I can't say enough good things about Jason Matthews' contemporary USA vs. Russia spy novel Red Sparrow. Thoroughly enjoyable, written by a guy who seems to know what he's talking about, everything good about Cold War spy fiction but set in contemporary times, compelling plot, enticing characters. I could go on.
Trained at the notorious Sparrow School as a seductress spy, Dominika Ergova is targeted at American CIA operative Nate Nash because the Soviets - I mean Russians - think he might be running an agent deep within the KGB - I mean SVR. Dominika is a woman on a mission, trying to prove herself and right past wrongs. Nate is a man starting to doubt his abilities. Their paths cross in an unexpected way.
One quirk of Matthew's writing is how he ends each chapter with a recipe of a dish featured in that chapter. For example, Moscow Airport Cuban Sandwich is featured in a scene where Nate is flying out of the country.
Jason Matthews has a page on his publisher's website here. I originally heard about Red Sparrow via a review in the Wall Street Journal, bought the book, and let it sit on the shelf for a couple of years. Installment #2 in of the Dominika/Nate series, Palace of Treason, was published last summer and its now on my to-read list.
Jason Matthew's Red Sparrow is a very enjoyable book and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good espionage thriller.
"Nothing can be said about writing except when it is bad. When it is good, one can only read and be grateful."
I received no compensation of any kind for this review.