Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Firing Offense” as Want to Read:
A Firing Offense
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Firing Offense

3.80  ·  Rating Details  ·  576 Ratings  ·  54 Reviews
While in Paris, New York Mirror reporter Eric Truell lands the scoop of a lifetime. But when a maverick CIA agent starts leaking explosive, highly sensitive secrets to the savvy journalist, his career skyrockets.

As his ties to the CIA deepen, Truell becomes tangled in a dark web of espionage and murder that spans from Washington to Beijing.

Uncovering shattering truths in a
Mass Market Paperback, 366 pages
Published September 28th 1998 by Ivy Books (first published January 1st 1997)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Firing Offense, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Firing Offense

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,278)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jack Rochester
Feb 26, 2012 Jack Rochester rated it it was amazing
Since I've now read all of Lee Child's Reacher novels, I've had to find some other interesting light fiction to read. A recent interest in spies and espionage led me to this novel, my introduction to David Ignatius' writing, and I was not disappointed. Ignatius is a long-time political reporter and commentator for the Washington Post, so he comes by his espionage fiction-writing through honest experience. [I bring this up because I think it's essential for a genre writer to have some first-hand ...more
Gabe Albert
Oct 31, 2015 Gabe Albert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is all about Eric Truell, a reporter from The Mirror uncovering big secrets all around the world that could lead to a very big slaughter worldwide. It all starts in Paris where Eric gets caught up in a hostage situation. It then leads back to the United States where he works in D.C. It then progresses to him contacting a CIA operative to get to the bottom of another mystery but then turns into another mystery which takes Eric and one of his colleagues going to China and the colleague g ...more
Arun Divakar
Jan 18, 2014 Arun Divakar rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A day before my finishing of this book, the wife of a prominent political figure in India was found dead in a hotel room in Delhi. There were a few days of controversy before this death wherein allegations and counter allegations between the husband and the wife made headlines in the news. Be that as it may, the death of this lady sent the media into a frenzy. I do not think even the police would have completed their primary evaluations of the case and yet the news channels seem to have arrived ...more
Tony Overly
Jan 26, 2012 Tony Overly rated it really liked it
I selected this book beceause the author has an impressive resume and I like thrillers. At first I was a little disappointed. It started somewhat slow and it took a little while for me to get very involved in it. That said, about two-thirds of the way through I realized I was hooked. The author immerses the reader in a world of espionage and journalism that seems quite real with lots of interesting details. Some of the contextual and technological references are a bit dated since the story was f ...more
Jul 07, 2014 Steve rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Reporters should not ordinarily engage in outside activities and jobs. That is especially true of connections with government, which compromise the newspaper's fundamental mission of independence and objectivity. Any deliberate violation of this policy will be regarded as a firing offense."
-- from the (fictional) New York Mirror Handbook on Style

The book's protagonist, Eric Truell, a rising star reporter at the fictional New York Mirror newspaper, finds himself skirting this rule as he pursues
May 03, 2014 Sam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An enjoyable tale of journalism and spycraft and how the line is easily blurred. The leisurely pace and understated tone were a nice change from the hard-charging overly dramatic feel to many other books in this genre. I also liked that the French were the villains.

This book was obviously written by a journalist. It contains, after all, this passage: "I've often thought that people who go into ordinary professions like business or law lack sufficient ambition. Even the most successful of my Sta
May 22, 2016 Ed rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Espionage thriller - A journalist finds he has made a Faustian bargain when he takes information from the CIA. New York Mirror foreign correspondent Eric Truell's expose of French governmental corruption leads him to probe a pending French-Chinese communications contract. A deal that could mean the loss of billions for American businesses. Truell's CIA sources use their information to lure the naive reporter into playing their own dangerous game in the murky new world order, where real power res ...more
Jay Fromkin
Oct 09, 2011 Jay Fromkin rated it really liked it
The cover of David Ignatius' "A Firing Offense" carries the following promotional blurb from former Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee: "A dynamite thriller with the coolest, smartest journalist that fiction ever produced." Bradlee's known some smart journalists in his day, including Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. I'm sure that there are some journalists who have outwitted French and American intelligence (and been outwitted by the CIA as well). But most journalism is not the stuff of thriller ...more
Mar 04, 2016 Julie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Slow to begin, but this grew into a really good story. While reading an intense part toward the end in a coffee shop this morning, I jumped when the lovely lady asked if I wanted a refill. Journalism, espionage, moral dilemmas, and a search for the important stuff of life. Yes, this was a other good one from the Norton Public Library. What a treasure this library is for our area:)
May 15, 2014 Julie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm so glad that Mr. Ignatius regained his form with this book. It is terrific! It tells a compelling story of a reporter in a very difficult, dangerous (at times) dilemma. I would give it a ten on believability. Ignatius knows what he's talking about when it comes to journalism. I'm so sorry to have finished it, but looking forward to the next one.
Jan 24, 2015 Randal rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Masochists
Shelves: crime
The "hero" of the book is a self-centered jackass, which makes it very hard to cheer for him or care about the book itself. The ending is improbable and shallow. I should have obeyed my instincts about 60 pages in when Ignatius mentions Freemasons and shut up shop them, but I forced my way through.
Jun 07, 2015 Judy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A little hard to follow at times. Quite interesting, however, in spite of that. The jist of the book would seem to be that journalists start out idealistic but just like all people who must deal with crooks to do their jobs, they will more than likely become corrupted.
Joe Goldston
Sorry David. This was so unlikely, so typically written that if it was the first of your books that I had read, I wouldn't be back for more, but I did read "The Director" and I enjoyed it so perhaps you were just out of your element for a bit.
Larry Hinman
Dec 07, 2014 Larry Hinman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
This is one of Ignatius's best novels. He gets the character of the young journalist so perfectly--including the ambition and self-deception--that it's hard to imagine Ignatius didn't experience much of this himself. It's beautifully written and well worth the read.
Jim Angstadt
Another David Ignatius novel with excellent characterizations and plot.
The principal character, a newspaper reporter named Eric Truell, is caught between his chosen profession and his attempt to 'do good'.
There is plenty of depth to this character.
Several points did not quite fit the rest of the narrative:
1. Why did Arthur Bowman divulge his French connection to Eric Truell?
2. Why did Bezy want Eric Truell to work for him? Truell had no management experience.
3. Was the ex-CIA operator, Rupert Co
Jul 22, 2014 Adrian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Its funny to read books about the near present but pre 9/11 and pre things like the smart phone.

This one is a lot about the nature of play between intelligence services and newspapers, and how one person crosses that line.
Apr 06, 2015 Richard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For ink-stained wretches

Pretty good read about a reporter sucked into espionage. Drags occasionally but has its suspenseful moments too. Good insights into the hard realities of print publications.
Mar 31, 2016 William rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, dad
A very well written book. The main character is a newspaper reporter who gets tied up in international corruption and the CIA. Thoroughly enjoyed reading this one!
Neil Smithline
Feb 24, 2014 Neil Smithline rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really good espionage read. Truell's a really interesting protagonist. If you're paranoid about the world, you may be right,
Maggi Smith-Dalton
unlike most nonfiction it held my interest, and I loved the "newspaper world" feel of it, as I am a newspaper writer
Jul 14, 2014 Kathy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Intelligent, fast paced, detailed, I really enjoyed this book. Good peek into the world of high tier investigative reporting. I look forward to reading more by this author.
Apr 08, 2015 Jeff rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not his best work. Maybe this is his first novel? I really like his CIA stuff, this seemed to drag a bit.
Laurie B-W
I don't usually read this sort of thriller, but Fareed Zakaria recommended one of David Ignatius' other books, "The Increment." That book was checked out from the library but this one was available so I thought I'd give it a try.

It seemed a little longer than it needed to be, but although I kind of wanted it to end, I also wanted to see what was going to happen and so, kept reading. I don't love Ignatius' writing style, but what he writes feels true-to-life. I felt like I learned something about
This first book by David Ignatius wasn't nearly as compelling a read as The Director that I read early this year. It was an interesting look relations between France, China and the US in the late 1990's. Some things have changed (the enemy is now ISIS) but the behind-the-scenes cheating and payoffs of int'l politics sure hasn't.
Jun 07, 2015 Chris added it
Feb 12, 2016 Maria rated it did not like it
Couldn't get into it, I gave it 146 pages but even that wasn't enough. I usually love books about writers and politics too, but this was just bad and extremely uninspired.
Sep 13, 2011 Betty rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
H Ignatius ingeniously explores what happens when a reporter crosses the line between information and covert action. Looking into the secret life of a respected colleague, hotshot journalist Eric Truell finds a much better story than he expected--and a huge moral dilemma, which gets bigger the more he digs.

Private trade war involving France, China and USA discovers infiltration of the newspaper business.
Diane  Darby
Mar 06, 2016 Diane Darby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was published almost 20 yrs ago as newspapers were atarting their decline. Still, it is a most engrossing spy thriller. It is well written with a intelligent main character and a decent, credible plot. It is an interesting potrayal of how a person can be sucked into doing something against their nature as slowly and as inevitably as sinking in quicksand.
Nate Hendrix
Jul 26, 2012 Nate Hendrix rated it really liked it
I have enjoyed all of Ignatius's books so far. This is about a reporter that gets caught up with the CIA. It showes how little steps can catch up with you and end up ruining your life. He ceates characters that are entertaining with lively dialogue. I would be excited to see any of his books made into movies.
Jul 01, 2015 Fussnik rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
great writing! totally gripping thriller and yet not trashy. author keeps giving you a long view, the importance of journalism separate from government. just lovely. want to read more from this author.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 42 43 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Pressure Drop
  • Common Carnage
  • Latitude Zero
  • Family Values
  • In the Night Season: A Novel
  • Furnace
  • The Illusionist
  • Waiting
  • Good Enough to Dream
  • Men in Black
  • The Dick Gibson Show
  • The Devil's Own Work
  • The Crater
  • The Intruder
  • Joe Hill
  • Survivor
  • Why Sinatra Matters
  • Right to Life
David Ignatius, a prize-winning columnist for the Washington Post, has been covering the Middle East and the CIA for more than twenty-five years. His novels include Agents of Innocence, Body of Lies, and The Increment, now in development for a major motion picture by Jerry Bruckheimer. He lives in Washington, DC.
More about David Ignatius...

Share This Book

“Real power around the world does not reside with governments any longer, but with private interests. Real power is secret power.” 1 likes
“In the decade I had been away something in the fabric of the country had dissolved. America wasn’t one country anymore—it was two, or a dozen, or a thousand. The extremes of wealth and color and caste felt more like Cairo or Johannesburg than any American city I remembered.” 0 likes
More quotes…