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Jason Matthews, spy novelist, dies at 69

Jason Matthews, who parlayed his 33 years as a CIA officer into a second career as a best-selling spy novelist, writing scenes so gripping and vivid that some readers thought he was violating the agency’s strict secrecy protocols, died April 28 at his home in Rancho Mirage, Calif. He was 69.

The cause was corticobasal degeneration, a degenerative neurological disease, said his wife, Suzanne Matthews.

With the CIA, Mr. Matthews was a practitioner of “human intelligence,” or the one-to-one cultivation of sources who might provide information about hostile countries. During his nine overseas assignments, he often worked behind the lines of enemy countries in what the CIA called “internal operations.”

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