Endless movies and books have been written about foreign spies
secretly infiltrating America, "sleepers" awaiting orders to become
active, undercover operatives that have infiltrated government and
finance. THE CHARM SCHOOL is the ultimate in espionage novels,
based on very disquieting rumors that have circulated for years ---
that American POWs were being used by the Soviet KGB to train
agents to pass as authentic Americans.
Mrs. Ivanova's Charm School is the most closely held secret in the
Cold War game. An entire compound within the Soviet Union has been
designed for programming top KGB agents into model US citizens.
Everything from history to sports to the colorful idioms of
particular regions --- nothing is left to chance. Except that one
prisoner has escaped, and his fortuitous meeting with an American
tourist on a lonely road in the Russian countryside sets the events
in motion for this explosive novel by Nelson DeMille.
DeMille, himself, acknowledges in his 1997 interview that he
believes this school actually existed. This may explain the
tremendous interest in and popularity of THE CHARM SCHOOL. But then
it is a DeMille novel --- and no one writes suspenseful thrillers
Reviewed by Ann L. Bruns on January 21, 2011