The start of a major career! A gripping, highly commercial espionage thriller written with the delicious insider detail and up-to-the-minute insight only known to a veteran CIA spook.
In today's Russia, dominated by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, state intelligence officer Dominika Egorova struggles to survive in the cast-iron bureaucracy of post-Soviet intelligence. Drafted against her will to become a "Sparrow" - a trained seductress in the service, Dominika is assigned to operate against Nathaniel Nash, a first-tour CIA officer who handles the CIA's most sensitive penetration of Russian intelligence. The two young intelligence officers, trained in their respective spy schools, collide in a charged atmosphere of tradecraft, deception, and inevitably, a forbidden spiral of carnal attraction that threatens their careers and the security of America's valuable mole in Moscow.
Seeking revenge against her soulless masters, Dominika begins a fatal double life, recruited by the CIA to ferret out a high-level traitor in Washington - hunt down a Russian illegal buried deep in the U.S. military and, against all odds, to return to Moscow as the new-generation penetration of Putin's intelligence service. Dominika and Nathaniel's impossible love affair and twisted spy game come to a deadly conclusion in the shocking climax of this electrifying, up-to-the minute spy thriller.w
©2013 Jason Matthews (P)2013 Simon & Schuster Audio
Loved the story line. Interesting recipes. Plan on giving some a try.
Delivery of reader very much to my liking. Don't care for over production of many readers. Been a audible listener since books on tape in the the 80s. Keep up the good work
There is no doubt Jason Matthews knows his stuff. And he's put a lot of it in this book. (Or maybe not... isn't that the mark of a good spy - to make things appear to be different than they are?)
To read this book is to be immersed in the world Matthews has created. It's an intense and intellectually satisfying ride, with lots of tradecraft and even some humorous moments. More than once, I had to stop listening and remind myself "This is a work of fiction. These are not real people. They are not going to get caught; they are not going to die." Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn't.
To my delight, Matthews invents the Orions, a "geriatric surveillance team of retired field officers", who rely on years of practiced intuition to trail their subjects. Maybe it's just because I'm getting older myself, but I immensely enjoyed this aspect of the book. I hope they, or something like them, actually exist, because they're just wonderful, and are a warm and funny counterpart in a world that is cold and literally, dead serious.
At the end of each chapter is a recipe for one of the dishes consumed by the characters in the book. They are a literary palate cleanser - something to reset your senses before diving into the next course. Matthews uses them skillfully to let the readers catch their breath before being catapulted into the next chapter. His writing is skillful and precise - without being tedious.
My one regret is that I didn't read this book sooner. The idea of the female spy trained to bed her targets seemed to be borrowed from so many cheap, formulaic novels, but this character is anything but. She's brilliant and vulnerable, and her dehumanizing training is one of the reasons her loyalty to her government begins to crumble.
Don't even think you're going to be able to figure out the ending of this book. Nearing the last pages, I had figured out a few of the events -- spies are spies, after all -- but this book is so much more than a series of events. You'll have to read it yourself to fully understand what that means.
The second book is out, but I may wait awhile to listen to it. I want to savor this one awhile; I want to get my anxiety level back down. I want to know that another is at least in the works before consuming the next one. Nate and Dominika are people I'm not ready to let go of.
I love reading books that include recipes, but it DOES NOT WORK FOR AUDIO! You're in th midst of something gripping, you have no visual cue that it's coming, and suddenly there is a man telling you how to make beet soup! So distracting and disruptive! Next time group the recipes at the end!
The author's voice is evident in this neo Cold War novel and the reader makes it come alive (save for only a few misplaced accents and word stresses). I recommend this book to any fan of Cold War spy thrillers and this one shows that the war continues.
I was intrigued from start to finish! I highly recommend this book and the recipes that are peppered throughout!
If you're into stories of espionage and intrigue, this one's right up your alley. And Jeremy Bobb does a skillful job of narrating, varying his voice for different male characters and making the female voices seem real instead of silly, an affliction from which many narrators suffer.
My wife tells me that I am very critical. That may be so but I am unabashedly positive about this novel. The characters are drawn realistically. Everyone thinks, acts and moves consistent within their own personality and motivation. The plot can be complex at times as the various players move like chess pieces creating new relationships and possibilities. The storyline is interesting. You care what happens. What more do you want?
One of the best spy novels I've read, going back to Le Carre. Evenly paced, no contrived plot lines or characters. Believable character development and story arch. The detailed spy craft lent credibility to the story.
I look forward to more from this author.
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