Bernard Besson, who was born in Lyon, France, in 1949, is a former top-level chief of staff of the French intelligence services, an eminent specialist in economic intelligence and Honorary General Controller of the French National Police. He was involved in dismantling Soviet spy rings in France and Western Europe when the USSR fell and has real inside knowledge from his work auditing intelligence services and the police. He has also written a number of prize-winning thrillers, his first in 1998, and several works of nonfiction. He currently lives in the fourteenth arrondissement of Paris, right down the street from his heroes.
Saying, Doing, Happening
Bernard Besson, a prize-winning thriller writer and former top-level French intelligence officer, talks to us about The Greenland Breach, a novel about the real consequences of global warming. It’s got a cracking ice cap, rival multinationals and cutthroat espionage. Available in translation next week.
Do spy novels have anything to do with real espionage? And do spies from good spy novels make good spies? The other day, I ran across an article in the Huffington Post by a former CIA agent who discusses James Bond and Jason Bourne and the reality of spy work.