Spy the Lie: Former CIA Officers Teach You How to Detect Deception
- by Philip Houston, Michael Floyd, and Susan Carnicero - with Don Tennant
- 248 pages
- St. Martin's Press
- Hardcover $13.48
- Audible.com: $11.95 (apparently no Kindle or eBook edition)
I don't read many nonfiction books, as I read mostly for entertainment. However, Spy the Lie was recommended by a friend, and it sounded intriguing. I have to say, I am glad I read it.
As the title alludes, the book describes the method developed, implemented, and taught by the authors while they were at the CIA, interviewing employees and candidates for employment. They were looking to determine whether they had something to hide that would make them vulnerable to coercion. The method involves mainly observing and analyzing behaviors, as well as knowing what questions to ask. The book makes a good case for all of us using the method in our personal lives.
All of this sounds pretty dry, but the book abounds with the authors' personal experiences, plus some analyses of publicly-available interviews with some very recognizable public figures. Those make the book very enjoyable, as well as informative.
Remember Congressman Anthony Weiner? He's the one who claimed his Twitter account had been hacked when a bare-chested and suggestive image of him was sent to a female college student. The authors at the time dissected an interview early in the scandal with reporters outside his office, and, using their method, predicted that there was more to the case than he was claiming. That is, he was concealing significant information. He confessed everything four days later - including that she wasn't the only one.
Similarly, the authors take a look at the first interview Los Angeles detectives had with O. J. Simpson the day after his wife had been murdered, and before the famous low-speed freeway car chase. Simpson had been read his Miranda rights and had agreed to be questioned without his attorney. Using a transcript of that interview, the authors point out several instances where the investigators, using the book's method, might have elicited more information about whether O. J. was there the night of the murder and about whether he was involved. I found this fascinating.
The methods outlined by the authors are useful tools for anyone interested in determining whether someone is telling the truth. This book will not only give you the tools but will entertain you along the way as you delve into the world of CIA interrogation. There is a lot to learn just by the words we use and the questions we ask.