Oprah time: A Shadow Intelligence by Oliver Harris

Reading Time: 1 minute

I was given a galley copy of A Shadow Intelligence to read.

TLDR: version of my review is that its a thoroughly modern spy thriller.

The protagonist Elliot Kane is a British intelligence officer who has returned from Saudi Arabia to London. He is sent a video of himself in a room that he’s never been talking to a man that he doesn’t know. Harris takes the reader on a spy story that takes place in the Central Asian republics between China and Russia.

It is a thoroughly modern book:

  • Addressing the confluence of interests between government and businesses going abroad that had long driven policy and actions in Africa and the Middle East
  • Privatisation of military, cyber and intelligence capabilities
  • Technology including modern information warfare over social media channels, fake news and deep fake videos

Kane comes across as a jaded, human bookish character more George Smiley than James Bond. Harris did his research really well. He brings alive the locations and the main characters.

If I had one criticism it would be that the end felt a bit rushed, rather like the author was trying to exceed a word count.