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IN THE GRAND SPY-TALE TRADITION OF JOHN LE CARRÉ . . . comes this shocking thriller written with insider detail known only to a veteran CIA officer.

In present-day Russia, ruled by blue-eyed, unblinking President Vladimir Putin, Russian intelligence officer Dominika Egorova struggles to survive in the post-Soviet intelligence jungle. Ordered against her will to become a “Sparrow,” a trained seductress, Dominika is assigned to operate against Nathaniel Nash, a young CIA officer who handles the Agency’s most important Russian mole.

Spies have long relied on the “honey trap,” whereby vulnerable men and women are intimately compromised. Dominika learns these techniques of “sexpionage” in Russia’s secret “Sparrow School,” hidden outside of Moscow. As the action careens between Russia, Finland, Greece, Italy, and the United States, Dominika and Nate soon collide in a duel of wills, tradecraft, and—inevitably—forbidden passion that threatens not just their lives but those of others as well. As secret allegiances are made and broken, Dominika and Nate’s game reaches a deadly crossroads. Soon one of them begins a dangerous double existence in a life-and-death operation that consumes intelligence agencies from Moscow to Washington, DC.

Page by page, veteran CIA officer Jason Matthews’s Red Sparrow delights and terrifies and fascinates, all while delivering an unforgettable cast, from a sadistic Spetsnaz “mechanic” who carries out Putin’s murderous schemes to the weary CIA Station Chief who resists Washington “cake-eaters” to MARBLE, the priceless Russian mole. Packed with insider detail and written with brio, this tour-de-force novel brims with Matthews’s life experience, including his knowledge of espionage, counterintelligence, surveillance tradecraft, spy recruitment, cyber-warfare, the Russian use of “spy dust,” and covert communications. Brilliantly composed and elegantly constructed, Red Sparrow is a masterful spy tale lifted from the dossiers of intelligence agencies on both sides of the Atlantic. Authentic, tense, and entertaining, this novel introduces Jason Matthews as a major new American talent.

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Red Sparrow
Average rating
4.5 / 5
First rate thriller
January 24th, 2015
Lots of intrigue, twists, and turns. Great read. A few loose threads that suggest a sequel. Can't wait for that.
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1 review
January 23rd, 2014
An exceptional read by a new author. A new twist on 21st century relationships between Americans and Russians. Strong, well-developed characters that make the reader hesitate to put the book down. Can hardly wait for his next!
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1 review
red sparrow
November 3rd, 2013
Very good read but dismayed that the SVR is as bad as the KGB. Perhaps I'm naive, but I still want to believe that the CIA, CISIS, MI5, (I.e. The Western spy agencies) are not such sadistic thugs, even to their own. Also hope Sparrow School no longer exists!
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1 review
Red Sparrow: compelling, delicious!
July 24th, 2013
Great story, well told. Matthews' knowledge of "the game" allows him to create compelling believable characters, pulling the reader into the story until the very last page. The receipe device at the end of each chapter initially surprises, but is strangely effective, and adds an unusual touch to the contemporary spy novel. Can a sequel, perhaps with dessert, be in the offing? Surely we can't be left hanging, not knowing if the sparrow can continue to deceive - with or without Nate?
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1 review
June 18th, 2013
A great read...just terrific. Can't believe, though, that in thanking his editor Mr. Mathews said "he taught me to write good". Good? Yikes. Did he mean well?
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1 review

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