Riverhead Books Acquires True-life Spy Story

Riverhead Books, an imprint of Penguin Putnam, has acquired the memoir of American intelligence operative Larry J. Kolb, announced today by Julie Grau and Cindy Spiegel, co-editorial directors of Riverhead Books. The book, titled Peers of the Realm, will be published in hardcover in 2003.

Riverhead acquired world hardcover and paperback, first serial and audio rights. Riverhead editor Christopher Knutsen acquired the book in a preemptive deal negotiated by Joel Gotler and Noah Lukeman at AMG/Renaissance.

Christopher Knutsen said, 'Kolb's story is fascinating on many levels. His life is an adventure of the highest order, but the perspective he brings to it ' an understanding not only of the psychology, but of the depths of betrayal and heartache involved in espionage ' makes this an unusually compelling story.'

Kolb's memoir is a vivid portrait of a spy at every stage of his life and career. Raised around the world as the son of an American spymaster, Kolb tells how his father taught him to think, look, and listen like a spy. Kolb then recounts how a friend of his father recruited him to join the CIA, and why he declined. Kolb chose instead to become an international businessman, and his early successes soon brought him into contact with many of the world's wealthiest and most powerful men, making him irresistible to master spy and CIA co-founder Miles Copeland. When Copeland recruited him, Kolb accepted, and soon he was involved in covert intrigues in Beirut, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Afghanistan, the Philippines, Nicaragua, Pakistan, and India.

Larry J. Kolb was born in Virginia and educated around the world. Prior to entering the covert world, he acted as an agent for several professional athletes, including Muhammad Ali.
With Miles Copeland, Kolb co-wrote white papers for the office of the President and the National Security Council. While running a covert propaganda campaign for Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, Kolb anonymously wrote a widely published series of investigative newspaper stories that electrified India. Now forty-seven years old, Kolb lives in a safe house while being tried in absentia by a country on the other side of the globe.



Penguin Putnam Inc. is the U.S. affiliate of the internationally renowned Penguin Group. Penguin Putnam is one of the leading U.S. adult and children's trade book publishers, owning a wide range of imprints and trademarks including Berkley Books, Dutton, Frederick Warne, G.P. Putnam's Sons, Grosset & Dunlap, New American Library, Penguin, Philomel, Plume, Riverhead Books and Viking, among others. The Penguin Group is owned by Pearson plc, the international media group.



Marilyn Ducksworth,


Senior Vice President,


Corporate Communications




Bob Cavosi


Manager, Corporate Communications