WASHINGTON (AP) _ Aldrich Ames, the CIA officer convicted of spying for the Soviets, can now add ``book critic'' to his list of titles.

From the federal penitentiary in Allenwood, Pa., where he is serving a life sentence for espionage, Ames reviewed William Safire's new novel, ``Sleeper Spy'' for a Washington weekly newspaper.

A summary of his review of the book in The Hill: thumbs down.

Ames writes, ``Safire uses heavy duty cardboard for his characters, gives them self-consciously interesting family and ethnic tags and sets them talking at each other.... Safire has a tin ear for dialogue.''

In 1993 Ames confessed to giving information to the Soviets that led to the deaths of at least ten Soviet agents working for the CIA.