- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 2271 KB
- Print Length: 438 pages
- Publisher: Penguin (8 March 2018)
- Sold by: Penguin UK
- Language: English
- ASIN: B07791SXTQ
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Customer Reviews: 1,022 customer ratings
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #61,922 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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The Kremlin's Candidate: Discover what happens next after THE RED SPARROW, starring Jennifer Lawrence Kindle Edition
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'Thrilling, absorbing and brilliantly descriptive ... you won't fail to be won over.' (The Sunday Mirror)
'There is much to relish, from its revival of the sexy spy (this time female) to its mischievous portrayal of Putin.' (The Sunday Times)
From the Inside Flap
Colonel Dominika Egorova belongs to two worlds. In one she is the Russian Counterintelligence Chief trained in seduction and deceit at the KGB's notorious Red Sparrow school and in the other she is an asset of the CIA, stealing Kremlin secrets for her handler - and forbidden lover - Nate Nash.
In Washington, Dominika's cover is being threatened. A newly installed administration is selecting its cabinet members and there are whispers of an operation to place a Russian mole in a high intelligence position. If the Kremlin's candidate is confirmed they will know the names of all CIA spies in Moscow, including Dominika.
Dominika recklessly immerses herself in the palace intrigues of the Kremlin, searching for the mole's identity, and stealing as many of President Putin's secrets for her CIA handlers before her time runs out.
With a plot ripped from tomorrow's headlines, The Kremlin's Candidate is a dazzling and riveting finale to the trilogy that began with Red Sparrow and Palace of Treason.
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Top international reviews
This is the final part of the great trilogy of novels relating the relationship between Nate (or Neyt), Nash and Colonel Dominika Egorova, the FSB Counter Intelligence chief who has been a CIA asset for many years.
The author's working knowledge of the espionage game is again apparent and shines through and the book is relentless in its excitement but is also sensitive in the way it portrays human emotions and relationships as well as the in-fighting, jealousies and backbiting within the top echelons of the respective intelligence services.
As always there is a mole to discover and neutralise before he or she can reveal Domenika's true identity to her colleagues and the denouement is taken to the wire.
It could work as a standalone read but why deny yourself the pleasure and relentless rollercoaster excitement of the two previous books in the series? Take my advice and start with Red Sparrow first, follow it up with Palace of Treason before tacking The Kremlin's Candidate.
I am an avid reader of spy thrillers and this is one of the best books in this genre that I have been fortunate enough to read.
I won't give any spoilers, but Jason Matthews is incapable of writing an erotic sex scene (which are just deeply unpleasant) and incapable of writing a gripping action scene (which descend into pornographic levels of visceral violence).
The characters, always a bit two-dimensional, become even sketchier, all guilty of acting out of character without even a hint of common sense, making them totally unconvincing.
Worst of all is the portrayal of Putin - again, no spoilers - but the Putin depicted here is a ridiculous caricature of the Russian leader, utterly unbelievable, stretching credulity way beyond breaking point.
If you enjoyed the first book, I'd stop there - the second and third are just, well, pap.
Altogether a plausible storyline but one lacking in real intreague. If it has one flaw, and that is that reality and contemporary conspiracy theories now have upstaged it. If only the author had hinted at the contemporary leadership, brought in more about dysfunctional management and the power games between institutions that go wrong. Clearly, Putin's it's global agenda and he has the ability to outwit the west. This could have been used to great effect but I guess the west would not come over too well.
A good holiday read and not as bad as some say.
What made the series readable was the personal chemistry between Dominika Egorova - a Russian SVR operative - and Nate Nash - a CIA operative. And specifically, it was their chemistry as they engaged in a series of field engagements in and around Europe.
In The Kremlin's Candidate, Dominika has become ever more senior in the SVR and has personal access to President Putin. This means much of the narrative is pitched at a strategic level rather than in spy-ops on the streets. Frankly, it is not as interesting. Readers want to know about hairs on drawers, hidden bugs, spy dust. They don't necessarily want to know about the strategy behind supporting the PKK to destabilise the Turkish Government, thereby undermining the NATO alliance.
And as Dominika has become more senior, she has left Nate behind. He is a bit part player in The Kremlin's Candidate as Dominika deals with a revolving cast of more senior CIA players. It's just not the same.
There are also some bizarre continuity errors. Dominika's ability to see people's aurae, for example, starts to wobble as Nate variously has a purple and a crimson aura. We are told that Dominika has only ever seen one black aura before when we know she has seen more. The timeline also seems to be wobbly as Dominika seems to have aged whereas Nate is still on probation. And there are some things that happen quite obviously as plot devices, there is expository dialogue and the recipes at the end of chapters have become quite tiresome.
Despite these failings, there is still a broadly competent story set out - if the reader can turn a blind eye to the occasional gratuitous and puerile sexual references. The pacing is as slow as in the previous texts which does offer space for scene setting. This scrapes into 3 star territory, but it is a disappointing end to a series that started off much better.
The story follows the exact same scaffold as the previous books, so I'm wondering if, enjoying the money from Red Sparrow, on a sun kissed beach, Matthews has phone this in to his publisher and they've employed someone to write a book around his pen portrait for the subject.
As the conclusion to Red Sparrow, this lets the side down considerably, and if you haven't guessed how the books ends by chapter 6, you really haven't been paying attention.
The only bad thing I can say about this book is its another year before I get to read another one..... Hopefully.