by Alex Dryden
Review by Steve Sawicki
Harper Mass Market Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9780062086259
Date: 27 December 2011 List Price $9.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
This is the sequel to Dryden's previous book, Red to Black. In Moscow Sting, the story continues with Soviet spy Anna Resnikov, now hiding out after joining British spy Finn, and changing sides.
Anna is hot property and everyone is after her because of what, and who, she knows. The CIA wants her because they hope she will lead them to the deep undercover, double agent, Mikhail. The Russians want her to shut her up permanently. And the British want her in order to exact revenge on those who murdered one of their top, albeit in bad graces at the time, agents. Anna has been able to hide, with her son, for a while, but things are about to get complicated as someone has found her and is selling her whereabouts to the highest bidder.
At the last minute, Anna realizes something is wrong and manages to escape capture herself, but only with the help of an American CIA team. Her son is not so lucky and it is only through the intervention of the CIA that she and he are reunited. As they begin a new chapter in their life, somewhere in the American West, Anna knows that every minute is a test for her and the cost of failure is incredibly high.
This is a fast paced, well written thriller that keeps you guessing much of the time. There are moments where Dryden lets you in on what is going on and moments where he keeps you guessing. This is particularly true with the character of Burt, owner of a private American intelligence company who may be working his own game at the same time he is working the CIA's. It's a box of puzzles all mixed together where you can never be sure anyone is who they say they are or after what they say they want. And the character of Anna needs to be smart enough to not only maneuver between the sharp edges but work her own end game.
I enjoyed this book and I had no difficulty picking up the action even though it was a sequel and I had not read the first in the series. Dryden writes with a clear, crisp style and the feel of the insider in the prose and action. the settings are interesting the characters even more so, and the entirety of the work comes together in a fast paced and interesting tale of intrigue and mystery. Definitely recommended if you like political spy thrillers.