Urgent, topical and shot through with insider knowledge, the final thriller in the Red Sparrow trilogy is writing on a grand scale.
Russian counterintelligence chief Colonel Dominika Egorova has been an asset of the CIA for over seven years. She has also been in a forbidden and tumultuous love affair with her handler Nate Nash, mortally dangerous for them both, but irresistible.
In Washington, a newly installed administration is selecting its cabinet members. Dominika hears whispers of a Russian operation to place a mole in a high intelligence position. If the candidate is confirmed, the Kremlin will have access to the identities of CIA assets in Moscow, including Dominika.
Dominika recklessly immerses herself in the palace intrigues of the Kremlin, searching for the mole’s identity and stealing secrets before her time runs out.
With a plot ripped from tomorrow’s headlines, The Kremlin’s Candidate is a riveting read and a thrilling conclusion to the trilogy than began with Red Sparrow and Palace of Treason.
The RED SPARROW trilogy
The Kremlin’s Candidate concludes the fabulous Red Sparrow spy trilogy. I have spent the last week in the company of Nate and Dominika, slowly falling in love with this complex and global tale of espionage. Red Sparrow and Palace of Treason must be read before The Kremlin’s Candidate. They all follow on beautifully from each other and establish a base of characters in the Russian intelligence service and the American CIA.
I must admit that I feel sad to leave Nate and Dominika. I started The Kremlin’s Candidate with a sense of terrible anticipation. If anything, we learning that the spying game has deadly consequences. We know that spies have a limited shelf life. We know that the chances of death in service, as a spy, are high. I had a feeling that our heroic pair would be in for one final emotional and bumpy ride. I was right.
To recap, we first met Dominika back in The Red Sparrow. Dominika is the star of the trilogy. She is the strongest character and a total kick ass woman. She will kill and seduce. She has risen from ballerina to rising star in the Kremlin, with the eyes of President Putin upon her. She was sent to Sparrow School by her uncle, to learn the dark art of seduction. Sparrow School is the key to Dominika’s recruitment as a CIA asset, a double agent. Dominika was sent to seduce a young CIA agent, Nate. This did not go to plan. They fell into bed and in love. Dominika became one of the most important CIA assets, as she was promoted within the SRA. Over the years, Nate and Dominika have shared valuable information and met, on an irregular basis, renewing their love affair.
The story starts with the recruitment of a SRA asset with the involvement of Dominika, as a young sexually alluring Sparrow. This all happened many years ago. The effects are felt in the present day. The CIA head is murdered. Will the Russians get their way and get their mole into a position of great power? Failure will lead to CIA assets, like Dominika, being uncovered and destroyed. At the same time, Dominika is getting closer to Putin and his circle of power. This is dangerous. Putin has seen all of her Sparrow videos and wants to control her sexually. Nate finds himself in the Chinese Hong Kong, recruiting a new asset and trying to stay out of trouble. Events quickly conspire against Nate and Dominika. I really cannot say any more about the story and how it progresses. Be prepared for anything. Trust no one. This is not happily ever after land.
One of the funniest aspects of The Kremlin’s Candidate is the depiction of Putin. Putin feels very real as man desperate to hold onto power. I found it hilarious, when we were given the big Sparrow seduction scene. Shame there was no mention of a tiny penis or performance issues. They were expected. Matthews should send Putin a signed copy of his book. I am sure it would be appreciated.
I loved The Kremlin’s Candidate. It is modern. It is entertaining. It thrills. It raises the heart beat. I wept. I wanted more. Fans of espionage drama, you will not be disappointed.