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Summary

The thrilling, true-life account of the FBI's hunt for ingenious traitor Brian Regan - known as the Spy Who Couldn't Spell.

Before Edward Snowden's infamous data breach, the largest theft of government secrets was committed by an ingenious traitor whose intricate espionage scheme and complex system of coded messages were made even more baffling by his dyslexia. His name is Brian Regan, but he came to be known as the Spy Who Couldn't Spell.

In December of 2000, FBI special agent Steven Carr of the bureau's Washington, DC, office received a package from FBI New York: a series of coded letters from an anonymous sender to the Libyan consulate, offering to sell classified US intelligence. The offer, and the threat, were all too real. A self-proclaimed CIA analyst with top secret clearance had information about US reconnaissance satellites, air defense systems, weapons depots, munitions factories, and underground bunkers throughout the Middle East.

Rooting out the traitor would not be easy, but certain clues suggested a government agent with a military background, a family, and a dire need for money. Leading a diligent team of investigators and code breakers, Carr spent years hunting down a dangerous spy and his cache of stolen secrets.

In this fast-paced true-life spy thriller, Yudhijit Bhattacharjee reveals how the FBI unraveled Regan's strange web of codes to build a case against a man who nearly collapsed America's military security.

©2016 Yudhijit Bhattacharjee (P)2016 Penguin Audio

What members say

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The Dyslexic Syp !

Treachery is an evil crime which has serious and often incalculable consequences. In my country (UK), the Cambridge Five and others did it for political reasons; and foolishly, the political system they backed (communism) failed in the Soviet Union and is now almost extinct. Brian Regan attempted to betray his country (USA) by stealing and passing on top secret information, mainly of the satellite variety, to countries such as Libya and Iraq in the late 1990s/early 2000s. Even the Libyans did not trust him ! He also appeared to betray his country for possibly the worst possible reason: money. He was caught and sentenced to life imprisonment. Brian was dyslexic which adds an unusual angle to this true story.

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  • Eugene
  • 09-11-16

Great Great Great Story Telling, What a Great Book!

Soon as I read an excerpt online about this book I marked my calendar with the book's release data. On the date it came out, November 1st, I ordered it on Audible and finished listening to it in 8 days. It's an amazing book. The story telling is suspenseful and I could not get enough of it. Get this book, you won't regret it! A+++++++

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Chris
  • 08-11-16

Not a riveting thriller, but a fascinating story

Definitely an interesting story I was surprised to have never heard about. The tale of an awkward American spy who became the first ever to face the death penalty for espionage

Well worth the listen

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-11-16

Compelling story, well read.

The story is regularly diverted, with details on encryption and cipher, that I found impossible to follow. nearly lost me several times, before returning to the story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Katie Suitor
  • 25-02-17

Read, don't listen...

struggled to listen...there were too many times where the narration was a string tedious numbers, describing how codes are built. you had to listen to number after number...can't skim over, like when you read.
it was difficult to enjoy. also, the story was told in more of an account. I did not get lost in the story...I just was looking forward to it being over.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Jonathan Webber
  • 26-12-16

Excellent Story and Narration

I listened to this in my car for two weeks, the story was great and I never lost interest. Narration was good and kept it appealing.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Allison
  • 13-12-16

Well written and engaging

This book is based on an interesting topic in our history and is presented in such a way that I had a hard time turning it off. It is well-written. Robert Fass was an excellent narrator for this story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • JRP11
  • 11-12-16

Spellcheck

Wonderful'. Excellent! Don't give up after a few chapters. It takes awhile to get into, but worth the wait.
Bruceski

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Stephanie
  • 06-12-16

Enjoyable

I enjoy the concept of cryptography and discovery. This book has lots of those topics.

Very enjoyable and intriguing listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Michelle
  • 05-12-16

Thrilling & True

Would you listen to The Spy Who Couldn't Spell again? Why?

yes - to soak in any details that I missed the 1st time.

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

Steve Carr's out of the box thinking. Why the spy did not plead guilty & why he was sentenced with the death penalty. The exhaustive search for threats to national security.

Which character – as performed by Robert Fass – was your favorite?

F.B.I. Special Agent Steve Carr

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

yes

Any additional comments?

It has thrilling & tense parts & lots of facts to help the reader understand the true threat to National Security.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • david
  • 29-11-16

Excellent read/listen

An amazing story. My only disappointment was reaching the end of the book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful