by Jason Matthews
A well-told simplistic narrative of sadism and revenge. Jason Matthews spins the second tale in the Red Sparrow Trilogy. Well-crafted characters, strong dialogue, suspense, intrigue, the cunning of Russian spy Dominika Egorova and the tempered brash of CIA agent Nate Nash -- I'm not sure it is "just what we would expect" from CIA insider Jason Matthews, but Matthews delivers -- again!
No matter what you think of Matthew's work, his ability to highlight the fallen condition is superb as in this scene when Egorova captures the physicist Jamshidi in a honey trap:
Her Jamshidi approach up to this point has been a precise operation, and she had managed it with relentless thoroughness in a short time . . . . Egorova had researched the target, conducted surveillance in Austria and France to determine his patterns, and then meticulously concocted a classic honey trap, using a primal, leggy Slav as a nectar bride to lure the goateed physicist into the snap trap of a chintz-upholstered Viennese love nest that kept his khuy in a perpetual state of leaky anticipation. Invaginirovatsya.Jamshidi had been turned inside out.
Matthews gives us the 21st century version of Solomon's words: "All at once he follows her, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a stag is caught fast." Proverbs 7:22 ESV
Good novels show the best and worst of the human condition.