Recorded Books is pleased to announce the start of ‘Discovery Monday’! Each Monday you can look forward to posts introducing debut novels from talented new authors. We use recommendations from established editors and review advance reader’s copies seeking to identify the best new voices. This week’s Discovery Monday brings you Jason Matthews’ debut novel Red Sparrow!
Red Sparrow is the shocking debut thriller written by former CIA agent Jason Matthews. This tale of espionage explores the icy relationship between the U.S. and Russia with insider detail known only to a veteran CIA agent.
In present-day Russia, ruled by blue-eyed, unblinking President Vladimir Putin, Russian intelligence officer Dominika Egorova struggles to survive in the post-Soviet intelligence jungle. Ordered against her will to become a “Sparrow,” a trained seductress, Dominika is assigned to operate against Nathaniel Nash, a young CIA officer who handles the Agency’s most important Russian mole.
Spies have long relied on the “honey trap,” whereby vulnerable men and women are intimately compromised. Dominika learns these techniques of “sexpionage” in Russia’s secret “Sparrow School,” hidden outside of Moscow. As the action careens between Russia, Finland, Greece, Italy, and the United States, Dominika and Nate soon collide in a duel of wills, tradecraft, and—inevitably—forbidden passion that threatens not just their lives but those of others as well. As secret allegiances are made and broken, Dominika and Nate’s game reaches a deadly crossroads. Soon one of them begins a dangerous double existence in a life-and-death operation that consumes intelligence agencies from Moscow to Washington, DC.
Page by page, veteran CIA officer Jason Matthews’s Red Sparrow delights and terrifies and fascinates, all while delivering an unforgettable cast, from a sadistic Spetsnaz “mechanic” who carries out Putin’s murderous schemes to the weary CIA Station Chief who resists Washington “cake-eaters” to MARBLE, the priceless Russian mole. Packed with insider detail and written with brio, this tour-de-force novel brims with Matthews’s life experience, including his knowledge of espionage, counterintelligence, surveillance tradecraft, spy recruitment, cyber-warfare, the Russian use of “spy dust,” and covert communications. Brilliantly composed and elegantly constructed, Red Sparrow is a masterful spy tale lifted from the dossiers of intelligence agencies on both sides of the Atlantic. Authentic, tense, and entertaining, this novel introduces Jason Matthews as a major new American talent.
Praise for Red Sparrow
Q & A with Jason Matthews
Former CIA agents, Red Sparrow author Jason Matthews and his wife Suzanne, talk about their life as spies, their family and his first book in this CBS video interview.
Watch these video interviews of Red Sparrow author Jason Matthews talk about the life of espionage:
The Art of Elicitation
Red Sparrow fans will be thrilled to know that this debut novel has been optioned for a movie!