domingo, 15 de dezembro de 2013
'Red Sparrow’ soars to heights
of spy thriller genre
By Carol Memmott, USA TODAY
USA TODAY Review
June 01, 2013
The Cold War ended more than two decades ago but remnants of the big chill permeate America's relationship with the former Soviet Union, and ex-CIA intelligence officer Jason Matthews uses that coolness to his advantage in Red Sparrow, his red-hot debut spy thriller.
Matthews writes a smart, intriguing tale rooted in his own experience as an operative. He does it so well that fans of the genre's masters including John le Carré, creator of George Smiley, and Ian Fleming who gave us James Bond, will happily embrace Matthew's central spy.
The big difference? Her name is Egorova. Dominika Egorova. She's a Russian intelligence agent. And not just any run-of-the-mill spy. She's a graduate of "Sparrow" school where lovely young agents are taught the art of seduction. Where they are trained as bait for honey traps that snag diplomats and foreign businessmen in situations so compromising they'd rather steal state secrets than have their own secret lives revealed.
Red Sparrow is not just Dominika's tale. It's really the story of two trained intelligence officers desperately wanting to prove themselves. Dominika needs to own her life and career path. From her sabotaged dream of becoming a Bolshoi ballerina to her recruitment into intelligent work by her Uncle Vanya, a Russian general, to her forced attendance at "Sparrow" school to her unwitting involvement in a plot to kill one of Russian President Vladimir Putin's rivals, she has countless reasons for her anger and resentment.
Her rage is stoked further by her frustrating relationship with Nate Nash, an American agent who needs to prove he can excel as a recruiter after his mole in Russian intelligence is nearly captured in Moscow.
Dominika and Nate will dance around each other when they are both transferred from Moscow to Helsinki as he tries to recruit her as a double agent and she tries to disgrace him and ferret out the Russian mole feeding him intelligence.
Red Sparrow has plenty of drama -- from political assassinations to scandals that reach the very top of the Russian intelligence service and the halls of the U.S. Capitol. The pages of this flinty tale are laced with mole hunts, double traps, triple crosses and enough spy tradecraft to fill a manual.
The auxiliary characters are as colorful as Dominika and Nash. There's a cyborg-like American traitor selling submarine secrets to the Russians, a sociopath American super mole with Manchurian Candidate-like influence, a trained assassin with a milky white eye and ammonia smell armed with a Khyber knife, and the stately Russian General Korchnoi who, because he blames the Russian government for his wife's death, has been feeding information to the Americans for more than a decade.
This is a global story, packed with foot pursuits, car chases and safe houses. It shifts quickly and breathlessly from the U.S. embassies in Moscow and Helsinki to post-Soviet basement torture chambers in Russia to Putin's dacha west of Moscow to the elegant Hotel Grande Bretagne in Athens.
A sizzling plot, high-octane characters and a scorching finish run through this perfect summer novel.
Posted by Francisco Augusto Vaz Brasil at 10:06