Further Reading: Phone Taps

As the nation and the world consider President Trump’s allegations that President Obama bugged his phone, readers might consider investigating the following novels, linked to their excerpted Booklist reviews, whose plots hinge upon wiretapping.


casebook mona simpson Casebook, by Mona Simpson

Simpson she puts a clever spin on domestic surveillance as young Miles begins spying on his mother, Irene, a mathematician, just as fault lines begin to appear in her marriage to his father, a Hollywood lawyer. Wily Miles, the overweight older brother of twin sisters he professes to loathe yet watches over tenderly, sets up phone taps of increasing sophistication, opens e-mail, eavesdrops, and paws through drawers.




censoring shahriar mandanipour Censoring: An Iranian Love Storyby Shahriar Mandanipour

This is the love story of Sara and Dara under the sharp eyes of Mr. Petrovich, a censor of disturbingly omniscient powers. Sara is the book-loving daughter of cautious parents; Dara’s ardor for the movies has cost him jail time. Their passion is taboo, yet nothing keeps them apart, not tapped phones, nosy neighbors, or the brutal patrols for the Campaign Against Social Corruption.



come sweet death wolf haasCome, Sweet Death! by Wolf Haas

Simon Brenner has been bouncing around Austria after leaving the Vienna police department. Now he’s working as an EMT, learning the ins and outs of the for-profit ambulance business. Brenner’s boss believes that a rival service is tapping their phone to steal customers and asks Brenner to investigate—so Brenner persuades a Peeping Tom he had arrested to help him figure out the surveillance side of things.






About the Author:

Eugenia Williamson is the Associate Editor of Digital Products at Booklist. She worked in bookstores for twelve years, reviews books for The Boston Globe, and writes about books, culture, and politics for several other publications. Follow her on Twitter at @Booklist_Genie.

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