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Ghost: Confessions of a Counterterrorism Agent | [Fred Burton]

Ghost: Confessions of a Counterterrorism Agent

For decades, Fred Burton was a key figure in international counterterrorism and domestic spy craft. As a member of the State Department's Diplomatic Security Service in the mid 1980s, he was on the front lines of America's first campaign against terror. Now, in this hard-hitting memoir, Burton emerges from the shadows to reveal who he is, what he has accomplished, and the threats that lurk unseen except by an experienced, world-wise few. Told in a no-holds-barred, gripping, nuanced style, this behind-the scenes account of one counterterrorism agent's life and career is a riveting listen.
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Publisher's Summary

For decades, Fred Burton was a key figure in international counterterrorism and domestic spy craft. As a member of the State Department's Diplomatic Security Service in the mid 1980s, he was on the front lines of America's first campaign against terror. Now, in this hard-hitting memoir, Burton emerges from the shadows to reveal who he is, what he has accomplished, and the threats that lurk unseen except by an experienced, world-wise few. Told in a no-holds-barred, gripping, nuanced style, this behind-the scenes account of one counterterrorism agent's life and career is a riveting listen.

©2008 Fred Burton; (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (212 )
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3.9 (102 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Lew Cedarhurst, NY, United States 06-16-08
    Lew Cedarhurst, NY, United States 06-16-08 Member Since 2004
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    "A Masterful, Real-Life Glimpse. Brilliant!"

    When retired clandestine-service operatives tell their stories, it can often go either way; a dry and barren account or a riveting spook-yarn. "Ghost", by Fred Burton, offers an authentic, well-written and very well-read glimpse into the day to day "police-work" of counter-terrorism. But here it's the real deal, never boring and always honest, real-life. Not since Robert Baer has an operative (and here it's the Diplomatic Security Service), told his story with such emotional and honest conviction. You'll never get the whole story, it's not possible, but Fred Burton does a masterful job of offering a sleeves-rolled-up account of the Ghost life and how it affected him; the lives saved, the lives lost. This book was read with a good flair for drama; voice inflection, dialects from the middle-eastern captured terrorist to the Columbian assassin. This is a must-read Audiobook for anyone from the history buff to the crime-fiction lover. Go for it, you will not be disappointed!

    17 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Happy Chappy Elk Grove, California 07-31-08
    Happy Chappy Elk Grove, California 07-31-08

    An Avid Reader.

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    "Great Audiobook"

    Ghost: Confessions of a Counterterrorism Agent by Fred Burton is a great read about the sacrifices that the brave men and women waging the war on terror make on a daily basis. Burton is an expert in the field of counter-terrorism and reading his book is like taking an advanced class on the subject. Sadly, there still seems to exist the lack of teamwork amongst the agencies that are so needed to work together. Hopefully, with works like this readable book by Burton, people will wake up and realize the need to focus on the issues and not worry about obtaining glory or credit for stopping the threats that exist.

    Burton is a hero and we should all thank him for the dedication and commitment he has shown to this country. A four star read. Enjoyable, informative, and scary.

    The narrator does an excellent job.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ron Centennial, CO, United States 11-03-09
    Ron Centennial, CO, United States 11-03-09 Member Since 2008
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    "Excellent Read"

    I thoroughly enjoyed this. It's tough to turn it off and go to sleep, and when you do turn it off, you're likely to lay there thinking for a while. It can be very disturbing. I'm very grateful that we have these guys out there.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Martin Medford, OR, USA 02-10-09
    Martin Medford, OR, USA 02-10-09
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    "In the Trenches for Real"

    Burton's account of his own history in the DSS sheds light on some of the evolution and history of the State Department. It also demonstrates who really does the heavy lifting in terms of spycraft and the War on Terrorism. If only Burton could let down his guard and tell the WHOLE story.....

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Bolingbrook, Illinois, United States 07-17-08
    Robert Bolingbrook, Illinois, United States 07-17-08 Member Since 2007
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    "Ghost"

    Engrossing and enlightening narrative of one who was involved in the "shadow war."

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Osceola, WI, United States 01-17-13
    William Osceola, WI, United States 01-17-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Great content, a bit dry of a reader however, but"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Ghost to be better than the print version?

    I did not read the print version, however, the accented areas and the pronounciations were something you would not get in a read, so probably.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I am not sure this really applies here, as it is autobiographical.


    What three words best describe Tom Weiner’s voice?

    Uninflected, montonous, gravelly


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

    No.


    Any additional comments?

    The story is what counts here. It is a spellbinding account of real events and people, and dramatic for the times it occurred in and the events portrayed. If you are a fan of cold war and beyond real world workings of counterintelligence this is a must have.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Newmarket, ON, Canada 09-29-08
    Michael Newmarket, ON, Canada 09-29-08 Member Since 2006
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    "Great Book, Great Listen"

    I really enjoyed listening to this book...if you are into military history this book is for you. To me the most interesting part was the investigation of the plan crash of Pakistan’s leader in the 1980’s. This plan crash is mentioned briefly in several books I have read, including Charlie Wilson’s War, but never explained.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ronald Albury Cincinnati, OH USA 08-30-08
    Ronald Albury Cincinnati, OH USA 08-30-08 Member Since 2008
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    "Interesting - but doesn't flow well"

    I am glad I bought the book - it was interesting and informative. The narrator did a great job - it was hard to believe that one person could have so many different voices.

    However the author never really hit his groove. The book often felt like a series of independent note cards that were just strung together with occasional editorial comments.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Elgin, TX, United States 11-11-13
    David Elgin, TX, United States 11-11-13
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    "How it looks from the inside"
    Any additional comments?

    The writing is a little wooden and sometimes repetitive. But the book isn't supposed to be entertaining for it's literary style, it's fascinating for the inside perspective delivered personally by the author.

    It's as if Fred is sitting in the living room over a bourbon telling you all about it. It's a truly personal "confession".

    I really enjoyed it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian Lexington, KY, United States 05-13-13
    Brian Lexington, KY, United States 05-13-13 Member Since 2011

    Authors I like: Patrick O'Brian, Frederick Forsyth, Jane Austen, John Le Carre, Alan Furst, Jon Krakauer, Ernest Hemingway.

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    "Not that much meat on its bones"

    Some other listeners clearly enjoyed "Ghost: Confessions of a Counterterrorism Agent" and give it strong reviews, but to me it seemed pretty thin. There is a little but not much in the way of operational detail or in-depth portrayal of the various activities of the DSS. Much of the narrative is just ho-hum. The book hits stride best when recounting the investigation into the airplane crash that killed President Zia of Pakistan in 1988. Much of the rest of the book in my opinion offers a superficial glance into the work of DSS officers, and it is somewhat repetitive at that.

    I thought that narrator Tom Weiner overdid the "drama" in his reading. His is not an unbearable performance but I can't say I'll seek out his work in future audiobook performances.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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