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
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.
It's the story & it's really good!
Loved the way it made you think of difficult issues and brought out the "what would I do" in me!
I loved the way he delivered the beautiful young lady!
It made me think how happy I am to be an American and how proud I am of the NSA & CIA! They aint perfect, but their mine!
Really look forward to next book!
It offers authentic and meaningful insight into the contemporary espionage universe. It is both compelling and especially smart. Red Sparrow is an all time favorite!
Like Audio books better
Dominika, her determination and abiltiy to see colors
How she never broke when being tortured.
Didn't like the recipe deal at the end of chapters. Distracting and annoying.l
Hope there is a follow up. Ending leads to believe there will be.
"Red October" ..... can't wait for Jason's next book ......
can't wait for the next book....
Although this audiobook started out a little slow, it was well worth the wait! I have read thousands of books, but have only listened to a few dozen and I would definitely put Red Sparrow in my top ten reads/listens. This book is what I consider a "thinker" book, when after a little background information on the characters, the book picks up pace and you can't miss ANYTHING that the narrator reads or you feel like you've missed some vital info to the story. I LOVE STORIES like Red Sparrow because you HAVE TO THINK and pay attention! I would recommend Red Sparrow to any reader who loves suspense, mystery, spy stories and not being able to guess the ending until you've actually read all the way to the very last page!
Maybe, I don't usually repeat books. But would enjoy another book on this or from the author.
The Sparrow and how she managed to work through the web of deceit and double cross.
Literature professor and lover of mystery books!
This is a wonderful spy thriller. It is fast-paced, has lots of turns, and integrates interesting facts about spying. It reminds me of le Carre but is much more exciting.
My only complaint about the romance angle--it seemed incongruous with the rest of the story and slowed the action down to no positive effect.
Favorites: Invention of Wings, Cutting for Stone, All the Light We Cannot See
Everything: characters, plot, narration.
Lot of twists and turns. Hard to stop listening.
The red sparrow.
Intelligent spy thriller
Other books I've liked, so readers can get a sense of my taste: Gone Girl, Suspect, Guilty Wives, Witness, The Unlikely Spy, Cutting for Stone, most Daniel Silva, most John Le Carre. I wish other reviewers would put their top likes as well.
Informative, well -written,
I always listen to mystery novels because I can both listen and do mindless or boring tasks. My husband and I also listen when traveling by car as the miles seem to go much more quickly. I visualize the story more when it is narrated.
Sparrow school introduced a way of training a spy that I had never considered. It wasn't the extremes that made it interesting but the story was written so well and in a way that provided some many interesting details of the world of a spy and the CIA that it made it a great listen (of course, it is clear that the story didn't give away anything secret, but gave a window into the agency that a great backdrop,
I hope this is the first of a number of novels by this author in a series.
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