Six Days of the Condor - James Grady In an introduction to the audiobook, Grady provides some background on how he, and the intelligence community, were influenced by this book. He happened to be wandering down a street when he imagined that behind one of the doors was a secret CIA research bureau. And then he wondered what would have happened if one of the workers left and returned to find all his colleagues dead. Grady learned in 2008 from Comrade J by Pete Early, that the Russians assumed from watching the Redford movie that this was the way the CIA conducted business, and they formed a 2,000 man secret bureau devoted to doing the kind of research now so common in movies and shows such as Rubicon. “What if, became what was.”

The prosaic reason why the movie was shot in New York instead of Washington ,where the book takes place, was simply because Robert Redford was due to shoot All the President’s Men which had to take place in Washington and he didn’t want to leave his family in New York for the duration of two movies.

This was Grady’s first book and smashed in between interesting scenes of intrigue are rather awkward moments of silliness. The love scene between Wendy and Malcolm (he has just kidnapped her. then persuaded her that he’s not a bad guy, taken a shower and had dinner together) was in such purple prose as to be almost comical and the next morning she “mounts” him again (shades of Fanny Hill, I’m surprised it wasn’t his “member”) and then has to call a doctor friend for a house call because of Malcom’s vicious“strep throat.”

Still as my GR friend Nancy notes, this is a real page-turner (or, at least, unable-to-shut-off-the-the-iPod-when-parking-in-the-garage.) It’s fun. I would make it 3 stars for the writing, five for the idea and plot, so we’ll round it off to 4 (in reality, probably 3.14159265, heh heh.)

Nancy has a nice plot summary in her review.