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
Caveat: If you are looking for Court Gentry, Mitch Rapp, or any other similar figure you will not find those super human characters and exploits in this book. What you will find are characters that are very well developed, plots that are well developed, relevant background information on locations, techniques, and trade craft. This is not an action based thriller, but a novel of espionage, betrayal, evil, and sacrifice. The protagonists are very real and easy to empathize with as they struggle with the dangers and moral dilemmas they face. As one reviewer already said "an indicator of how good a novel is written is when you finish the novel, the protagonist stay with you and you think about them, their situation, and future". I will not forget these characters.... Patience is required when starting this novel, but that patience will be rewarded. The narrator is good, I would have liked him to use more acting in portraying the different characters. Different accents, etc for each character, otherwise he did a good job. I hope the author is working on another novel in the same tradition as "Red Sparrow". Highly recommended!!!
A great thriller. It will hold you spell bound. A must listen to! I loved every minute.
This is one of the best books I have read in years. The story is edge of you seat suspense, with a spy style love story mixed in. The writer worked for the CIA so it just doesn't get more realistic. Narration is excellent. This book left me racing back to the computer to see if Jason Matthews had other books. I could not believe this was his first. Destined to become a must read classic.
I am only on Chapter 2 and loving this book. The detail, the knowledge, the characters are great. I'm fixin' to fall into this book. (the wife of Franklin)
One of the best audio books I've listened to.
The plot was full of surprises. The characters were three dimensional and the book felt authentic. The writer clearly knows how the CIA works.
Loved Jeremy's Bobb's performance. It's the first time I've listened to him but I will search out his other books.
Yes. In fact, I listened to it in the car and I often would get to my destination and stay in my car, listening to more of the book.
This is a very well written book. The plot has lots of twists and turns to keep one hooked. The characters are well developed and believable. I was amazed at the "spycraft" going on in the Intelligence world and obviously this is just the tip of the iceberg which was written about. To my surprise and delight, it appears Mr Matthews also enjoys the culinary world and each chapter was ended with a short, concise recipe of a dish one of the characters had enjoyed. I was horrified at the end of the book searching for the sequel to find that this is Mr Matthews only book and can only be consoled that a sequel and even more hopefully a series will emerge from this book, given the cliffhanger ending. I think the narrator did a fine job as well.
Smart, modern, interesting and well crafted novel. Description and the details of the scene and characters made me as if I’m there observing the act. I also, loved the recipes at the end of each chapter; it added a unique taste to the story telling. Story moves little slow but didn’t mind at all. That made the story more real. Few of the Russian story portions were not believable. Knowing Soviet era KGB stories, there is no way that SVR would be that careless. Other than that, I loved the story and enjoyed reading and listening. Just found out that Fox bought the rights to the book. Good job Jason Matthews.
After more than 200 Audible books, this is my first book comments, It’s also my first 5 star rating, and the best book I’ve read in 20 years. I was disappointed however to find that this is the only book by Jason Mathews. If you liked Lacarre, Clancy, Demille, Griffin, Thor and others, you’ll love this book.
Also great narration by Jeremy Bobb
Authors I like: Patrick O'Brian, Frederick Forsyth, Jane Austen, John Le Carre, Alan Furst, Jon Krakauer, Ernest Hemingway.
"Red Sparrow" is not a perfect novel but it is very, very good and without a doubt one of the best credits I ever spent. It is not really like a John Le Carre book but painting with a broad brush, "Red Sparrow" is more like "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy" than, say, Ian Fleming's "Goldfinger." It is a story of real world human intelligence and counter-intelligence operations and as such the plot involves not only the tradecraft of spies but also the characters' inner lives -- their past experiences, their resentments, their betrayals and humiliations, their hopes and ambitions, and ultimately their shifting loyalties.
There is one shortcoming that comes to mind in that author Jason Matthews gives one of the main characters an unusual trait and at times he uses it as a literary crutch. (Coincidentally this particular character has a limp.) But even so "Red Sparrow" is absorbing and I even found myself over the weekend looking forward to Monday morning when my commute in the car would let me get back to the story. For a debut novel it is excellent and I hope that Matthews has a long and fruitful literary career.
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