Friday, December 7, 2018

Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews

Red Sparrow
by Jason Matthews

Find out more about this book and author:

Published: 2013
Publisher: Scribner
Genre: Thriller, Espionage, Russia
Hardback: 448
Rating: 4

Red Sparrow Trilogy:
Red Sparrow
Palace of Treason
The Kremlin's Candidate

First sentence(s):
Twelve hours into his SDR Nthaniel Nash was numb from the waist down.

In the grand spy-tale tradition of John le Carré…comes this shocking thriller written with insider detail known only to a veteran CIA officer.

In present-day Russia, ruled by blue-eyed, unblinking President Vladimir Putin, Russian intelligence officer Dominika Egorova struggles to survive in the post-Soviet intelligence jungle. Ordered against her will to become a “Sparrow,” a trained seductress, Dominika is assigned to operate against Nathaniel Nash, a young CIA officer who handles the Agency’s most important Russian mole.

As the action careens between Russia, Finland, Greece, Italy, and the United States, Dominika and Nate soon collide in a duel of wills, tradecraft, and—inevitably—forbidden passion that threatens not just their lives but those of others as well. As secret allegiances are made and broken, Dominika and Nate’s game reaches a deadly crossroads. Soon one of them begins a dangerous double existence in a life-and-death operation that consumes intelligence agencies from Moscow to Washington, DC.

Page by page, veteran CIA officer Jason Matthews’s Red Sparrow delights, terrifies and fascinates, all while delivering an unforgettable cast, from a sadistic Spetsnaz “mechanic” who carries out Putin’s murderous schemes to the weary CIA Station Chief who resists Washington “cake-eaters”. Packed with insider detail, this novel brims with Matthews’s life experience of espionage, counterintelligence, spy recruitment, and cyber-warfare. Brilliantly composed, Red Sparrow is a masterful spy tale. Authentic, tense, and entertaining, this novel introduces Jason Matthews as a major new American talent.


My two-bits:

This story gets into some of the intricacies of the Russian espionage world. However, I found myself more interested in heart to heart scenes with Dominika and Nate rather than the story as a whole.

Interesting to note: there are food recipes included at the end of most chapters.


* review copy courtesy of publisher

* part of World Reads challenge - Russia (here)

Imagination Designs
Images from: Lovelytocu