Martin Odum is an ex-CIA operative turned slightly seedy private eye living over a Chinese restaurant in Brooklyn. At least he thinks he's Martin Odum, but he may also be Lincoln Dittmann, a superb sniper and Civil War buff who, posing as an arms dealer, met with Bin Laden in Paraguay, or Dante Pippen, once an IRA dynamiter, now a trainer of Islamic militants in Lebanon. Whoever he really is, he's surely the star of Robert Littell's latest thriller, Legends: A Novel of Dissimulation, narrated by Grover Gardner, who moves nimbly through an astounding array of international accents. Littell, well-versed in the ways of espionage, spins an intriguing tale of spycraft, CIA attempts to manipulate geopolitics and post-Soviet Russians, some good, some beyond bad, one (living her own legend), who even adds a touch of romance. And he does it all with a good dose of wit, wisdom and hard-nosed scrutiny of our complex, terror-ridden world.

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