Past Perfect

A Novel

Past Perfect

From bestselling author Susan Isaacs comes her "feisty, funny, and smart" (New York Times) novel about a successful TV writer who once worked for the CIA.

Katie seems to have the perfect life—a great husband, a precocious and winning ten-year-old son; and a glamorous job as writer for the long-running TV series, Spy Guys, based on her own surprisingly successful novel. But for Katie, writing about the spy business isn’t as satisfying as working in it. Fifteen years ago, she was working at CIA headquarters. She loved her job, and especially her boss. Then, suddenly, for no apparent reason, she was fired. Katie comes from a family of Manhattan achievers, so it’s been tough to accept such humiliation. She’d give almost anything to know what falsehoods lay in her personnel file. A surprise call from former colleague Lisa gives Katie hope. Lisa says she urgently needs Katie’s help on a matter of national importance and promises to reveal all if Katie will work with her. Then Lisa disappears. One person is dead, then another. Who will be next? With some help from a couple of colorful ex-spies, Katie embarks on a scary mission, leading her back to the extraordinary and eerie days as the Berlin Wall was about to crumble. Flawlessly crafted, witty and suspenseful, Past Perfect is classic Susan Isaacs in top form.
  • Scribner | 
  • 368 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781416572084 | 
  • June 2008
List Price $22.00 (price may vary by retailer)


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Reading Group Guide

Reading Group Guide
Katie Schottland appears to have it all: a great husband and son, an upscale Manhattan lifestyle, and a dream job writing for the television series Spy Guys. But an unexplained incident from her past has long troubled Katie: fifteen years earlier she was dismissed from her post as an analyst at the CIA with no warning and no explanation.
When Lisa Golding, a former Agency colleague, telephones Katie out of the blue and asks for her assistance with "a matter of national importance," she promises, in exchange, to reveal the truth about Katie's firing. Lisa disappears soon after, and Katie finds herself drawn from a fictional spy world into a dark, intriguing real-life case of espionage.
As the body count begins to rise, Katie realizes she might be an assassin's next target but is determined to complete her self-imposed mission. Driven by a need to know what really happened all those years ago, she risks her marriage, her television career, and even her life to finally make peace with the past.
Discussion Questions
1. For fifteen years Katie has obsessed over her termination from the CIA. Why was working at the Agency so important to Katie? How much of her fascination with the job stemmed from her interest in espionage novels and films? And why, as Katie wonders, does being fired "still have such power" over her?
2. The people in Katie's life offer opinions as to why she's so intent on delving into the circ see more

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Any Place I Hang My Hat

About the Author

Susan Isaacs
© Deborah Feingold

Susan Isaacs

Susan Isaacs is the author of thirteen novels, including As Husbands Go, Any Place I Hang My Hat, Long Time No See, and Compromising Positions. She is a former editor of Seventeen and a freelance political speechwriter. She lives on Long Island with her husband. All of her novels have been New York Times bestsellers.


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