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
The story is adequate as long as you're not looking for too many twists and turns. The characters are one-dimensional but interesting within that one dimension. Not the best book I've read, but good enough to keep me engaged throughout through to the end.
Of course, hard to know if true to the 'real CIA, KGB etc.... However, interesting, exciting and complex enough either way.
This was a good spy thriller. It is the new cold war. The SVR and the CIA are looking for moles in their own countries and trying to recruit new moles to spy for them. The Russian service is shown in quite a bad light. The CIA, while still trying to manipulate people, is shown as a kinder and gentler intelligence service. Both services are portrayed as being very political, in the worst sense of the word.
The main characters are Nick (young, handsome, CIA operative) and Diva (young, beautiful, SVR operative). They are charged with recruiting each other. You can guess that sparks fly. But that is only part of the story. Much more interesting is the long term mole the US has in the Russian service and the short term mole the Russians have in the US government.
The story is really compelling but what I hated, and deducted a star for, were the recipes read at the end of many, many chapters. If I were reading in print, I would have skipped them because they interferred with the compelling story, but in audio that was not possible. Put them at the end of the book where they do not interrupt.
Semi retired computer field engineer.
This is a pretty classic spy thriller that is presented in a more modern style. I felt the characters and story to be well developed. The storyline was pretty "even". The interactions, developments and attitudes of the characters were very plausible. For a work of fiction, it was all very plausible, real. My interest was maintain throughout the book. It was entertaining. It's a good book well worth the listen.
One comment made in another review does stick in my mind though. What with all the recipes at the end of each chapter? In fairness to the writer, I would guess it's designed to add to the "color" of the descriptions. The author spends no small amount of time describing the look, the smell and the taste of things. I think they were successful in painting the pictures and enhancing the feel of being on location in the story. I guess as a mechanism for the degree of realism being sought, I suppose the recipes were an interesting "gimmick", but not essential for my "tastes". Sorry for the pun, but I did start to feel like a "foodie" more and more as I listened. Hey, at least I started making better eggs after listening!
I think you will enjoy this meal.
It's not sure about this one since I have not heard anything written by this author. I have to say that this book will not disappoint with it's pretty dynamic and twisted plot. Well developed character of Dominika, Korchnoi however Nash is some what under explored.
I love the way that the surveillance techniques are described in detail it really paints a vivid picture in a tedious life of the men and women of clandestine service.
I also like the way that Putin was intertwined into the story and given an incredibly sinister overtone that reflects his KGB background.
I take of points for narration due to incorrect pronunciation of 90% of Russian words. I think the narrator could have spend a bit more time practicing the Russian pronounce. Some of the words are pronounced incorrectly many times throughout the book. Unfortunately many narrators pay more attention to the correct French and Spanish pronunciation it would be good to have Russian words ring true in future recordings.
Overall a must listen. Looking forward to see more from this author.
The author's CIA experience really made this novel feel so real. The plot was very complex, the details were very vivid, and I could not put it down.
The fact that he also included recipes at the end of each chapter, that was a very unique addition.
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