(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

In this, the latest effort to lift the veil of secrecy that surrounds government agencies whose powers are extensive and whose employees are on occasion prone to abuse their authority, Ronald Kessler exposes the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Kessler is not the first to attempt to shine a light into the dark corners of the FBI, but insofar as he deals with the post-Hoover years his work is unique.

The shadow of J. Edgar Hoover continues to hang heavy over the agency he so largely created. At the same time, as Kessler frequently reminds the reader, the FBI has changed significantly, and in many respects for the better, since the days when Hoover was allowed to pursue his bureaucratic and ideological inclinations virtually without restraint.

Following the pattern he developed in his earlier book, INSIDE THE CIA, Kessler organizes his material along administrative lines. Thus, a significant and revealing tale is presented from each of the large field offices of the Bureau as well as the more public divisions associated with the main facility in Washington. His tour through the inner corridors of the Bureau produced unsettling revelations concerning Director William Sessions. In fact, it appears likely that Kessler unwittingly initiated the inquiry that led to Sessions’ removal.

This work is a tad tedious on some occasions and more than a bit repetitious; Kessler seems determined to reproduce the whole of his research. Nevertheless, it is a book that should be perused by every citizen of the Republic.