operations stuff is well-done throughout. Katie's relationship with her sweet vet husband adds little, but TV show based scenes are diverting, and her fixation on her last job is sharply funny and true-to-life.