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In the tradition of John le Carré, 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.”

Book Reviews

Red Sparrow
Average rating
4.3 / 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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