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Found 13 results

  1. The third (final?) instalment in the Red Sparrow series is perhaps the weakest of the novels. What made the series readable was the personal chemistry between Dominika Egorova - a Russian SVR operative - and Nate Nash - a CIA operative. And specifically, it was their chemistry as they engaged in a series of field engagements in and around Europe. In The Kremlin's Candidate, Dominika has become ever more senior in the SVR and has personal access to President Putin. This means much of the narrative is pitched at a strategic level rather than in spy-ops on the streets. Frankly, it is not a
  2. When you’ve written a successful book, the temptation is to write the same book again. Palace of Treason is very similar to Red Sparrow - we re-engage with Nate Nash, dashing young CIA officer, and Dominika Egorova, Russian SVR femme fatale. They continue to have ill-advised physical relations with each other and with anything else with a pulse. We know this will not end well. More baddies and moles pop up from nowhere. Some of these baddies are delightfully grotesque if somewhat caricatured. And just like in Red Sparrow, Jason Matthews has no difficulty in killing off leading characters.
  3. Red Sparrow is an imperfect thriller, but nevertheless worth reading. The basic premise is that two agents embark on their careers - Nate Nash is a young CIA agent, posted to Moscow and desperate to make an impact - and Dominika Egorova, enveigled into becoming a honey-trap agent by her wicked uncle in the Russian SVR. Inevitably the two hit it off. The story is a constant flow of agents and double agents, rooting out moles and trying to use counter-espionage to double-down on double-crossing deals. It’s quite a slow moving novel which allows plenty of space for conveying the day-to-da
  4. Defectors. 1961 - a community of Western double agents, exposed and living in exile in Moscow. Notorious back home, avoided in Moscow. As one of them says, Moscow is the kind of place where you keep top yourself. So they meet up every night in hotel bars, discussing old times and trying to trap one another into making damaging statements. The spectre of Stalin hangs over everything; nobody quite sure whether Khrushchev’s new freedoms are real or not. The exception is Frank Weeks. A former CIA agent, he has found a new role as a senior KGB officer, moving with apparent ease and conf
  5. In the era of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, Edward Snowden and hardened cyber security, how do free and democratic nations balance the rights of their citizens with national security? WikiLeaks Exposed seeks to shed light on the motivations of its founder, funding sources, media partners, and the use of cyber technology to protect leaked intelligence information before it is released to the public. This eBook also examines WikiLeaks use of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, the Surface, Deep and Dark Web, exploit Linked In to create IC Watch, its connection with the Tor Project, PRG, OVH, and the Fre
  6. The Zoo is a farcical romp through the last days of Stalin’s reign of terror in the Soviet Union. Yuri is a twelve year old boy who claims to have suffered some form of brain damage as a child, leaving him a functional idiot. He can see everything that goes on around him, he can learn facts, but he hasn’t the guile to understand people. Yuri takes everyone at face value, all the time. By a quirk of fate, he ends up meeting Stalin who likes having a confidant he can trust completely. So he immediately appoints Yuri to be his food taster, thereby necessitating Yuri’s witnessing of the last days
  7. I have searched for another thread relating to my question but have found none, so made to the decision to make my own. I was surprised not to find anything written/asked about the last Tsar's as they are a really interesting family/part of history (having watched documentaries and read a little about them online). I am wanting to buy a book about the Nicholas Tsar and his family, their marriage, ruling, the illness of their son, the reovlution, their execution etc. There are many books out there but I am undecided as to what one to purchase. I was wondering if anyone can give me some advi
  8. The Vanishing Futurist follows the story of Gerty Freely, a British governess who happened to be working in Russia in 1917, as the Russian Revolution unfolded. In broad terms, her employers flee to the Ukraine and she becomes part of a commune living in the family's Moscow house. One of the members of the commune, Nikita Slavkin, is a futurist who is developing a time travel machine... On the positive side, there is some good exploration of the psyche of a new Russia when it was not clear that the revolution had delivered power to a totalitarian regime. There was still idealism and attempt
  9. For a brief while, just after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Russia was a playground for Westerners. Regardless of whether they were rich or poor, those Westerners could go anywhere, afford to buy anything, and to live in city centre apartments that had once been the preserve of the party elite. Women would throw themselves at these Westerners, hoping for a life of wealth and privilege. Over the space of a couple of years, that window started to narrow; Russia developed its own class of super-rich, designer labels came to the department stores and the streets started to fill with luxury cars. Bu
  10. The Memory Artist is a story of transition in Russia in the 1980s and 1990s. Pasha Ivanov had dissident parents. His father was taken away when Pasha was young; his mother offered the kitchen in her Moscow apartment as a kind of common room for dissident writers and artists. Pasha grew up to be discreet, learning to quietly mind his thoughts whilst letting life take its course. The novel goes backwards and forwards in time, to Pasha’s childhood, through to his life as a young man at the time of Glasnost, through to adult respectability at the end of the 1990s. The time changes are not alw
  11. Peach Publishing has today published the second in the Leksin thriller series, Corruption of Power, by G W Eccles “This is the most original and well-crafted thriller I have read all year.” (Lambert Nagle, author) Synopsis: Independent troubleshooter, Alex Leksin, is recruited by Prime Minister Saidov when the plan to reduce Russia’s reliance on an ever more hostile Europe is put at risk. Hell bent on expansion, President Karpev’s strategy is first to shift the markets for his country’s vast energy resources to the East and Saidov has been charged with overseeing a planned pipeline for Russi
  12. Anthony Marra is the author of A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, which is still my top read of the year, which is saying a lot because it has been a terrific year for me for reading. This is a book of related short stories and even though they were released after Constellation, they feel to me as if they were warm-ups for the book. That being said, they are the dress rehearsal and an excellent collection. If I have a suggestion, it's to do what I did not do, and assume that it's actually a novel. Marra tells one story and then introduces what seems to be an entirely new character and
  13. As I mentioned in the thread I just posted on the new Julian Barnes collection of stories Pulse, I can't copy and paste my review of this book in case of copyright so have posted a link to it in The Independent: http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/reviews/snowdrops-by-ad-miller-2177729.html I loved this book. It's a psychological thriller that kept me enthralled right through. I have no doubt it'll appear on my top ten books of 2011, along with Tessa Hadley's The London Train which I've also just finished. (I'll post a thread for the Hadley soon.) Again, as with the Pulse
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