A large portion of the book covers the two FBI agents who went off the rails. This was the infamous ‘Parlor Maid’ case, as it was known, involving FBI man James J. Smith, Katrina Leung, the Chinese double-agent, and FBI man William Cleveland. Both men were sleeping with ‘Parlor Maid.’ There was plenty of news coverage while it was ongoing, of course, and Wise manages to give us a good summary, while adding many details that I don’t recall being covered in the press.
Another imposing aspect that is given just a few words is that much of Tiger Trap is concentrated on Chinese spying, which is the subject of this book, obviously, while barely mentioning the United States' seemingly total concentration on the USSR and now Russia, and KGB spying in the recent past. While America was barricading the front door against the Russians, the Chinese have been waltzing through the back door, almost unimpeded. Now, of course, the roles have reversed, and the U.S. is belatedly concentrating on Chinese spying, while relegating the far-from-toothless current successor to the KGB to the ‘not-so-important’ pile. In today’s world, there should not be a ‘not so important’ pile. America's continued existence literally depends on how these matters are addressed.
Overall, Tiger Trap is very readable and fact-filled, and Wise manages to spoon-feed most of it to us in ‘bite-size’ bits, thereby making it simpler to assimilate and comprehend. It’s an excellent primer on Chinese spying in this country, and should be high on one’s reading list. Highly recommended.