2020 Reading Challenge

2020 Reading Challenge
Jill Elizabeth has read 6 books toward her goal of 240 books.
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Book Review: The Last Agent by Robert Dugoni

I LOVED IT!! I was a little nervous going into this one… I loved the spy bits of the first book, The Eighth Sister, which comprised about the first half of the book, but the remainder was a bit more courtroom drama than I am normally interested in, so I netted out at three stars. Still, I loved the characters and the Cold War, old-school spy feel of the parts that focused on the mission and escape so much that I knew I’d give the next in the series a chance, and I was not disappointed!

This one is a classic US/Russia spy story from start to finish. And it’s BRILLIANT. Think Nelson DeMille or John Le Carre in their heyday. Seriously. It’s that good. The characters, the pacing, the drama, the settings and details – it’s all spot-on marvelous. Dugoni is a very strong writer – I’ve said that before and I’ll say it again. He crafts complex tales with complex characters, throws them into unbelievable situations, and then forces them to navigate their way out. It should, at least occasionally, mean suspensions of disbelief – after all, some of the things Charles Jenkins pulls off seem near-impossible – but somehow it never does. That I chalk up to his facility with language and ability to pain vivid pictures that suck the reader entirely in. It doesn’t leave any room for disbelief – largely because the action is so non-stop you don’t have time to entertain it. They HAVE to escape, so they do. Cogito, ergo sum.

It makes for an incredible heart-pounding read, all the more emotionally charged because of its references to contemporary geopolitical realities and emotionally charged responses to them. This one also ended with a lot of things left open – which I’m hoping means we’ll get to see more from the marvelous Mr. Jenkins and his improbable team of Russian compatriots. And I say bravo!

Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my obligation-free review copy.

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