I have had great pleasure this year from a trilogy of books which feels akin to John le Carré plotting and Frederick Forsyth energy. Yes, that much pleasure!
Jason Matthews has made the Red Sparrow series a reading must for the lovers of Russian intrigue, CIA spies, and Kremlin slime. Perhaps the handlers of Russian President Putin have made sure he does not know how darkly he is portrayed in the books. But the rest of us know. And know also, from reading international news, how accurate the books are to the plotting.
What drives these books with such compelling drama is the fact the author knows of which he writes. Matthews is a retired officer of the CIA’s Operations Directorate. Over a thirty-three-year career he served in multiple overseas locations and engaged in clandestine collection of national security intelligence, specializing in denied-area operations.
As a lover of this genre let me state most clearly Matthews’ observations and perspectives add depth and color. It shows on each page.
I would caution that if one is not already tuned into the real world of spies, and the deadly and all-too real nature of intelligence gathering operations used by superpowers, the books might be a bit gritty. That they are so real is what makes them a powerhouse of a read. If one is easily rattled perhaps another author should be selected.
I encountered the third book while shopping and the back cover grabbed my attention. Once home I ordered all three from my favorite bookstore–Amazon. I was hooked on the first paragraph of Red Sparrow.……..and have loved each turning of the pages through the third volume.
Each recipe at the end of a chapter is delightful, as are the characters developing into complete multi-faceted heroes or losers. While there are action scenes, the best part of Matthews’ skills are proven with his mature and cerebral plotting of international events.
If you want to have a pleasant beach book, or airplane experience, take Jason Matthews along. Nate Nash will get you interested!