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Book review: 'The Director' by David Ignatius

Espionage thriller involves hackers, the CIA and a plan that could disrupt the global economy.
Oklahoman Published: June 8, 2014
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“The Director” by David Ignatius (W.W. Norton & Company, 384 pages, in stores Monday)

Graham Weber, successful businessman in the communications field and a rebel as far as some in the government are concerned, is appointed CIA director.

After the last decade, the CIA is in a state of disrepair and finds itself in a “don’t make waves” situation.

In Hamburg, a grubby young man identifying himself as a hacker shows up at the U.S. Consulate wanting to speak to the CIA director. He claims the agency has been hacked, and he has a list of agents’ names to prove it.

Weber sends James Morris, the director of agency information operations, to debrief him, but the hacker is murdered before Morris arrives.

Morris is a brilliant loner. He knows hackers because he is one, and he also has a private set of beliefs that don’t match those of the agency. Morris seems to be working both sides. He’s working with other intelligence agencies and with a woman who plans to hack an international bank; it could shake up the world economy.

Weber is quickly learning the wonders of Washington.

Author Ignatius jumps into the new world of espionage where nothing is a secret. It’s a frightening environment, but sometimes the technology overcomes the story.

John Harrington, for The Oklahoman