American Spy: Wry Reflections on My Life in the CIA
In a memoir written as a series of narrative vignettes, a former CIA operations officer recounts his years of danger, intrigue, and adventure.
This candid and darkly witty memoir recounts an exhilarating life –and a few close brushes with death. With remarkable sangfroid and a humorist’s eye for absurdity, H. K. Roy describes his many strange and risky exploits in his long career with the CIA.
My hope is that the true street-level spy stories recounted in American Spy will entertain, amuse, and inform readers by immersing you in my world. American spies sacrifice in the shadows to report truth to power. If US presidents from both parties continue to ignore or politicize the CIA, the “American empire” may be very short-lived.
Don’t forget to check out the website’s “Extras,” which include the book’s musical soundtrack, access to a “state secret” Russian intelligence file on a highest-level American asset, and a gallery of dozens of photos taken by the author that are not included in the book!
What They're Saying
Francis Gary Powers Jr.
American Spy takes the reader on a behind-the-scenes journey filled with espionage, intrigue, sex, lies, and betrayal. Spy turned author H. K. Roy offers a firsthand account of being a covert agent in hostile countries and war zones during the Cold War and after the breakup of the Soviet Union. Composed of true stories and down-to-earth personal reflections, American Spy gives us a glimpse into Roy’s life—working in the shadows, stealing secrets, recruiting foreign assets, and staying alive while undercover.
H.K. Roy’s new book is a fascinating insider’s account of a career working in the shadows. American Spy is filled with all the spy operations and tradecraft a reader could hope to find. But more importantly—and what sets it apart from the slew of recent intelligence memoirs—is his insight into the pitfalls and perils of when politics and policymakers unduly influence the ability of intelligence officers to do their jobs. A must-read for any student of intelligence, and casual readers alike.
Roy is the real thing, his brush with a foiled assassination legendary in the CIA. His life is the stuff of movies, and a great read.
This is no ordinary spy story of an American hero. What H. K. Roy witnessed and reported on in Srebrenica will make you shudder.
Midwest Book Review
An inherently fascinating and thought-provoking read from cover to cover, American Spy: Wry Reflections on My Life in the CIA is an extraordinary, unique, and unreservedly recommended addition to both community and academic library Contemporary American Biography collections in general, and CIA History supplemental studies lists in particular.
International Review of Books
A delectable read interspersed with humor and wit.
American Spy is a rollicking spy’s eye view of the conflicts that shaped the modern world, from Bosnia to Basra. H. K. Roy shows readers what it is like to be trained as a CIA officer and to be deployed on the front lines.
An ex–intelligence officer delivers a mixture of autobiography, insider tales, and occasional derring-do…Politically neutral, educational, and sometimes insightful adventures of a working spy before and after retirement.
Jack Philip Barsky
American Spy is an action-packed tour de force…Move over, James Bond and George Smiley—this is the real deal, written by a patriotic American who deserves our gratitude for his service.
American Spy is a fascinating look into the training and life of a CIA operations officer.