RED SPARROW: A Rare Bird Indeed

RED SPARROW by Jason Matthews is the best spy thriller I’ve read in ages.

15803037Matthews spent a career inside the CIA and his knowledge of the insider lore and lingo sets this story apart.  And that, by itself, would make this a  stand-out spy thriller. But Matthews also is a great writer of characters. Each has his or her own distinctive voice. He also can be funny; a gift given to few thriller writers these days.

If I have a caveat — and it’s a minor one — it’s a bit of business that Matthews throws into the end of every chapter. I won’t tell the reader what that schtick is, but I will say that I spent half of the book assuming that these odd little addenda to every chapter would pay off somehow. That they had a purpose (like a cypher that would add to the plot). Nope. It’s just a schtick. And it’s distracting.

But the three elements of a great story are plot, character and setting (and pace as Number 4, I’d argue), and Matthews delivers those in spades.

This one is well-worth reading.

About danahaynes

Dana Haynes is the author of ICE COLD KILL (2013), BREAKING POINT (2011) and CRASHERS (2010) from Minotaur and St. Martin's Press.

Posted on March 4, 2014, in Blog and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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