This one starts in October, 1945, just a few months after the end of WWII. Here's what the book itself says about Top Secret:
"In the first weeks after World War II, James D. Cronley Jr. is recruited for a new enterprise that will eventually be transformed into something called the CIA. For a new war has already begun, against an enemy that is bigger, smarter, and more vicious: the Soviet Union.
The Soviets have hit the ground running, and Cronley's job is to help frustrate them, harass them, and spy on them in any way he can. But his first assignment might be his last. He's got only seven days to extract a piece of information from a Soviet agent, and he's already managed to rile up his superior officers. If he fails now, his intelligence career could be the shortest in history.
There are enemies everywhere - and, as Cronley is about to find out, some of them wear the same uniform he does..."
Sounds good, don't you think? Here are a few other elements/questions in this book:
1) James (Jimmy) is only 22 years old and finds himself in charge of a secret camp in Germany that harbors ex-German soldiers. Is it a collaboration or a detention camp? Or both? Is he in over his head?
2) Have you read the Honor Bound series? There might be a significant "visitor" from those books making an appearance in this one.
3) Why would a Colonel's wife, quite a few years older than Jimmy, pay so much attention to him?
4) Does Jimmy have his own love interest?
There's a lot about Griffin's books that I like. He combines drama, complexity, intrigue, humor, history/historical figures, and just good writing. He makes you laugh, cry, and cringe. There's a point where you get to see Jimmy sitting next to Eisenhower who, at that time, was commander of the ETO - European Theater of Operations. There's also a scene where Jimmy is honored, in person, by President Truman. You all know I'm a big fan of historical fiction. Griffin does it better than just about anybody.
Book #2, The Assassination Option, is coming out in paperback later this month, and I will be getting it immediately. I vow never to slack off on Griffin's military books again. Top Secret rates a 3.25/4.
POINT OF CLARIFICATION: Griffin has been writing with his son, William E. Butterworth IV, for quite a few years now. And, as you can see on the cover, he gets writing credit as a co-author. Despite that, I still think of these as W.E.B. Griffin's books.