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Ruse: Undercover with FBI Counterintelligence


For nearly ten years beginning in 1993, Robert Eringer lived a clandestine life of intrigue, conducting a spectrum of covert operations for the FBI’s foreign counterintelligence division.

His primary assignment: to lure American traitor Edward Lee Howard to capture.

About to be arrested by the FBI for spying for Moscow, CIA officer Howard defected to the Soviet Union in 1985. But then he wanted to tell his story to the world.

Utilizing cover as a book publishing consultant, the author gained Howard’s trust as his editor and confidant.

As Eringer’s skillfully orchestrated ruse progressed, he pierced not only Howard’s inner circle of KGB cronies—including the KGB’s former chairman, making him an unwitting intelligence asset—but also Howard’s Cuban intelligence contact network in Havana.

Only at the eleventh hour did a highly politicized Justice Department order Howard’s “extraordinary rendition” scrapped; he died mysteriously under ominous circumstances in Moscow in 2002. Nonetheless, the secrets Eringer gathered shed light on such sensitive espionage cases as the treachery of senior CIA turncoat Aldrich Ames and FBI traitor Robert Hanssen.

In addition to his counter-espionage docket, Eringer undertook assignments for the FBI’s criminal division, including a ruse he devised to hasten the extradition from France of notorious convicted murderer Ira Einhorn.

Ruse tells the unknown side of a significant piece of U.S. intelligence history, an unvarnished insider’s view of the FBI between the end of the Cold War and the events of 9/11.

Robert Eringer, private intelligence contractor and part-time Santa Barbara resident, is no James Bond, not least because he drinks his martinis with gin rather than vodka. And if he’s ever foiled a plot to burgle Fort Knox, he’s not telling.


Ruse is fascinating! A page turner to the end. The author's keen intellect and abundant patience in setting up and orchestrating the various scenarios is intriguing and enlightening. There are several amusing, irreverent and even laugh-out-loud moments in the book. It is interesting to note that I have known the author personally for 7 years and knew very little about this part of his life. He lives the mystery that he is so practiced at masterminding.

Fighting the good fight, writer warrior Robert Eringer has served his country well not only pursuing and gaining the confidence of the CIA traitor, Edward Lee Howard, who defected to the Soviet Union in 1985 giving up important US secrets to the KGB, but Eringer also managed to wind his way through the tangled bureaucracy of the FBI , to bring to American justice psychopath Ira Einhorn, who had been hiding out in a small town in France after murdering his wife,Holly Maddux, and, on top of that, to achieve his goals in his own wry way which included traveling first class,staying in the finest hotels, enjoying great wines and good food and laughs no matter that he sometimes faced the devil himself. His book RUSE, due out in April is a great read with a couple of laugh out loud moments and it proves once again that truth can be stranger than fiction.