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Book Review of The Red Sparrow Trilogy
By Dick Levinson
Posted on 6/15/2018 8:56 AM

The Red Sparrow Trilogy:

Red Sparrow

Palace of Treason

The Kremlin’s Candidate

 By Jason Matthews 

Let’s be honest.  Some of us simply aren’t cut out to be spies.

Perhaps, like me, you are a terrible liar, easily flustered and short

on the kind of personal courage needed to face down an enemy agent.

For me, there is no greater pleasure than reading a novel of international

intrigue from the safety of my own living room.


To understand just how compelling this series of three spy novels really is,

you need to know to know two key facts about author Jason Matthews.  He is a retired CIA officer who has lived the life he writes about.  If you’ve ever wondered about the practical aspects of espionage---how spies survive in a hostile environment or recruit others to do their bidding, Matthews offers up the details of spy craft with an energy that will keep you reading into the wee hours of the morning.


The heroine of this series, Dominika Egorova, is a ravishing Russian woman who never wanted to be a spy at all.  She dreamed of pursuing a career as a dancer, but a corrupt and complacent system soon destroys this ambition. To add insult to injury, Egorova is soon forced to attend “Sparrow School,” a special academy run by the Russian intelligence service, that transforms attractive women into weaponized sexual sirens who destroy vain, lonely and unwary men in the service of the state.


Dominika is the perfect hero for this Me Too moment.  Furious at a system that refuses to recognize either her first rate intelligence, or her basic human dignity, she is ripe for recruitment as an American double agent.  Seeking to close the deal is Nathaniel (Nate) Nash, a driven, young CIA agent who needs a stunning accomplishment to prevent a previous professional failure from destroying his career.  The two become a team and contrary to common sense---and every rule of professional spy craft, soon fall in love.  Your inner life of dreams and fantasies may never be the same again.

Dick Levinson has lived in Philadelphia since 1995.

He is a Librarian at the Parkway Central Library.


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