Well, I was intrigued by the idea that there are people who are earning a living by leading a double life. Spying on a target group of people and ‘becoming one of them’ in order to get close.
I was intrigued by the notion that people who do this are prepared to develop fake relationships, marriages, and even have children with a partner as part of a covert spying mission – in some cases having two families running parallel, oblivious to each other.
This might be the ideal job for someone who would like to live an entirely fake life, presumably for the greater good of their country.
Fake names, passports, identities (taken from deceased children in some cases) is all part of the job, so much so that some agents end up holding onto their false identities even ager giving up their jobs.
Sleeping with the enemy is all part of the job, though falling in love with targets is deemed to be ‘breaking the rules’.
My intrigue led me to read this book to learn more about this ‘other’ world that may well be infiltrating our own at any given time or place time or place.
Although I didn’t necessarily find all the detail in the book interesting, the concept of undercover living and working is truly fascinating and thought provoking!
‘Undercover’ offers snapshots of UK undercover agent work, including insights into various campaigner/activist and political demonstrator infiltration. This is the main type of surveillance being focused on in this book. I would have liked to read about a wider range of of settings.
Interestingly, many of these undercover agents end up suffering psychological and mental health problems. In some cases end up receiving psychiatric care and/or retiring due to being unfit to work on grounds of mental health. It must really mess with your head trying to live like this.