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Past Perfect

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Past Perfect Cover

ISBN13: 9780743242165
ISBN10: 0743242165
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Fifteen years ago, Katie Schottland snagged her dream job as an analyst for the CIA. She worked for the Agency for a glorious two years, just as the Soviet bloc was collapsing, and the Cold War coming to an end. Then she was shown to the door — without an explanation as to why she was fired. Nothing else I'd done or would ever do would ever feel so right. Then it was gone....I couldn't find another job.

Katie spent the next few years agonizing over her loss and her own shortcomings until she gave birth to her son and, soon after, a novel called Spy Guys. Now she writes for a cable TV series spawned from her novel, but still misses the espionage work she once loved.

A phone call from a former colleague changes everything. The woman, once involved in preparing high level refugees for their new American lives, begs for Katie's help in return for answers about her past. She, it seems, can explain why Katie so suddenly became persona non grata. But can Katie go from writing the fluffy, fictional Spy Guys to surviving in the world of espionage where the bullets are real — and hardly anyone lives happily ever after?

Review:

"Isaacs's 11th novel has fewer sparks flying than nets dragging, but most fans won't mind a bit, given the amount of outside-the-bedroom adventure. Despite reinventing herself as the author of the novel Spy Guys and the creator of the resultant TV show, Katie Schottland remains wounded by her still-unexplained firing from the CIA, where she wrote intelligence briefs as the Cold War ended, 13 years earlier. When she gets a distress call from an old co-worker, Lisa Golding, who subsequently disappears, Katie plunges back into the notes she smuggled out of the office. She seeks help from an old flame and another ex-agent (now a log-cabin recluse) who helps her trace three of Lisa's former charges at the CIA, East German asylum seekers transported to America and given new names. When two of them turn up dead within weeks of each other, Katie decides to give chase to locate the third before the woman becomes the next casualty. And she still hopes she'll coerce her ex-employer to give up the truth about her termination. The operations stuff is well-done throughout. Katie's relationship with her sweet vet husband adds little, but TV show — based scenes are diverting, and her fixation on her last job is sharply funny and true-to-life." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"With 10 best-selling novels to date, Susan Isaacs has made a career out of conjuring up gumptious gals. In her new book, 'Past Perfect,' Isaacs returns to a pairing that has served her well: sassy New York mom + murder.

Katie Schottland is a soon-to-be-40 Upper West Sider packing her beloved, chunky son, Nicky, off to Camp Lionheart for the summer, where he will eat fruit kebabs and... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"Filled with well-rounded characters and good humor, this novel, like Isaacs's previous works...could be a best seller." Library Journal

Review:

"Isaacs' thriller is complicated enough to keep you guessing until the end." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Isaacs...can be counted on to ring cash registers, and if this isn't her best effort, it does offer a cast of reasonably engaging characters headed by Katie, a woman determined — once and for all — to make peace with her past." Booklist

Review:

"Susan Isaacs has an incredibly good ear for dialogue and a very sharp eye for the silly and stupid things people really do. Picture yourself laughing out loud while sitting on the edge of your seat and furiously flipping pages. The clever plot, the quick pace, and the pitch-perfect writing are good clues that Past Perfect was written by a master storyteller." Nelson DeMille, author of Wild Fire

Review:

"I love Susan Isaacs! Her books come straight from the heart, and her characters are smart, funny, and feisty enough to be your best girlfriend — not only for three hundred pages, but for life. Past Perfect introduces Katie Schottland — a terrific galpal who packs her kid off to summer camp and sleuths as a CIA analyst with equal style. Put simply, Past Perfect is perfect!" Lisa Scottoline, author of Dirty Blonde

Review:

"There has to be a name for the literary form Susan Isaacs has invented: the funny scary book. The woman who made us laugh as well as shiver in fear over a murder investigation in Compromising Positions has done the same thing for the CIA and international espionage. Past Perfect made me laugh, but it also kept me jumping out of bed every time a floorboard creaked in my old house." Sara Paretsky, author of Fire Sale

Synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling author of Any Place I Hang My Hat, Compromising Positions, and Shining Through comes a wonderful new novel about a woman ousted from the CIA who, years later, finds herself back in the game.

Synopsis:

In Past Perfect, Susan Isaacs gives us one of her most glorious characters ever: bright, buoyant, and borderline luscious Katie Schottland. Katie seems to have the ideal life: a great husband, a precocious and winning ten-year-old son, and a dream job — writer for the long-running TV series Spy Guys. But all is not as splendid as it should be because writing about the espionage business isn't nearly as satisfying as working in it.

Fifteen years earlier, Katie was in the CIA. She loved her job (to say nothing of her boss, the mysterious Benton Mattingly). Yet just as she was sensing she was in line for a promotion, she was fired — escorted off the premises by two extremely hulking security types. Why? No one would tell her: when you're expelled from the Agency, warm friends immediately become icy ex-colleagues who won't risk their security clearances by talking to you.

Until that day, Katie was where she wanted to be. Coming from a family of Manhattan superachievers, she too had a job she not only adored but a job that made her, in the family tradition, a Someone. Fifteen years later, Katie is still stuck on her firing. Was she set up? Or did she make some terrible mistake that cost lives? She believes that if she could discover why they threw her out, she might be at peace.

On the day she's rushing to get her son off to summer camp, Katie gets a surprise call from former Agency colleague Lisa Golding. "A matter of national importance," says Lisa, who promises to reveal the truth about the firing — if Katie will help her. Lisa was never very good at truth-telling, though she swears she's changed her ways. Katie agrees to speak with her, but before she can, Lisa vanishes.

Maturity and common sense should keep Katie in the bright, normal world of her present life, away from the dark intrigues of the past. But she needs to know. As she takes just a few steps to find out, one ex-spy who might have the answers dies under suspicious circumstances. Another former agent is murdered. Could it be there's a list? If so, is Katie now on it? And who will be the next to go?

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About the Author

Susan Isaacs is the author of nine novels, including Any Place I Hang My Hat; Long Time No See; and Red, White and Blue, and one nonfiction title. She is a former editor of Seventeen and a freelance political speechwriter. She currently lives on Long Island with her husband. All of her novels have been New York Times bestsellers.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

titianlibrarian, December 15, 2007 (view all comments by titianlibrarian)
I'm not normally a huge fan of mysteries--with my overanxious personality, I don't need any convincing that a dangerous felon lurks behind every tree. Once it's dark and I'm at least 100 feet away from my car or my house, my imagination goes to work, the whites of my eyes start to show, and it's all downhill from there. I picked up this book because the jacket doesn't explicitly label it as a mystery. It is a novel, but it's so suspenseful and there are deaths scattered throughout the story, so make your own decision...

Katie Schottland is a modern New York mother and wife--her son Nicky is off at summer camp and her husband Adam is a pathologist at the Bronx Zoo. Fifteen years before, she was a low-level editor at the CIA before she was abruptly walked off the premises and told never to return. Without a good recommendation from them, it has been impossible for her to find work since. When an acquaintance from her Washington days calls her in an unexplained panic, Katie starts trying to unravel the reasons behind her firing. Of course, this leads her deeper and deeper into trouble, and soon lives are at stake. I liked this the way one likes toffee. Nice to have occasionally, but one piece always satisfies the craving. You'd make yourself sick if you ate it all the time. But a book like this every once in a while is good for diversifying the palate and keeping your imagination active. Enjoy!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(5 of 8 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780743242165
Author:
Isaacs, Susan
Publisher:
Scribner Book Company
Subject:
General
Subject:
United states
Subject:
Employees
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Contemporary Women
Subject:
Suspense fiction
Copyright:
Publication Date:
February 2007
Binding:
Hardcover
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
340
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Contemporary Women

Past Perfect Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$8.95 In Stock
Product details 340 pages Scribner Book Company - English 9780743242165 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Isaacs's 11th novel has fewer sparks flying than nets dragging, but most fans won't mind a bit, given the amount of outside-the-bedroom adventure. Despite reinventing herself as the author of the novel Spy Guys and the creator of the resultant TV show, Katie Schottland remains wounded by her still-unexplained firing from the CIA, where she wrote intelligence briefs as the Cold War ended, 13 years earlier. When she gets a distress call from an old co-worker, Lisa Golding, who subsequently disappears, Katie plunges back into the notes she smuggled out of the office. She seeks help from an old flame and another ex-agent (now a log-cabin recluse) who helps her trace three of Lisa's former charges at the CIA, East German asylum seekers transported to America and given new names. When two of them turn up dead within weeks of each other, Katie decides to give chase to locate the third before the woman becomes the next casualty. And she still hopes she'll coerce her ex-employer to give up the truth about her termination. The operations stuff is well-done throughout. Katie's relationship with her sweet vet husband adds little, but TV show — based scenes are diverting, and her fixation on her last job is sharply funny and true-to-life." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Filled with well-rounded characters and good humor, this novel, like Isaacs's previous works...could be a best seller."
"Review" by , "Isaacs' thriller is complicated enough to keep you guessing until the end."
"Review" by , "Isaacs...can be counted on to ring cash registers, and if this isn't her best effort, it does offer a cast of reasonably engaging characters headed by Katie, a woman determined — once and for all — to make peace with her past."
"Review" by , "Susan Isaacs has an incredibly good ear for dialogue and a very sharp eye for the silly and stupid things people really do. Picture yourself laughing out loud while sitting on the edge of your seat and furiously flipping pages. The clever plot, the quick pace, and the pitch-perfect writing are good clues that Past Perfect was written by a master storyteller."
"Review" by , "I love Susan Isaacs! Her books come straight from the heart, and her characters are smart, funny, and feisty enough to be your best girlfriend — not only for three hundred pages, but for life. Past Perfect introduces Katie Schottland — a terrific galpal who packs her kid off to summer camp and sleuths as a CIA analyst with equal style. Put simply, Past Perfect is perfect!"
"Review" by , "There has to be a name for the literary form Susan Isaacs has invented: the funny scary book. The woman who made us laugh as well as shiver in fear over a murder investigation in Compromising Positions has done the same thing for the CIA and international espionage. Past Perfect made me laugh, but it also kept me jumping out of bed every time a floorboard creaked in my old house."
"Synopsis" by , From the New York Times bestselling author of Any Place I Hang My Hat, Compromising Positions, and Shining Through comes a wonderful new novel about a woman ousted from the CIA who, years later, finds herself back in the game.
"Synopsis" by , In Past Perfect, Susan Isaacs gives us one of her most glorious characters ever: bright, buoyant, and borderline luscious Katie Schottland. Katie seems to have the ideal life: a great husband, a precocious and winning ten-year-old son, and a dream job — writer for the long-running TV series Spy Guys. But all is not as splendid as it should be because writing about the espionage business isn't nearly as satisfying as working in it.

Fifteen years earlier, Katie was in the CIA. She loved her job (to say nothing of her boss, the mysterious Benton Mattingly). Yet just as she was sensing she was in line for a promotion, she was fired — escorted off the premises by two extremely hulking security types. Why? No one would tell her: when you're expelled from the Agency, warm friends immediately become icy ex-colleagues who won't risk their security clearances by talking to you.

Until that day, Katie was where she wanted to be. Coming from a family of Manhattan superachievers, she too had a job she not only adored but a job that made her, in the family tradition, a Someone. Fifteen years later, Katie is still stuck on her firing. Was she set up? Or did she make some terrible mistake that cost lives? She believes that if she could discover why they threw her out, she might be at peace.

On the day she's rushing to get her son off to summer camp, Katie gets a surprise call from former Agency colleague Lisa Golding. "A matter of national importance," says Lisa, who promises to reveal the truth about the firing — if Katie will help her. Lisa was never very good at truth-telling, though she swears she's changed her ways. Katie agrees to speak with her, but before she can, Lisa vanishes.

Maturity and common sense should keep Katie in the bright, normal world of her present life, away from the dark intrigues of the past. But she needs to know. As she takes just a few steps to find out, one ex-spy who might have the answers dies under suspicious circumstances. Another former agent is murdered. Could it be there's a list? If so, is Katie now on it? And who will be the next to go?

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