The Helsinki Affair
by Anna Pitoniak
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Pub Date 14 Nov 2023 | Archive Date 14 Nov 2023
SPYING IS THE FAMILY BUSINESS. Amanda Cole is a brilliant young CIA officer following in the footsteps of her father, who was a spy during the Cold War. It takes grit to succeed in this male-dominated world—but one hot summer day, when a Russian defector walks into her post, Amanda is given the ultimate chance to prove herself.
The defector warns of the imminent assassination of a US senator. Though Amanda takes the warning seriously, her superiors don’t. Twenty-four hours later, the senator is dead. And the assassination is just the beginning.
Corporate blackmail, covert manipulation, corrupt oligarchs: the Kremlin has found a dangerous new way to wage war. Teaming up with Kath Frost, a fearless older woman and legendary spy, Amanda races from Rome to London, from St. Petersburg to Helsinki, unraveling the international conspiracy. But as she gets closer and closer to the truth, a central question haunts her: Why was her father’s name written down in the senator’s notes? What does Charlie Cole really know about the Kremlin plot?
The Helsinki Affair is a riveting, globe-trotting spy thriller—but this time, with a refreshing female-centric twist. Perfect for fans of John le Carré and Daniel Silva, this book introduces Pitoniak as a singular new talent in the world of spy fiction.
“I’m a sucker for propulsive spy thrillers, whether they’re books or movies. But so many of them feature almost all-male casts, with any female characters relegated to love interests or sexy distractions. That’s not the case with The Helsinki Affair! The spies at the center of the novel are women—ambitious, complicated, sometimes messy women. Our protagonist is CIA agent Amanda Cole. She’s stubborn and determined and impulsive—all characteristics that make her a good spy, but also a frustrating colleague! Amanda teams up with a legendary spy named Kath who is brash and funny and totally independent. They’re a fierce, often very funny dynamic duo who are impossible not to root for every step of the way in this propulsive, twisty novel.”
—Carina G., Senior Editor, on The Helsinki Affair
Average rating from 152 members
A terrific women-oriented spy fiction! I loved every second of this compelling thriller and can’t wait for the author’s future titles!
Loved this book! I'm a fairly regular reader of the spy fiction genre, and this one rates at the top of the list. How refreshing that the main characters were mostly women combined with a father-daughter dimension that added not only emotional tension, but a narrative tool that allowed for a seamless back and forth exploration of the differences not only in spy craft but in relationships between the US and Russia across decades, during- and post-cold-war. I tore through the book, it completely kept my attention, I was eager to get back to it each evening. And while it is a spy thriller, fans of smart well-written, escapist fiction will enjoy this book, with or without their own spy genre background. Top notch.