“The spy is one of the most potent figures of the imagination,” says author Steve Berry, president of International Thriller Writers, as reported in a recent article by Peter Grier, staff writer / Christian Science Monitor, Russia Spies Case Rushes to a Close. Why the Hurry. (July 8, 2010)
“Hollywood pushes and exaggerates all the things that make a spy compelling,” says Mr. Berry. All the tools of the trade, from the cool gadgets to the personal ability to live a double life with charm and ease, make for great stories and form our expectations.”
But do real-life espionage and the images spun by popular film and fiction match the reality? No, often there is great disparity. However, Michael Diaz Jr., a former assistant state attorney in the Clinton administration and managing partner at Diaz Reus who specializes in espionage cases, says spies can come in handy when things go wrong behind the doors of international relations. He says,
“Who knows what’s broken down behind the scenes or what isn’t going right? Most Americans can’t follow the reasons and details for Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton’s visit to remote areas of the former Soviet Union. But, pull out that raven-haired beauty living the New York high life while she slips secrets back to Mother Russia, and you have another story altogether.”
A neat narrative – a spy swap! – with characters everyone understands is much more potent than a government report or commission.