Red to Black

by Alex Dryden | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0755344995 Global Overview for this book
Registered by quinnsmom of Hobe Sound, Florida USA on 7/19/2009
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by quinnsmom from Hobe Sound, Florida USA on Sunday, July 19, 2009
Actually, this wasn't really in my July lineup, but rather an ARC that was sent to me twice. Once, from a really nice man from Ecco Press (who published this book) who felt bad that my request for the galley copy came in too late so he sent me a PDF, and the other from the people at Amazon Vine where I had forgotten I'd actually requested a copy of this book. So my thanks to both for what turned out to be one of the most awesome reads of the summer. If you're on the fence about buying it when it's released, don't be. It's well worth the money you're going to pay for it. I liked it so much I'm buying a hardback copy when it comes out. I don't say that about many ARCs, just the best ones.

Some people have called this a love story with a spy thriller as a base; I don't think that's quite accurate. But if you want to read it as a love story, knock yourself out. But don't miss the core of what the author's saying here. And please, do yourself a favor, and give the subject matter some thought after you've finished it. Having said all of this, here's the review:

In Red to Black, Dryden (a pseudonym for security reasons!) has posited a plot so Machiavellian in scope that reading this book at times sent chills up and down my spine. Without a total rehash of the plot, the book follows a British MI-6 agent (Finn) who receives word from a spy deep within the government of Russian president Putin that there is a plan in the works that will make the Soviet takeover of Eastern Europe look like child's play. Told mainly through the view of Anna (a KGB colonel whose mission is to find out what Finn knows and how he knows, but who falls in love with Finn), the story takes the reader into an exploration of the world of greed, capitalism and power grabbing.

Once I picked this book up, I could not put it down. Others have noted that they almost gave it up -- please don't! You'll miss a story just plausible enough to have you wondering if this could really happen. I thought the writing was good -- sparse enough so you're not bogged down in details but real enough to make it readable -- although I felt it probably could have been a bit shorter and we could have had less of Anna's internal conflicts. Also, the KGB didn't seem very smart at times even though they have networks upon networks of people and agents everywhere. But I think Dryden's got a winner here because a) the subject matter is pertinent to our modern world and b) it's simply a really good story. Recommended for people who enjoy good spy yarns, especially the old Cold War type novels.

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