Although the title reads like the caption crawl below a CNN report on Donald Trump and the Russians, the book wisely doesn’t mimic the preposterous plotlines of real life. Instead, it’s a traditional espionage story of dueling moles within U.S. and Russian intelligence … What undergirds Matthews’s sometimes fanciful plot and characters is his attention to detail … Matthews’s most interesting challenge is a character named ‘Vladimir Putin.’ We’ll never know if the description of this “fictitious” Russian president’s lovemaking is accurate, thank goodness. But this is a book that convinces us — with a wink — that it gets such details right.
Matthews holds nothing back. Newcomers to this series should be aware of the sometimes graphic sexual content, as Dominika’s job is, quite literally, to get targets into bed. While there’s less of that in this book than the previous two, the story does open with a pretty descriptive, hard-R sequence that’ll make more than a few readers blush … Chilling, timely, and emotionally-charged from beginning to end, The Kremlin’s Candidate is another masterpiece from Jason Matthews, and a sure bet to leave readers absolutely stunned. . . this trilogy is the new gold standard for espionage thrillers moving forward, and a top contender for best spy book of the year.
Matthews spins a mighty operational web replete with exacting tradecraft and horrific violence. His descriptive precision is breathtaking; the sparring between his vividly realized characters is devilishly clever. With nail-biting suspense, scorching eroticism, dark wit, lashing contempt for politicians dismissive of intelligence work, and fury over Russia’s disinformation campaigns, this is a riveting and knowing dramatization of today’s clandestine geopolitical conflicts.
The novel is rich in spycraft that treats readers like insiders, with witty, memorable dialogue and emotional consequences that go far beyond most books in this genre—and Matthews stuffs his always hungry characters with onions, garlic, and personalities that make the last of this trilogy both satisfying and bittersweet. Readers will finish the book, but their memories of Matthews' brilliant and fearless heroine will linger well past the final page.
The action shifts among such exotic locales as Istanbul, Khartoum, Hong Kong, and Putin’s compound on the Black Sea, where CIA agent Nate Nash goes undercover on a daring mission to prevent Dominika’s exposure … Matthews, a 33-year CIA veteran, provides a chilling portrait of the cold-blooded Putin, while saying almost nothing about the fictional current and previous U.S. presidents, in a suspenseful thriller that races to a heart-pounding and unexpected resolution.