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Red to Black: A Novel Paperback – Bargain Price, June 15, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
“Terrifying, quite frankly . . . chillingly unputdownable—everything you didn’t want to know about Putin but were afraid to ask.” (Emma Thompson )
“Alex Dryden’s brilliant and unforgettable novel has told me more about the making of modern Russia than I could learn from all books of journalism and contemporary history combined...nothing short of miraculous.” (Stephen Fry )
“An exceptional novel by any standard; readers who enjoy a love story mixed with their espionage (à la le Carré‘s The Little Drummer Girl) will appreciate.” (Library Journal (starred review) )
“Dryden has written a superb spy novel....the warning bell that “Red to Black” sounds against Putin’s Russia has a powerful ring, especially when it turns to the KGB.” (Richmond Times-Dispatch )
Top Customer Reviews
Once into this espionage thriller, it is quickly evident that RED TO BLACK's author has chosen the novel form as his carapace for disseminating a real warning about Russia under Putin and his KGB (which, technically, has been restructured as the contemporary FSB). Although the usual disclaimers about this being a fictional work are in place, the reader will recognize the writer's emphasis on making his case rather than on developing characters. As the story opens, Anna, in 2007, is anxiously waiting for Finn in a "safe" house. She passes the time reading his accounts of past clandestine meetings with various contacts as well as recounting her own side of things during the last ten years. These recollections convey "real" information and conjecture about how, supposedly, oil and natural gas and arms and drug shipments (among other things) are converted to billions, even trillions, in cash and bank balances. Literally, RED TO BLACK follows the money and ties together a plausible theory of how these massive, illegal transactions may be changing the geopolitical playing field in Putin's Russia's favor.
In case the book itself leaves any doubt, the author himself has suggested this fictional story is perhaps the only way to write about Russia right now.Read more ›
It is after Finn is removed from his role and returns back to Britain, retired from his espionage work, that the action really begins. He becomes a renegade agent, clandestinely researching the clues he obained about who holds the true power in Russia. He researches how money is laundered from the Russian Mafia and other wealthy Russian millionaires and billionaires into Western European banks, trying to discover who holds the real power in Russia. As the saying goes "follow the money".Read more ›
Dryden's main characters are Finn, a British spy, and Anna, a colonel in Russia's SVR, who is tasked with keeping an eye on Finn's activities. Naturally, they fall in love, and now each of them is playing a very serious game, with multiple often conflicting roles to play. Finn's rogue tracking down of a monstrous conspiracy forms the main thrust of the story, but there is enough great background, not-especially-disguised commentary on very recent history as concerns Russia/Putin and the rest of the world, and characters leading to substantial subplots to keep the reader turning pages.
It's an excellent spy thriller and recommended to fans of the genre.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Book was a little plodding at times particularly the first third or so. Way too much history and not enough plot movement at times. It got better the further in you read. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Tim_M
There is a lot going on in this spy story. A lot of it was quite interesting from a love story and conspiracy standpoint. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Kim Hamacher
Just couldn't get into it. I didn't feel like the characters developed quickly enough and the method of development didn't include enough engaging situations. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Cheryl Klem
An exciting and interesting read. Many characters are well developed a nicely passed read. A contemporary story,that is very believablePublished 11 months ago by RJM47
This is the first in a two-part series (so far) relating the story of a British spy, Finn, and a Russian spy, Anna. Read morePublished 17 months ago by CSR
Alex Dryden can spin a story that draws you into what is happening.Published 22 months ago by Amazon Customer
Lots of facts. Very informative historical "fiction?" Both takes a long time to get hooked into it.Published 23 months ago by Lorraine Vircillo