Legends is a spy/detective novel by Robert Littell. The single quirk I don't like about this book is the skipping back and forth in time from one chapter to the next. Chapter 1 takes place in 1993, chapter 2 in 1997, chapter 3 in 1994, chapter 4 in 1997, then '97, '97, '87, '89... Other than that minor quibble, which took me some getting used to, I liked this book. The characters are interesting, the plot intriguing if convoluted, and the main character is a sympathetic figure. I'll read more by this author if I come across them.
from the back of the book:
Martin Odum is a one-time CIA field agent turned private detective in Brooklyn, struggling his way through a labyrinth of memories and past identities -“legends” in Agency parlance. But who is Martin Odum? Is he a creation of the Legend Committee at the CIA’s Langley headquarters? Is he suffering from multiple personality disorder, brainwashing, or simply exhaustion? Widely considered one of the true grand masters of American spy fiction, Robert Littell shifts focus from the broad Cold War canvas of his international bestseller The Company to the life of a single CIA operative caught in a contradictory “wilderness of mirrors” in which remembering the past and forgetting it are both deadly options.Publishers Weekly concludes, "Wonderful writing and a great sense of fun make this another winner." Kirkus has a mixed review. The NYT calls it an "ambitious, curious novel" while saying, "If all this sounds like you've heard it before, you have. There's not much in this odd book that isn't done elsewhere, often by Littell himself".