Book Review: Code Name Papa - John Murray

Code Name Papa John Murray

Code Name: Papa: My Extraordinary Life while Hiding in Plain Sight is a memoir of John Murray as told to Sharon Murray with Abby Jones uncovering his life of undercover missions and shameful secrets with the pages of the book reveal the promiscuity networks, the weaknesses and the crisis of conscience, while dedicating an entire existence to the service of his country, sacrificing everything.

Papa, an undercover agent follows the covert routes to clean the world of the rogues through risky operations across Italy, Russia, United States, Austria, England and many others for a decade, where it is his business to eliminate the national threats, from mobsters to killers, living in a dangerous web of relationships where the boundaries of professional duty waver up to generate the suspect.

It is the splitting of life and personality that affects undercover agents who inhabit the world of the crime on behalf of institutions and laws, as if you have been an undercover agent, you're an undercover agent forever. The truth is all that matters for the curious like me, because the story in front of you will conquer and thrill and keep you glued to the pages.

This is a beautiful book that brings in the opaque world of international espionage, with the fine line between necessity and interest, between good and evil. Such books leave you a little displaced because you know these are not novels but real stories considering that everything must be changed to protect the identity of the protagonist.

The book tells in first person all the action, betrayal, blackmail describing the internal point of view how the mechanisms contrast, where you would be ensnared in a continuous parable of happenings and events sometimes perhaps more worthy of a movie. The book is quick to read and interesting both for the human aspects as well as the technical ones, the easy fall of mind and body and slow rebirth.

The book describes in an even tone, which in my opinion, is the most interesting aspect of the entire book, on how the activities of a law enforcement official are carried out under cover, the limits within which the latter must act, the consequences of such a life on their family, as they are made to deal with international criminals and intermediaries who are more hazardous than the home-grown.

I would say the biographical component make the book even more compelling because, as you read, you stop to think that Papa has really dealt with all this, and you wonder how the incidents could have happened, but then you find the answer in the book, interspersed by the story of his life of a past steeped in mystery, espionage, international intrigue and secret operations.

The right ingredients are all there, and I think it would make even a good movie that puts you ahead of the harsh reality and the world, of that hidden and sneaky world, where a few move the threads of all.

Overall a nice book which explains what and how many sacrifices especially in private life has to be given for those who commit such an operational choice and all this will emerge in an unprecedented gripping tale without a single superfluous line, and the tension of the story and the reader's participation is not diminished even for a second.

ISBN13: 978-1480819450 • Binding: Paperback • Published: 30 September 2015 • Publisher: Archway Publishing • Pages: 326 • Language: English