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Real-life spy tales by Bryan Denson, David E. Hoffman and Naveed Jamali

New nonfiction by Bryan Denson, Naveed Jamali and

New nonfiction by Bryan Denson, Naveed Jamali and Ellis Henican, and David E. Hoffman. Credit: Doubleday/Atlantic Monthly/Scribner

THE SPY'S SON, by Bryan Denson. A reporter at The Oregonian newspaper recounts how a CIA spy named Jim Nicholson -- convicted in 1997 of passing secrets to Russia and then serving time at a federal prison in Oregon -- groomed his college-age son, Nathan, to continue his espionage for the Russians during the young man's prison visits. Denson seeks to understand how Nicholson pulled it off, and why Nathan willingly participated. (Atlantic Monthly Press, $26)

HOW TO CATCH A RUSSIAN SPY, by Naveed Jamali and Ellis Henican. Counterespionage also ran in the family for Jamali, the son of a French mother and a Pakistani father; the couple ran a New York research company in the 1980s and kept tabs on a Soviet UN official for the FBI. The author continued the family trade, traveling to chain restaurants in New Jersey strip malls to meet a Russian intelligence officer named Oleg. This decidedly unglamorous -- and funny -- spy tale was cowritten with former Newsday columnist Ellis Henican. (Scribner, $26)

THE BILLION DOLLAR SPY, by David E. Hoffman. A Soviet engineer named Adolf Tolkachev was a godsend to American spies at the height of the Cold War. He approached the CIA's Moscow station chief in 1978 with an envelope containing high-level secrets about Russian arms systems. For the next several years Tolkachev would share high-level military secrets with the Americans, right under the noses of the KGB, until a betrayal led to his arrest. Hoffman is a contributing editor at The Washington Post. (Doubleday, $28.95)

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