Secrets of State
Date: May 2015
Duration: 12 hours 35 minutes
An NPR Best Book of the Year
From a veteran insider with over twenty years’ experience in the U.S. Foreign Service comes a taut, insightful thriller of global intrigue and behind-the-scenes international politics.
Sam Trainor’s career of overseas work coupled with a penchant for being outspoken has left him on the outside of the competitive Washington establishment. Formerly the top South Asia expert in the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, Trainor has moved to the private sector, working as an analyst for the consulting firm Argus Systems.
But Sam soon discovers that for all their similarities, the government and their hired contractors have vastly different motives. As he struggles to adjust to a more corporate, profit-driven version of the work that had been his life, he stumbles across an intelligence anomaly—the transcript of a phone conversation about the fastest ways to upend the delicate political balance keeping India and Pakistan from all-out war. Yet Sam knows that conversation can’t have occurred—because he is having an affair with one of the alleged participants.
As he digs into the source of this misinformation, he realizes that more is at stake than just bad intel. Someone is deliberately twisting the intelligence to stoke the simmering conflict between India and Pakistan, nuclear-armed rivals that have already fought multiple wars. And Sam’s new employer could be up to its neck in it.