Portrait of a Spy
to the craft of restoration and to review my manuscript for accuracy. His knowledge of art history is exceeded only by the pleasure of his company, and his friendship has enriched our family in ways large and small.
I am indebted to the brilliant art consultants Gabriel Catone and Andrew Ruth for taking me to the November 2010 Postwar and Contemporary evening sale at Christie’s in New York and tutoring me on the tactics involved in purchasing paintings worth tens of millions of dollars. Truth be told, I found the world of the high-stakes auction far more intriguing than the world of spies and terrorists, and the experience had a profound impact on the ultimate course of the novel. Needless to say, Gabriel Catone and Andrew Ruth have little in common with the fictitious Nicholas Lovegrove other than their sophistication and extraordinary knowledge of the business of art.
Several Israeli and American officials and counterterrorism experts spoke to me on background, and I thank them now in anonymity, which is how they would prefer it. Roger Cressey, the director for transnational threats at the National Security Council from 1999 to 2001, has been an invaluable source of information regarding U.S. counterterrorism policy, and an even better friend. For the record, he has no links whatsoever to the firm of Rogers & Cressey, based on Cannon Street in London.
My dear friend, the eminent anesthesiologist Dr. Andrew Pate, advised me about the disorder known as arteriovenous malformation, or AVM. Also, a very special thanks to M, who lifted the veil on certain matters related to data collection. I do not pretend to be aware of all the technology available to American, Israeli, and British intelligence, but I have tried to write about it in a way that both serves the story and does not bore readers. I am confident the true capabilities of the U.S. government far exceed anything I have described in the pages of Portrait of a Spy .
I consulted hundreds of books, newspaper and magazine articles, and Web sites while preparing this manuscript, far too many to name here. I would be remiss, however, if I did not mention the extraordinary scholarship and reporting of Steve Coll, Robert Lacey, James Bamford, Ron Suskind, Jane Mayer, Jim Krane, Dore Gold, Robert F. Worth, Scott Shane, Souad Mekhennet, and Stephen F. Hayes.
Having lived in the Arab world in the 1980s, I was familiar at the outset of this project with the stifling oppression faced by far too many of the region’s women. Jan Goodwin’s seminal work Price of Honor was an invaluable resource, as was Inside the Kingdom by Carmen Bin Laden. The writer, activist, and commentator Irshad Manji inspired me with her spirit and vision. Dr. Qanta A. Ahmed’s luminous account of her time spent working in Saudi Arabia as a physician helped me to better understand the challenges faced by female professionals in one of the world’s most conservative societies. Her book’s haunting title, In the Land of Invisible Women , found its way into the thoughts of my heroine, Nadia al-Bakari, as did the clarity of its vision. If women such as these ran the affairs of the Middle East, I’m sure the world would be a much better place.
Louis Toscano, my dear friend and longtime personal editor, made countless improvements to the manuscript, as did my copy editor, Kathy Crosby. Bob Barnett, Deneen Howell, Linda Rappaport, and Michael Gendler were a priceless source of wise counsel during a very busy year, as were Jim Bell, Bruce Cohen, Henry Winkler, Ron Meyer, and Jeff Zucker. My study partners—David Gregory, Jeffrey Goldberg, Steven Weisman, Martin Indyk, Franklin Foer, David Brooks, and Erica Brown—kept my heart focused on what is truly important, even when my thoughts strayed to the unfinished manuscript lying on my desk. The peerless Burt Bacharach inspired me with his genius and his enduring passion for his work. Jim Zorn gave me friendship and faith when I needed it most.
A heartfelt thanks to the remarkable team at HarperCollins, especially Jonathan Burnham, Jennifer Barth, Brian Murray, Cindy Achar, Ana Maria Allessi, Tina Andreadis, Leah Carlson-Stanisic, Leslie Cohen, Karen Dziekonski, Archie Ferguson, Mark Ferguson, Olga Gardner Galvin, Brian Grogan, Doug Jones, David Koral, Angie Lee, Michael Morrison, Nicole Reardon, Charlie Redmayne, Jason Sack, Kathy Schneider, Brenda Segel, Virginia Stanley, Leah Wasielewski, and Josh Marwell, who profoundly influenced the plot of
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