A spy thriller scene unfolds at Nassau, Bahamas Best-Kept secret- the British Colonial Hotel, a place you’d love to vacation at.

CIA operatives run plenty of “Assets” or secret sources who provide them with information or operational assistance. They’re also called “spies”, and usually are recruited agents, but occasionally one may be totally unaware that they’re aiding an intelligence service.

Most of the time, a CIA asset knowingly assists in providing helpful information, intelligence, or resources. They sometimes are referred to as an agent, and there are different forms. The CIA likes those assets who willingly work for them for ideological reasons such as being against their government but live in a country that doesn’t allow political opposition without punishment, like Putin’s Russia. I wonder how many Russian citizen the CIA has recruited, who willingly approached the Agency for help in changing Russia because there are few other ways available other than outside sources to rely on?

Sometimes a CIA asset works for money. The CIA seeks out and pays people that have an influence or are in important positions who are willing to share inside knowledge or intelligence.

Other CIA assets have been blackmailed and coerced into becoming an asset, while others are unaware that they are being used as spies. The latter may be loyal to their country but still provide valued information or helpful intelligence through their failures or oversight in their information safety in using insecure computers or not following proper operational security procedures in their daily activities.

So, a CIA asset is not considered a CIA employee, but they give their “handler”, a CIA officer or operative, vital foreign intelligence secrets. Some have volunteered; others were recruited, a few are US citizens, but most are citizens of other countries, some have direct access to vital information, while others are not but are in a position to identify people who do have such access that CIA operatives can try and recruit.

It is a dangerous business, for both CIA handlers (operatives) and the assets (spies) they recruit. I don’t know the details about how many assets have been found and killed, but CIA officers have disappeared and have never been found; others have been killed. The entry lobby of CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia, has a wall with stars carved into a marble façade. Each star commemorates a CIA officer who died in the line of duty, and a book in front of the wall serves as a directory of the names and stars, but some entries are left blank. These represent people whose identities were classified and have not been revealed.

A scene in the spy thriller takes place in the British Colonial Hotel in Nassau, Bahamas, where CIA spymaster Corey Pearson meets one of his assets. I enjoy Nassau, Bahamas and the old “BC”, the British Colonial Hotel so much! I stayed there years ago with my wife and daughter when I first began writing spy novels. It is a relaxing beachfront hotel and nearby are duty-free shops galore. It’s best-kept secret is an eight-acre, private, lush garden behind it, with a neat pool bar and talcum-powdered beach. The James Bond spy movie “Never Say Never Again”, starring Sean Connery was shot there.

There are amazing views of the cruise ship harbor, and it’s pet friendly as well. In my spy thriller, the hotel’s plush Bullion Bar is used as a contact between CIA operative Corey Pearson and the assets he recruits. The video below tells all about spy craft used at the hotel!

A 10-minute walk away is Junkanoo Beach with the Tiki Hut Bikini Beach bar. If you’re in Nassau on a cruise ship, hit this beach bar! It’s a short walk from the cruise ship pier.

Here are a few snippets from THE SHADOW WAR spy thriller:

Snippet 1: Milo Symonette wiped off the mahogany bar top at the British Colonial Hotel’s plush Bullion Bar. He gazed out the picture windows past the lush tropical gardens, watching Ana proceed down the walkway and sit at the Patio Grill & Pool Bar. She alerted him that his old friend, Corey Pearson, would be arriving shortly.

Milo “The Messenger” knew exactly what to do and placed a large vase with ornamental reeds at the end of the bar so it would be easily visible from the hotel lobby. It was a signal to Corey that the coast was clear, and his contact is present.

Snippet 2: Corey walked out of the Bullion Bar into the “BC’s” tropical gardens after Milo proudly told him that both his sons were promoted to detective rank in the RBPF. He didn’t tell Milo that they unknowingly work for the CIA. Deputy Commander Ellison Rolle of the Royal Bahamian Police Force was one of Corey’s paid informants and received a hefty stipend for elevating both boys to be detectives. The Deputy Commander sends them out, on occasion, to stakeout individuals of interest to the Agency.

He found Ana perched on a barstool, savoring a Yellow Bird in the shade of the Patio Grill & Pool Bar. The steady but gentle breeze from Nassau Harbor and Paradise Island felt good. She was a vital asset of his in the Nassau sector.

Lastly, enjoy this video of the British Colonial Hotel, the old “BC”, where the above spy scenes unfold as CIA spymaster Corey Pearson meets his contact. Maybe you would like to vacation here someday: .

Robert Morton is a member of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO) and enjoys writing about the U.S. Intelligence Community in his series. Read his newest spy thriller , episode by episode, as he writes it in the new Kindle Vella program.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store