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Red to Black: A Novel (Anna Rensikov) Paperback – June 15, 2010
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"The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10 comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, The Lying Game. Pre-order today
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From Publishers Weekly
The pseudonymous Dryden, a British journalist, eschews both technological marvels and implausible action scenes in his absorbing debut, a spy thriller that exposes the links between the old Russia of the Cold War and the new Russia of Vladimir Putin. In 1999, Anna, a colonel in the Russian foreign intelligence service, becomes romantically involved with Finn, an MI6 agent stationed in Moscow whom she deliberately targets for seduction. Meanwhile, Finn has learned of the Plan, a long-nurtured and fiercely guarded scheme to undermine the West. Finn and Anna each play a decade-long and dangerous double game as they seek to uncover incontrovertible proof that will thwart the Plan and allow them to leave intelligence work together without fear of reprisals. The detailed accounts of the financial maneuverings of the KGB and its successor, the FSB, are mind-boggling. Despite lackluster prose, Dryden's fact-based scenario provides worrisome food for thought. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.
“Prescient . . . [Red to Black] depicts a frightening and ruthless Russia, which answers to nobody.” (The Economist)
“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)
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Top customer reviews
The heroine, Anna, is a colonel in Russia's foreign intelligence. The hero, Finn, is an M16 operative. They meet and begin an affair with Anna's superiors' approval. She's supposed to dig into what Finn's after.
Finn's own superiors have lost confidence in him. Eventually, they forbid him to continue chasing down information about The Plan. No matter that men have died trying to expose it.
The two fall in love, with Finn telling her one day she'll have to choose between him and Russia. What he doesn't know is that he'll have to choose between his job and finding out the truth about The Plan.
There are no James Bond shenanigans. Just a well-thought out story that lays bare what might be behind the world's financial dealings. Dealings orchestrated by the Russians in a devious master plan with a scope that's frightening. I would say the KGB is behind it. But that no longer exists. At least not by that name...
If you like Le Carre, you'll enjoy this steady-paced low-key thriller. I did.
I didn't give it any stars for the story itself, though, which is curiously flat and boring. We never 'see' any action, it's always something the main character is either told about after the fact, or reads about after the fact, or narrates after the fact. I felt nothing for anyone.