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After the success of last year's I Am Pilgrim, we've been on the lookout for a spy novel that will be a great read for fans of Terry Hayes. And this is it! Winner of the Edgar Award for Best First Novel, this action-packed, well-written thriller pits CIA operative Nathaniel Nash against Red Sparrow, the Russian spy Dominika Egorova. Jason Matthews' 33 years in the CIA provide the basis in reality that makes this book so great. A terrific read for fans of Daniel Silva, Mark Pryor and of course, Terry Hayes. - McKenna
— From 2015 Advent Picks
In the tradition of John le Carre, the bestselling, impossible-to-put-down, espionage thriller that is "a primer in twenty-first century spying" (The New York Times Book Review
), written with the insider detail that only a veteran CIA operative could know--and shortlisted for an Edgar Award.
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 most valuable mole in Moscow. Seeking revenge against her soulless masters, Dominika begins a fateful double life, recruited by the CIA to ferret out a high-level traitor in Washington; hunt down a Russian illegal buried deep in the US 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.
Taking place in today's Russia, still ruled with an iron fist by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Red Sparrow
displays author Jason Matthews's insider knowledge of espionage, counter-espionage, surveillance tradecraft, recruiting spies, interrogation, and intelligence gathering. As The Washington Post
hails, this is a "sublime and sophisticated debut...a first-rate novel as noteworthy for its superior style as for its gripping depiction of a secretive world.