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

Body of Lies

3.69  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,805 Ratings  ·  186 Reviews
CIA soldier Roger Ferris has come out of Iraq with a shattered leg and an intense mission— to penetrate the network of a master terrorist known only as "Suleiman." Ferris's plan is inspired by a masterpiece of British intelligence during World War II: He prepares a body of lies, literally the corpse of an imaginary CIA officer who appears to have accomplished the impossibl ...more
ebook, 352 pages
Published April 17th 2008 by W. W. Norton & Company (first published 2007)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Nov 06, 2008 Dante rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one at all
There's nothing like an intelligent, well thought out spy novel with believable characters and credible situations. If that's your kind of novel, KEEP LOOKING!

This was horrible! Indigestible and inexcusable.

It's inexcusable when an author has supposedly smart people do stupid things. But it gets even worse here. Suspicious people accept information without question. Secretive people talk to other people about their secrets. A hardened terrorist yields to the pressure of being bored in prison to
Toni Osborne
Feb 12, 2009 Toni Osborne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel is one well crafted post 9/11 spy thriller with a highly elaborate plot. The story starts when CIA agent Roger Ferris is sent on a mission to flush out a terrorist known as Suleiman. In order to forestall further Al-Qaeda attacks he develops an intricate scheme to pit the terrorists against each other by sowing seeds of suspicion that their leaders are collaborating with the Americans. Unable to succeed alone, he requires the full support of his boss Ed Hoffman and with the help of Ha ...more
Sep 04, 2012 Steven rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well-paced, but as with almost all such stories, it suffers from being a bit juvenile in its characterizations (over-simplifying people and their motives) and a bit formulaic in its construction. However, based on the reporter's background, it is definitely well-researched and quite a plausible plot. The technical (writing and spycraft) aspects of the novel are its strongest cards, much like the better Tom Clancy books (pre-Op Center drivel). I had already seen the film before picking up the boo ...more
Not up to the usual standards of this author's work. Only one character was interesting and smart and he had too small of a role. While the plot could have been fairly interesting, if the characters had not continuously done stupid things to propel it along, there was entirely too much focus on the MC's romances and the female characters were pretty laughable stereotypes. Listened to the audio which was read by Dick Hill who does male characters fine but his female characters and the love scenes ...more
I learned sooo much from this book. It helped me understand more about the thoughts and principles of Arab Muslims. I learned that America shoots herself in the foot in Arabia because we deal as arrogant interlopers. Yes, we've got the power, the money and the weapons, but it's their home.

Body of Lies was full of adventure and spy story sizzle. It would make a great movie (starring Bruce Willis, if I got to choose). There were surprises at every turn and took me on a thrilling ride all the way t
Jun 01, 2014 Shar rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
i started this expecting it to be overwrought with jargon and terminology that would render it impossible to follow if you're not 1000% well versed in every detail of current events. luckily that wasn't the case and i found it very easy to follow, mostly thanks to it being very well paced. however i found a lot of the characterizations to be pretty shallow and i was not as invested in the characters or their relationships as i may have been had that been different, so the lack of believability i ...more
Aug 01, 2009 Isi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Watched the movie and found it ok, and I tend to enjoy Ignatius's column, so I gave it a try. Have to say i was a bit disappointed - the liberal, Bush-loathing politics (that I agree with) are just put on too thick, and the book can never quite decide whether it wants to be a page-turner or a liberal manifesto on US politics in the Middle East. I also found it questionable in an overtly political novel to lionize the fictional head of the Jordanian intelligence service as a suave, non-violent su ...more
Dec 23, 2012 Bea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The title of this book refers to a corpse that is dressed and made to appear to be an imaginary CIA officer with all the background paperwork to support that fiction. This corpse is depositied in a foreign country to sell the fiction to terrorist organization that this CIA officer hs penetrated their organization. A trojan horse scenario.

Roger Ferris is a CIA soldier who creates this plot to try to penetrate Suleiman's organization. The problem is no one knows Suleiman. Roger works with George S
May 18, 2016 Jak60 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book a lot; and there are a lot of things I liked in it: above all, the story is totally gripping, I could not put the book down, the last 50 pages are breathtaking! The plot is constructed as a masterpiece of espionage fiction: double games which become triple, quadruple....unbelievable!
I also liked the overall intellectual honesty I found in the novel, the non-western centric view of things in Middle East, the brutally honest portrait of the CIA for what it actually is - a giganti
Apr 01, 2009 Dave rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: espionage
The movie was pretty good - one of the best spy films I've seen lately. The book was better in some ways and worse in others for me. Ignatius definitely knows his stuff, and you have no trouble visualizing the places he's talking about - he clearly knows them well. Likewise, he seems to have a decent hold on the modern business of espionag e. All that stuff is good, but the love story in the book is just not compelling for me - the girl, Alice, is a little too plainly allegorical for the "just-s ...more
I enjoy reading David Ignatius' columns for the Washington Post, so when I spotted this in a used book store last summer in Maine thought it was worth checking out. Set in 2007, it involves a CIA officer, wounded in Iraq and serving in Jordan, who comes up with a way to lure out an Al Qaida mastermind who is responsible for several car bombings in Europe. Along the way he has marital and romance complications, and seriously doubts some of what he is doing. It was exciting and I enjoyed some of t ...more
Haider Hussain
May 25, 2014 Haider Hussain rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An intricately woven scheme to deceive a deadly terrorist and lure him to come out in the open. But who is actually being outwitted? Who is running who? Is tech-intelligence greater than human espionage?

David Ignatius strikes another home run with this one!
Jan 09, 2016 Kaisu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ein Buch, das nicht mit großer Action, sondern eher mit unterschwelliger Spannung und Kriegführung daherkommt.
Dan Bartholomew
I had read another of this author's books (The Increment) which was excellent. So, I had great hopes for this one...but in the end it's politics got in the way for me. I enjoy this genre most when the authors stick to developing plot, characters, and give insight to culture and tradecraft. When I sense an agenda at play, they've lost me. This is one of the reasons I tend not to be interested in the likes of Vince Flynn and Brad Thor. Also, I had seen the movie already and couldn't get Leo Decapr ...more
May 20, 2014 Julie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yay! An Ignatius book with a happy ending! I thought this one was terrific. Great plot. Thought I had guessed what was going to happen, only to be surprised by the turn of events.
Costea Constantin
Acţiunea romanului se desfăşoară în diferite locuri de pe mapamond – Washington, Berlin, Amman, Tripoli, Nicosia etc. O reţea teroristă, condusă de cineva supranumit Suleiman Magnificul, organizează atentate cu maşini-capcană, în diverse oraşe din Europa. Aceste evenimente soldate cu multe victime sunt doar o pregătire pentru detonarea unor bombe bacteriologice sau nucleare pe teritoriul SUA. Primejdia e iminentă. Pentru a o contracara, Roger Ferris, un angajat CIA are o idee genială: din moment ...more

When it comes to spy novels, David Ignatius is one of the best. His knowledge of his subject makes his stories ring true, including this one involving an attempt to draw out an Al Khaida mastermind who is wreaking havoc. As with most Ignatius novels, this one has unexpected twists and turns leaving a reader fully satisfied at journey's end.

This really deserves a 3 1/2 star rating, but have not mastered the 1/2/ star designation.
Alan Brehm
Jun 01, 2014 Alan Brehm rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I saw the recent movie, and in comparison, the story in the book works much better. I like the way Ignatius spins the web of his spy novels, with generous helpings of the background knowledge of the Middle East from his time as a correspondent there, along with interesting plot twists. Even though I saw the movie, the story in the book is different enough that the development was surprising at times. I thoroughly enjoyed it!
John Treanor
Oct 29, 2013 John Treanor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book. Ignatius really knows his stuff. Paints the CIA in a seemingly more realistic light, as a bureaucratic nightmare filled with careerist losers, much closer to how it's depicted in the other book that I'm currently reading (A Legacy of Ashes, The History of the CIA). I've seen the movie twice, and enjoyed it, but the book was better (of course).
Dec 27, 2015 Ravi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up this book because it was made into a movie. Generally books made into movies tend to be good books.

This was a decent enough book to begin with. There was a plot and a motive. And then it all started going 'cuckoo'.

It was the idea of an inception to bring out the dreaded 'sulaiman', but in the end , the dreaded 'Sulaiman' was captured like a common thief.

I don't believe that even in a work of fiction, a man who is capable of bombing half of Europe and America can be that stupid.

Aug 21, 2014 Peacejanz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A complex twisting mystery about a CIA officer in the Middle East; he tries to turn others and undercuts the director of intelligence in the host country and falls in love with an American who is there on an aid mission. And then he and the US associate director of the CIA work out a secret mission, not approved by anyone and then the woman he loves is kidnapped and his own wife back in the U.S. betrays him. Got all that? This my first book by the author and will not be my last. He is a wordsmit ...more
Dick Gullickson
Sep 09, 2014 Dick Gullickson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You can tell that David Ignatius is an editorial writer for the Washington Post by his skillful weaving of international events and terrorist threats into his very plausible and fast moving stories. This excellent account of CIA counter-terrorist operations against Al Qaeda in Jordan has the ring of truth from a man who knows. Roger Ferris is an Arabic speaking new CIA operative and Iraq veteran. He learns that the Jordanian intelligence service understands counter terrorism measures in the Midd ...more
Alex Nakonechnyi
Excellent book! Liked it as much as movie even that movie doesn't correspond 100% to the book. Recommend to everyone who likes spy thrillers and especially Middle East.
Dec 07, 2013 Brian rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not sure why authors always feel the need to include lewd material. It never adds anything to the book. If not for that it would have gotten 4 stars.
Jul 30, 2012 Patrick rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Destined to be a spy novel classic. You should also read Ignatius' 'Bloodmoney.'
I know you should never judge a book by the cover, but getting something that has "Now a major film starring Leonardo Di Caprio" on the front never strikes me as a good start. Especially after seeing the trailer and not being terribly impressed. Nevertheless, someone must have thought enough of the book to buy the film rights, so I suppose it can't be all bad.

Terrorists are busily exploding bombs in major European cities. The CIA has an idea that the mastermind behind the terrorist cell doing th
Awesome! But there are some things that are against my religion
Apr 12, 2015 Christopher rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
An interesting book that is, unfortunately, marred by a poor beginning and a somewhat unsatisfying ending. Ignatius seems to know enough about the intelligence community to write a convincing novel about its operations, but a lot of things detract from this novel. For starters, the beginning has a very weird structure to it in that it doesn't really start at the beginning. In fact, the first 100 pages are the worst part of the book as it is incredibly boring. But it picks up once Farris, the mai ...more
Oct 15, 2008 Kelly rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Reading as a promise to Bert who REALLY wants me to see this movie with him when it comes out in the next few months. Stars George Clooney and Leonardo DiCaprio (hell, who wouldn't want to see THAT movie?!). This is not my typical genre and 85 pages in I remain skeptical about liking it.

Post Read: OK, so the movie stars Russell Crowe, not George Clooney. Darn.

Anyway, I can see how this book can be translated into a really good and thrilling movie. In fact, it almost seems as if it was written t
Oct 29, 2008 Jed rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
There are several issues with this book that detracted from my enjoyment. The first is that the story felt rushed. The initial premise was quite compelling (CIA agent creates and carries out daring plan to ensnare an elusive terrorist before more violence erupts!), but the development of the story and characters was lacking. There was little actual action in the story, and the intrigue was uninteresting.

The second issue is the over-arching liberal message of the story. To be brief, all of the w
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Condi: The Condoleezza Rice Story
  • The Clash of Fundamentalisms: Crusades, Jihads and Modernity
  • Nasreen's Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan
  • George Washington, Spymaster: How the Americans Outspied the British and Won the Revolutionary War
  • One Country: A Bold Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse
  • Warriors of God: Inside Hezbollah's Thirty-Year Struggle Against Israel
  • Marked for Death: Islam's War Against the West and Me
  • The Georgetown Ladies' Social Club: Power, Passion, and Politics in the Nation's Capital
  • West of the Jordan: A Novel
  • Art Through the Ages 2
  • Inside the Jihad: My Life with Al Qaeda
  • Allure
  • An American Bride in Kabul
  • A Spy's Life
  • God and Football: Faith and Fanaticism in the SEC
  • Arab Summer (Sasha Del Mira Thrillers #3)
  • Elizabeth Rex
  • The Power of Praying: Help for a Woman's Journey Through 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

“Interrogate them,” said Ferris. “Send them to Gitmo. Send them to Hani. Whatever.” “Well, sure, interrogation,” said Hoffman. “That helps. But that’s not the real pop. Even if the guy we capture doesn’t say shit, the bad guys have to assume he has blabbed. So they’ll have to change their cell-phone numbers, and their Internet” 0 likes
More quotes…