“Men like us believe we are gods,” is the innuendo of the belief of CIA operatives woven into the fabric of C Street, a novel by Claudette Walker.
Possessing the absolute power with unlimited resources of the government’s Central Intelligence Agency, Jacqueline Bovia Rosenberg (having shortened her name to Jacqueline Rose) is being watched as she traces the prior path of her late husband’s career working within the clandestine organization. Solomon Rose had amassed evidence of the agency’s illegal and unethical activities throughout many international operations, and had a collection of audio tapes secretly held for his wife to retrieve in case of his death. Although his death came about naturally, Jacqueline remained under surveillance and investigation by the CIA until the agency could get possession of this revealing and possibly incriminating series of audio tapes. Unfortunately for Jacqueline, the CIA represented not the only government seeking to get at these secrets, and to get to her!
From her London home, Jacqueline traveled to the US; first to Tampa, Florida, and then up to Manhattan on a mission to retrieve the tapes. Constantly looking over her shoulder, she takes precautions and she believes she’s not being followed until she meets an Israeli colleague of Solomon’s when she is given new identification documents; surprisingly showing a photo of her taken without her knowledge. Knowing very well not to trust anyone, she becomes swept into the current of people with power and influence, deep into a world of sex and violence, murder and betrayal with characters not having her own best self interest in mind.
Claudette Walker takes the reader on a very detailed journey throughout the secret methods of falsifying responsibilities within the back operations of government intelligence organizations in C Street, revealing new and fascinating methods of how our history has been manipulated by those in power. Walker masterfully develops and sustains an intelligent level of suspense throughout her novel, capturing and holding hostage the reader while being totally in control of the information revealed. Unlike authors which use quick “snippets” of storytelling to create within the reader’s mind a series of fast moving action scenes, Walker embellishes her scenes with descriptions based on her research and experience. She noticeably narrates as seen through a feminine mind’s eye of Jacqueline, complete with the coupling of vulnerability, her fortitude of strength, and instinct for self preservation.
Her novel is clearly written in a fashion which lends itself to her screenplay adaptation, which I believe is available, and would no doubt gain innumerable accolades by audiences especially for having her feminine character, Jacqueline Rose, yet appear once again and become so memorably articulated. C Street has it all, and done in a way you’ll be looking over your shoulder when reading this extraordinarily entertaining book. ~ Gary Sorkin, Pacific Book Review