'Compelling ... Delving into his own experiences as a war correspondent, Johnson tells of how uneasy he is with his father's past. But we are left with the impression of a principled, honourable parent, who loves his son, his country and his profession.'
'Pure, overall excellence ... just outstanding'
'Beautifully written and intensely honest'
'Gripping, emotional depictions of the conflicts that rage in the interior and exterior worlds of a spy — and of a journalist.'
'This alluring, coming-of-age tale is a fascinating read about a son's search for the infallible truth, while unravelling his father's murky past.'
'A fascinating read ... honest and revealing.'
David Rosman, New York Journal of Books
'For those missing their favourite spy or crime television series this summer ... this is perfect. While there are dramatic stories of clandestine operations, attempts to turn KGB agents, and action in combat zones, this is really about a father and son.'
North and South, New Zealand
'Explores the father-son relationship with insight ... this is above all an honest and personal account of Johnson striving to find his own identity, and the impact that secrecy had on [Johnson and his father's] lives.'
Northern Rivers Echo
'A revealing book of family discord, disconnection, and reunion ... Johnson’s engrossing memoir, through the layers of subterfuge, uncovers many basic truths of familial conflict.'
'[A] searingly honest memoir … [Johnson] deftly explores the eerie parallels between these professional worlds: the CIA case officer who labors to recruit sources to provide secret information to assist the United States in its pursuit of foreign policy objectives worldwide, and the journalist who also recruits inside sources, but ones who will speak for publication.'
San Francisco Chronicle
'Though there’s plenty of covert action and espionage in this fabulous book, the real heft of it is in Johnson’s moving account of his relationship with his father and how the secrets of the CIA affected that relationship.'
School Library Journal
'Captures the intensity of the father-son relationship beautifully ... This poignant, untold flipside of the classic spy story has the big screen written all over it. PICK OF THE WEEK.'
'With rare emotional subtlety, and in finely etched prose worthy of Evelyn Waugh or Graham Greene, [Johnson] captures the perspectives of people on various sides of [a] bloody equation.'
Emma Garman, The Daily Beast
'A fascinating and beautifully written memoir of a boy and his father'
The Sydney Morning Herald
'Evokes John le Carré’s dark autobiographical thriller The Perfect Spy ... The kind of psychological police procedural that might have been written by Camus.'
Jeff Stein, Washington Post
'An aching, lyrical father–son story of the spy world ... dark and intriguing.'
Evan Thomas, bestselling author of SEA OF THUNDER and THE WAR LOVERS
'Scott Johnson's stunning memoir could be ripped from the pages of a John Le Carre novel ... A fascinating and important book by one of the great American foreign correspondents of his generation.'
Michael Hastings, NYT-bestselling author of THE OPERATORS
'A mesmerising book about a mysterious father, a son's search for truth, and the hidden motives of hearts and souls. Part spy story and part love story, The Wolf and the Watchman is beautifully written, deeply moving, and compulsively readable.'
David Finkel, author of THE GOOD SOLDIERS
'With haunting imagery and admirable candor, Scott Johnson unfolds a coming-of-age story in the shadow of the CIA. This brave and memorable book provides a rare glimpse at the private life of a spy and digs into the love, lies, and ambiguities between father and son.'
Megan Stack, author of EVERY MAN IN THIS VILLAGE IS A LIAR
'Scott Johnson's moving account of life with a covert CIA dad is very much worth your reading for its important discussion of the consequences of secrets on ordinary Americans, and particularly CIA families.'
Joel Whitney, editor of GUERNICA
'A beautifully written memoir, and a cautionary tale about double lives. I couldn't put this book down.'
Robert Baer, author and former CIA case officer