Code Name: Papa

My Extraordinary Life while Hiding in Plain Sight

Non-Fiction - Memoir
326 Pages
Reviewed on 02/07/2016
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Author Biography

A Vietnam vet, John Murray, later known as "Papa," has spent the majority of his adult life working as an undercover agent for the U.S., Canadian and various European governments. During this time, he rose from agent to the head of US Operations.

John was raised in the South by his grandfather who taught him at an early age how to survive by hunting and fishing, which all served him well for his future. He firmly believes that if he had not had the guidance of his grandfather and others who influenced his life that he never would have survived the ordeals that he did.

John, who enjoyed a very average American childhood, always wanted to be a ‘normal’ husband and father, but you'll eventually understand why that was impossible. 

Papa and his crews bore the responsibility of taking care of much of the world’s evil – evil that could never have come to the public’s attention.

Now retired, he and his wife are living in a small rural Western town. As ‘normal’ as he tries to live, he will always be haunted by the visions of what he saw and what he tried to prevent or rectify. ​

    Book Review

Reviewed by April Gilly for Readers' Favorite

Code Name: Papa - My Extraordinary Life While Hiding in Plain Sight by John Murray as told to Sharon Murray with Abby Jones is the extraordinary memoir of Papa, a man who was in Vietnam and who then joins a secret organization to help keep the world safe and as at peace as possible. Papa is not his real name, but is the name he received upon taking over from the last Papa, and the name he's gone by during all his work for the organization. Papa has the help of two of his best friends for the majority of their missions and, when needed, expands his team or works with other teams/groups to get the job done. While uncertain that he is the right one for the job, Papa sets out to use his instincts and trusts his team to get the jobs done and bring everybody home safely. Unfortunately there are people out to get him and his team, and when mental instability set in and things go wrong, he starts losing his team and second guessing himself. Unfortunately it's not just work problems that cause Papa stress; his personal life and the personal lives of his team stress everybody out, some so much that they are never able to return to work again. When Papa's health eventually got bad enough, he retired after finally taking down some of the men that were after him, but he'll spend the rest of his life looking over his shoulder to make sure the past doesn't come back and grab him.

Code Name: Papa - My Extraordinary Life While Hiding in Plain Sight by John Murray as told to Sharon Murray with Abby Jones is exciting as Papa embarks on each mission and comes out alive, and heartbreaking as Papa tells about the loss of his teammates, friends, loved ones, and even the man he was replacing. The detail puts you right there with Papa as you join him in his memories. Code Name: Papa is truly extraordinary and it's hard to imagine one man going through so much and not being able to tell anybody about it, and even to this day not being able to talk freely about everything that he did and saw. It takes strength and courage to live the life Papa led and do the things that Papa did. Code Name: Papa shows that even when you think things are bad, there is a way to fix them, as long as you are strong, able to trust those around you, and - most of all - trust yourself to make the right choices.