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The Kremlin Conspiracy: A Marcus Ryker Series Political and Military Action Thriller: (Book 1) Hardcover – March 6, 2018
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Aspiring authors should take note of Rosenberg’s deftly plotted story and first-rate character development―he puts on a clinic for how to introduce and bring along new characters. Some readers, especially early on, may find the plot moving a tad slower than his past books, but that’s clearly by design. Rosenberg meticulously builds the necessary foundation for later on, and, when you least expect it, he yanks the rug out from underneath you.
This is Joel C. Rosenberg at his absolute best, proving yet again that he’s one of the premier novelists working in the genre today.
With his knack for writing prophetic fiction, those who want an early glimpse at what the world might look like in the very near future should pick up Joel Rosenberg’s latest thriller. . . . Strap in and hold on tight, The Kremlin Conspiracy is a high-octane thriller that will stun readers and stay with them long after they turn the final page. -- The Real Book Spy (Ryan Steck)
Bestseller Rosenberg (The Third Target) provides Tom Clancy fans with plenty of red meat in this fast-paced political thriller. In the near future, attorney Oleg Kraskin has become a trusted adviser to his Putinlike father-in-law, Russian president Aleksandr Luganov. Oleg’s rise is paralleled by that of Marcus Ryker, whose valor under fire as a Marine in Afghanistan led to his becoming a Secret Service agent. After Marcus helps thwart a terrorist attack on the White House, he’s promoted to the U.S. president’s personal detail. But when Marcus’s wife and son are killed in a robbery, he takes a break from working for the government. Meanwhile, Luganov, who has no qualms about using nuclear weapons and is chummy with the erratic head of North Korea, finalizes plans to invade the three Baltic states―Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania―and reincorporate them into Russia. Oleg and Marcus each turn out to have a vital part to play in shaping how Luganov’s grandiose schemes end. Although plausibility isn’t at a premium, readers who like escapist suspense will be satisfied. -- Publishers Weekly
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It's always fun to guess who the author may have based any of the characters on, but also far more sobering to realize that in so doing, the author makes a compelling case for the threat that exists in the plot of this novel actually happening. I highly recommend this book!
The main character is a guy named Marcus Ryker who has a really difficult way to go, facing life and death issues first hand throughout his life. He goes from being a school kid who finds it necessary to shoot his abusive step-dad, to a grunt in the Marine Corps who ends up in a helicopter crash with a horrendous firefight, to being a Secret Service agent who saves the White House against a terrorist attack, to an unemployed guy, which is where his real role in this book begins.
The other main character is a young Russian lawyer who becomes the son-in-law of Aleksandr Luganov, the doppelganger of Russia’s president Putin. His life in some ways parallels that of Ryker, but in other ways is radically different. They both meet and marry the love of their life, they both eventually lose their family, and they both court death on a regular basis. Whereas Ryker faced the possibility of being outright killed by bad guys in combat, Oleg Kraskin lives daily among the top dogs in Russia. He becomes increasingly closer to and trusted by Luganov, ultimately becoming his closest advisor and confidant. At this level he is in the realm where speaking against the whims of the president could get you ‘disappeared’.
The Kremlin Conspiracy is about Luganov’s desire to “restore the glory of Russia” that was lost in 1991 with the collapse of communism and the Soviet Union, and to become the sole world superpower. He intends to do this by reconquering three former Soviet states who have since become members of NATO. He feels that by doing so, he will render NATO obsolete and powerless, and will demonstrate that the West can no longer challenge him. As the story progresses, Luganov becomes increasingly dishonest with his cabinet, his military leaders, his allies, and the world at large. He also seems to slowly lose his grip on reality by crawling into the bottle more and more often, losing his family, and ultimately reaching the point where he relishes the thought of nuclear war. Kraskin, on the other hand, becomes increasingly disenchanted with the direction Luganov is headed, and, putting the safety of his country and family above his own safety, he reaches out to Ryker and between them they formulate a plan to avert an apocalypse.
Given the state of politics in America and the world, and the recent aggression exhibited by the new Russia, this story is plausible. It is conceivable that events similar to these occur on a daily basis, and that destruction of the world could easily be brought about by decisions made by egocentric world leaders.
While the story is good, the book itself falls short in a few areas. First, the thing takes a while to get started. The author insists on dwelling excessively on background information that does not propel the story line. Regarding Ryker, the book alternates between periods of action (interesting) and periods where his family relationship is explored (boring). In fact, Ryker doesn’t even contribute to the real plot until near the end. The Oleg Kraskin side of the book is actually more interesting, but again the author takes up excessive pages discussing issues unrelated to the story. As a whole, the book progresses with fits and starts in the beginning, with early adventure followed by misfires and distractions, then finally gets in gear at the end, only to stop dead in its tracks, leaving the reader and the characters – literally – hanging. If the story were true, a more satisfying book would have picked up a little later in the action, skipped over some of the less useful personal interests, and concluded at a later point when the fallout from the plot becomes known. This one gets 3.5 stars.
I read late at night when life finally slows down a little. So I could only read a chapter or two at night. It took me longer than some of the reviews
say they inhaled this book.
Took me awhile, but I love this book. Love this story. There was a part in the book that caught my by surprise and I found myself thinking
Joel Rosenberg, how could you do this ! But no spoilers here.
I love everything about this book. I read some of the other reviews of this book, saying its not as good as some of his other books.
But I think it is an awesome story and he has done really well in the telling. What I find interesting is how the headlines are following along with this story. Interesting, how Joel Rosenberg can write like this ~ headlines before they happen.
And the ending of this book! Really? Joel Rosenberg how can you leave us hanging like this !??
We are supposed to wait a whole year for the sequel to find out what happens to.. again no spoilers here.. but really !! ??
Excellent book all around. Love the story. I can't wait for the next part to come out.. Hurry up Joel.. we are waiting :)
Top international reviews
After marrying Luganov’s daughter Marina, Oleg Stefanovich Kraskin is swept up in the new government and watches as Luganov ambitious and power-hungry rises as a new Russian czar, silencing any opposition, forging key alliances and strategically plotting to take down NATO and bring the world to the brink of a nuclear war.
In contrast Marcus Ryker after killing his stepfather in self- defense and losing his high school sweetheart joins the Marines after the 9/11 attack on New York City. Showing bravery against the Taliban while on a diplomatic mission with his team, Ryker leaves the military to join the Secret Service taking his family to Washington. Unlike Oleg Kraskin whose patriotic service to his country has caused marital problems, Ryker has worked hard to heal his troubled marriage only to lose his wife and son under tragic circumstances.
The plot heats up when Ryker depressed and quitting his job after his loss is coerced into a security consulting role for Senator Drayton who’s taking a diplomatic trip to meet with NATO’s allies in the Baltics as the Russian forces supposedly on maneuvers are readying to invade the Ukraine and the Baltic states. While in Russia Oleg Kraskin witnessing his father-in-law’s fanaticism and fearing for his family and his country’s welfare unleashes his own plan to stop the insanity with Ryker’s help.
With a chillingly realistic perspective of the global political landscape today Joel C. Rosenberg weaves a plot that’s as intriguing as it is viable. Well-developed this page-turner keeps you on the seat of your chair with twists and turns you don’t see coming not only like the tragic deaths of Ryker’s wife and son, but with Kraskin’s knowledge of, respect for and willingness to work with the former Secret Service agent. Flowing smoothly and with a deep sense of faith embedded in the story, it all too quickly progresses to an exciting and dizzying cliff-hanger that has you looking for the sequel.
Among a compelling and multi-faceted array of characters bringing the story to life is Russian President Alexandr Luganov who’s cold, without a conscience, ambitious, rash and reckless. Power-hungry, arrogant and single-minded he uses cunning, and lies to deceive the world about his true intent. Oleg Kraskin his son-in-law is the driven, ethical and patriotic lawyer who grows steadily uncomfortable with his father-in-law’s plans. Brave, astute and trustworthy ex- Marine and former Secret Service agent Marcus Ryker is the man Oleg turns to for help in stopping Luganov. All infuse the plot with depth, tension and suspense as war looms.
I thoroughly enjoyed “The Kremlin Conspiracy” and look forward to the next exciting chapter in this thrilling roller- coaster ride.
The story starts slowly as we get the background to the key lead characters. We see how they both progress up their respective chains of command, one an ex-Marine, Marcus Ryker, who joins the President's Security detail, the other, Oleg Kraskin, marries into the family of the Russian President and becomes that man's right hand.
Tragedy strikes Ryker that derails his career and life while Kraskin keeps rising as his boss becomes increasingly maniacal in his desire for global domination. But Ryker is convinced to take on a temporary assignment that will lead him into the land of the enemy. A surprising alliance is formed, one that has the potential to shape the future.
Filled with relevant facts and insider perspective on the inner machinations of both countries leaders, their facilities, security detail and people. One is never quite sure when fiction has stepped into the realm of modern day reality. Full of gripping suspense, two fabulous lead characters in Ryker and Kraskin plus a despot of a Russian ruler who will stop at nothing to fulfil his dream of becoming the next Russian Czar.
The ending is tremendous and we are left teetering on a precipice in anticipation of book two which simply can't come soon enough.
If you love thrilling political intrigue and you'll want to read this one.
What happens toMarcus? Have to believe God is still in charge. Pick it up today! This book will bring new meaning to the truth of Easter!
He Is Risen Indeed!