Le French Book to Publish Spy Novels from France
In the coming months, Le French Book, an ebook publisher specialized in bringing France's top crime fiction and thrillers to readers across the English-speaking world, is adding spy novels to its lists. As a result, they got to wondering just what the French can teach us about espionage. This begs other questions, like do spy novels have anything to do with real espionage? And do spies from good spy novels make good spies?
One of their upcoming thrillers is by Bernard Besson, who has had a long career in French intelligence and law enforcement. He is a former chief of staff of the French FBI, was involved in dismantling Soviet spy rings in France and Western Europe at the fall of the Soviet Union, and is one of the country's top specialists in economic intelligence. He is also aprize-winning thriller writer-eight of his novels have been published in French. His latest, a spy novel set on a backdrop of global warming, is the one Le French Book will be bringing into English soon. He says that in the real world, James Bond and Jason Bourne are just the tip of the iceberg.
Here is an excerpt from the interview (full interview available online):
What are a spy's best weapons?
Ninety-five percent of an intelligence officer's assignments consist of gathering information and verifying it. Computers and software, along with general knowledge and conversational skills are more useful in this area than guns. What a spy needs most is to be in the trust of well-informed people. However, every intelligence agency has action units used to extract agents, remove people from threatening situations, or commit sabotage. Their James Bond and Jason Bourne, if you will. Well-trained military personnel generally carry out these operations.
How would you characterize espionage today?
Today, keeping things top secret is less important than being quick to think and to gather information. One of the key battlegrounds is business, and both countries and multinational corporations are fighting for key strategic knowledge they hope to be the first to use. In my novel Greenland: The Thriller, my heroes are little-known actors in this economic war for the future. Those with the best information will win the battle. The blood splattered on the ice sheets of Greenland belongs to shadow fighters, mercenaries fighting battles we don't learn about on the evening news.
Le French Book has two thrillers currently in the works:
- The Bleiberg Project, by David Khara, a fast-paced thriller that was an instant success in France, catapulting its author, David Khara, into the ranks of the country's top thriller writers. It is the James Bond-type thriller. Release date: April 30, 2013.
- Greenland: The Thriller, by Bernard Besson, is a thriller focusing on the geopolitical fallout of global warming disasters. The Arctic ice caps are breaking up. Europe and the East Coast of the Unites States brace for a tidal wave. Meanwhile, a team of freelance French spies pick up an ordinary assignment that quickly leads them into the glacial silence of the great north, where a merciless war is being waged for control of discoveries that will change the future of humanity. Release date to be announced.
Le French Book (http://www.lefrenchbook.com) is a digital-first publisher specialized in great reads from France. It was founded in December 2011 because, as founder Anne Trager says, "There is a very vibrant, creative culture in France, and the recent explosion in e-reader ownership provides a perfect medium to introduce readers to some of these fantastic French authors."
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