I love a good mystery filled with suspense and intrigue. That’s why I wanted to read author Michele Rigby Assad’s new book Breaking Cover – My Secret Life In The CIA and What It Taught Me About What’s Worth Fighting For.
Have you ever wondered how in the world someone ends up working for the CIA as spy? It’s not like you take a class in school or get a degree in spying. What type of person is well suited to become a spy? As a Christian, how do you reconcile the deceptive practices that are necessary for spying with your Christian values? Those are just a few topics that Michele talks about in her book Breaking Cover.
It was sobering to learn about what Michele and her husband Joseph experienced when they were in field. They endured a lot, from the bureaucracy within the CIA, the transitory secretive life that being a spy necessitates and the ever-present perils that surrounded them. Not just once and a while, but every day their lives were on the line.
Reading about what Michele endured, because she is a woman, gave me a greater respect for the work that she did and the sacrifices she and Joseph made to help protect our Country from those who sought to do us harm. I couldn’t have done what she did, I would have quit! There was one scene in the book that left a lasting impression on me. Michele was driving to work in Iraq, not exactly a safe and friendly place for women. She was at a stop light when all of a sudden some very evil men took notice of her. Not good…not good at all. How in the world was she going to get out this situation alive, much less unharmed? That was just one of the many stories that gripped me and kept me up late at night to find out how things were going to turn out.
As intriguing as their ten-year careers were, it was interesting to see how they transitioned out of the CIA into regular life. It’s not like you can fill out a resume and list your jobs and give references. Michele shared that there is a high recidivism rate for CIA agents. They end up coming back to work for the CIA because the transition can be too hard.
What I appreciated most about Michele and Joseph Assad’s story was how God had gone before them and was using the incredibly trying and difficult circumstances they lived in for ten years to prepare them for a greater mission. They learned and honed their skills, talents, abilities and discernment. One day, they would be called upon to employ all they had learned and much more to help bring to 150 Christians from war torn Iraq to safety.
I came away from reading Breaking Cover more grateful for the Country we live in and freedoms we have. I have a greater appreciation for the work that people in the intelligence community do to keep our Country safe.
Breaking Cover by Michele Rigby Assad is fascinating, especially from the unique perspective of a woman being a CIA officer and a counterterrorism expert in the Middle East. I highly recommend this book, but be forewarned, you may be staying up late at night because it’s too intense to put down.
I would like to thank Tyndale House Publishers for the opportunity to read a complimentary copy of Breaking Cover in exchange for an honest review. I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.