A journalist who has reported on the diamond industry offers a fictional take on the darker side of the trade in this debut featuring Alex Turner, a Treasury Department investigator and former C.I.A. agent. When a pink gem turns up on the neck of Honey Li, the wife of surging presidential candidate Harry Nash, Turner has to find out why a mysterious Russian double agent betrayed him.
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.
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.
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.