by Alma Katsu
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Pub Date 14 Mar 2023 | Archive Date 14 Mar 2023
PENGUIN GROUP Putnam, G.P. Putnam's Sons
After her role in taking down a well-placed mole inside the CIA, Agent Lyndsey Duncan arrives in London fully focused on her newest Russian asset, deadly war criminal Dmitri Tarasenko. That is until her MI6 counterpart, Davis Ranford, personally calls for her help.
Following a suspicious attack on Russian oligarch Mikhail Rotenberg's property in a tony part of London, Davis needs Lyndsey to cozy up to the billionaire's aristocratic British wife, Emily Rotenberg. Fortunately for Lyndsey, there's little to dissuade Emily from taking in a much-needed confidante. Even being one of the richest women in the world is no guarantee of happiness. But before Lyndsey can cover much ground with her newfound friend, the CIA unveils a perturbing connection between Mikhail and Russia's geoplitical past, one that could upend the world order and jeopardize Lyndsey's longtime allegiance to the Agency.
Red London is a sharp and nuanced race-against-the-clock story ripped from today's headlines, a testament to author Alma Katsu’s thirty-five-year career in national security. It’s a rare spy novel written by an insider that feels as prescient as it is page-turning and utterly unforgettable.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 64 members
A very excellent book! I really enjoyed the plot and it was very interesting and very easy read. I would definitely recommend this book to other readers!
London….spies….oligarchs….and a female CIA officer tasked with obtaining information that might prevent a new geopolitical alliance from forming.
Lyndsey Duncan, last seen in Red Widow, has arrived in London to handle a new Russian asset. She is on shaky ground with her bosses, having crossed a line in her last overseas mission, but is determined to use her considerable skills on this new assignment to regain their trust. She is soon asked to do MI6 a favor (by the former lover who figured in her overseas debacle).….get to know Emily Rotenberg, the British born wife of a Russian oligarch , to ascertain whether she can be persuaded to provide information on her husband’s dealings. As Lyndsey develops a friendship with Emily, concern mounts over the monies handled by Emily’s husband Mikhail, his relationship with the new Russian leader (who ousted Putin from power after the failure in Ukraine), and the looming presence of China looking to make new political partners.
A well-crafted tale of the world of espionage and national security, with an extremely capable woman in the pivotal role. Female protagonists in the fictional realm of espionage can be hard to find, and ones written by a woman even more so. Like Stella Rimington and Francine Matthews, Alma Katsu’s writing is informed by her career dealing with intelligence and foreign policy. Readers of those women’s works, as well as fans of well-written tales of espionage in general will enjoy this novel and the character of Lyndsey Duncan. Given the state of the world today, the specter raised in this novel of new alliances between our country’s enemies is frighteningly realistic. I highly recommend this novel, and thank NetGalley for the advanced reader’s copy.
Although espionage isn't my genre of choice, this was as much a thriller as it was anything.
Alma Katsu is brilliant at characterization, simply brilliant. In just a few paragraphs, she has readers completely inside the mind of each character and experiencing the emotions they feel.
Anything I can say about this book would be a spoiler and I don't want to do that. Every single book I've read by this author puts me so deeply into the plot, characters, and even the background that I'm immersed--it's impossible for me to step back and give an outsider's point of view.
How many novels can you read where, if someone asks you about a scene, the first thing you want to say is, "Well, I was there standing off in the corner, and..."
Alma Katsu continues to shine as an extraordinaire spy author presenting the most believable and nail-bitingly intense stories in step with the geopolitics straight out of the newspaper headlines.
CIA agent Lyndsey Duncan is assigned to the London office where she is tasked with handling a newly turned Russian asset. When an attack on a Russian oligarch and his family in their London home makes sparky headlines, her MI6 counterpart and former flame asks her help in going undercover with the oligarch’s wife to find out why the Kremlin would brazenly attempt an assassination on foreign soil. Lyndsey agrees to step into the battlefield of spies and assassins to figure out what the newest Russian despot has in store for the world. Undercover stories have never felt so intense and anxiety-inducing.
Red London elevates the cerebral espionage aspect that readers loved so much in Red Widow. Lyndsey’s greatest assets are her smarts in outwitting her opponents and disarming them intellectually rather than with brute force. The emphasis on tradecraft has never felt more poignant and necessary and helps achieve the perfect balance between old school cerebral tales and modern day fast-paced thrillers. You never know what’s going to happen in the next sentence let alone the next page. This unpredictability stems from complex and dynamic characters with multi-layered motivations that make them remarkably lifelike. The impending feeling of doom stays in the air as you flip through the pages, rooting desperately for Lyndsey as she makes some difficult decisions to accomplish what she must.
Alma Katsu keeps you engaged and hooked from the inception to the conclusion, ending on such a scary cliffhanger that you can’t help but tense up thinking about what will come next. Katsu is setting up this universe splendidly with a plethora of interconnected narratives and subplots to pay off with a bang. I can’t wait to read where Lyndsey Duncan finds herself next, especially after that haunting last sentence.
Full review on https://www.bestthrillerbooks.com/kashif-hussain
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