A few new ARCs this week . . .
Red Sparrow: A Novel by Jason Matthews
In today’s Russia, dominated by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, state intelligence officer Dominika Egorova struggles to survive in the cast-iron bureaucracy of post-Soviet intelligence. Drafted against her will to become a “Sparrow,” a trained seductress in the service, Dominika is assigned to operate against Nathaniel Nash, a first-tour CIA officer who handles the CIA’s most sensitive penetration of Russian intelligence. The two young intelligence officers, trained in their respective spy schools, collide in a charged atmosphere of tradecraft, deception, and inevitably, a forbidden spiral of carnal attraction that threatens their careers and the security of America’s valuable mole in Moscow. Seeking revenge against her soulless masters, Dominika begins a fatal double life, recruited by the CIA to ferret out a high-level traitor in Washington; hunt down a Russian illegal buried deep in the U.S. military and, against all odds, to return to Moscow as the new-generation penetration of Putin’s intelligence service. Dominika and Nathaniel’s impossible love affair and twisted spy game come to a deadly conclusion in the shocking climax of this electrifying, up-to-the minute spy thriller.
Age of Satan: A Novella by James Lovegrove
1968. Guy Lucas, son a murdered British diplomat, is sent to an old-fashioned boarding school, where he is bullied and abused. A fellow student persuades him to perform a black mass and plead with Satan to intervene, with horrific consequences. For the next ten years, the shadow of Satan is cast across his life; he flees, across the sea and into obscurity, but tragedy follows him. Eventually, he must confront the Devil, and learn the truth about himself...
Blood Money by Doug Richardson
The disillusioned Marine’s plan seems simple enough: steal a refrigerated tractor trailer loaded with frozen blood product; drive the pirated cargo from Reno, Nevada to the Port of Long Beach; collect a million dollars. Yet even the most deliberate plans can go sideways. On his campaign south, the Marine’s “inner idiot” takes charge, leaving a smattering of dead bodies in his wake.
In the dark before dawn, a telephone rings. Kern County Sheriff’s detective Lucas “Lucky” Dey, no stranger to being awakened with bad news, answers the call. But this time, the voice on the phone tells Lucky that his ill-fated younger brother has been gunned down on a blackened desolate highway.
As Lucky chases the former Marine and his black semi-rig into the bowels of Los Angeles, he’s thrust into a landscape of competing agendas. Conrad Ellis, the multi-millionaire entertainment mogul, demands justice for the murder of his starlet daughter. Ambitious federal attorney Lilly Zoller is determined to turn any opportunity into her personal spotlight. Rey Palomino, the morally-challenged contractor, colludes with the former Marine hoping to crawl out from under a crushing debt. LAPD detective and dedicated single mom Lydia “Gonzo” Gonzales, reluctantly accepts her assignment to “babysit” the unrestrained Kern County detective hell-bent on avenging his brother’s death at any cost.
A knee-breaking private detective, some unwitting feds, and a coterie of gang-busting L.A. Sheriffs deputies further complicate the scenario and round out the cast of characters in this explosive and unpredictable thrill ride.
As for what I'm reading, I'm juggling a hardcover, a paperback ARC, and my e-reader . . .
What's topping your shelves this week?