Doubtless, despite the passage of 67 years, I'm still naïve. That's what I decided as I dove into Eamon Javers' Broker, Trader, Lawyer, Spy: The Secret World of Corporate Espionage.
Of course I know about private security firms. Among other things, one of my Cornell classmates was Jules Kroll, founder of Kroll Associates. His shop, since sold, was perhaps the most powerful in a now enormous industry.
But on the second page of the prologue I found the following, which I literally read with my mouth agape:
"Day and his employees [at Diligence] had run a months-long covert undercover operation designed to penetrate the offices of KPMG, the global accounting giant. They'd done it on behalf of a Washington lobbying firm that was in turn working for a company controlled by one of Russia's most powerful oligarchs. And they'd gotten caught."
(A KPMG employee that Diligence "turned," after painstaking research, by appealing to his patriotism, regularly used the likes of dead drops and other accoutrements of the espionage trade. And there are all the bits about tag team efforts to follow someone, and of course follower v. follower, that equal Le Carré's world of Smiley.)
I've only advanced to page 16, thanks to that rarity among rarities, an on-time doctor's appointment. The book is a no-baloney "page turner," and I (VERY) highly recommend it for fun or to stoke your mind.
(Above: Cow. Vermont. I loved the pose so much that I risked life and limb to take the photo.)