Well, the characters in Matthew Hart’s new thriller The Russian Pink will lie, cheat, and kill to get their hands on precious gems, proving, as Hart warns, that 'All diamonds are blood diamonds.' ... It’s no surprise that the information about gems that he includes in the story is not only accurate, but fascinating. When Hart delves into governmental black ops maneuvers and under-the-table deals, The Russian Pink reads like a well-written thriller. But it’s when Hart describes diamonds that he is at his best ... There are times when Hart’s descriptions veer into overblown imagery, which slows the action. He is most effective when unspooling his brilliant, conniving, complex cast of characters. If there is to be a sequel, one hopes these characters return and are pushed to the forefront. As much as this novel is about action and adventure, it’s the personalities that keep you reading.
Hart has all the tools for a writer of thrillers: wit, a knack for creating nearly unbearable suspense, and a light, unobtrusive touch in conveying information, in this case on diamonds — on the geological formations in which they are found, the ways they are processed, how they can be altered, and their use in criminal activities as 'a kind of cash, except without serial numbers.' ... If we are lucky, Alex Turner will return, though right now he is in need of a rest.
Matthew Hart’s debut thriller, The Russian Pink, feels especially timely given its subject matter: a fraught presidential election and a Russian conspiracy ... This novel plays out like an action movie, fast-paced and globe-trotting from New York City to Antwerp to South Africa. Hart’s compelling hero isn’t afraid to resort to violence, and we see him engaging in everything from sword fights to falling off the balcony of a skyscraper’s penthouse. There’s also a dash of romance to temper the action scenes. The Russian Pink is a fast read, never once allowing the reader to catch their breath. Perfect for fans of Robert Ludlum and David Baldacci, this thriller will have readers anxiously awaiting Hart’s next novel.
... an adrenaline-fueled attempt to unravel the web of lies and betrayals behind a conspiracy that threatens the survival of the free world ... This book is a rare gem, punning aside. It will enthrall fans of Jack Ryan and Jason Bourne, and leave them hoping for more Alex Turner.
A diamond is no one’s best friend in this fast-paced debut novel filled with greed, violence, and politics ... all the characters are well drawn ... the narrative is chock-full of memorable lines ... The author writes with skill, wit, and evident knowledge about the diamond industry—who knew there were such things as diamond pipes? Top-quality storytelling for thriller fans.
... an intriguing if convoluted spy thriller ... Hart’s view of the diamond trade rings true, but his picture of the inner workings of national-level intelligence and law enforcement lacks the same depth. The plethora of characters slows the action, and he tends to tell rather than show, with many of the major plot beats explained after the fact. The original premise and assured prose suggest he’s capable of doing better next time.