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The Russian Endgame by Allan Topol

The Russian Endgame” is the last of a trilogy in the “Craig Page Thriller” series by Topol.  It’s very much in the tradition of Ludlum and Clancy as a nail-biter of a spy thriller.

Topol doesn’t mince words.  His style is direct and description is sparse, but effective in getting across the fact that post-Cold War East-West relations are still pretty frigid.  In this Endgame chapter the EU Director of Counterterrorism Agency, Craig Page, is invited back to the CIA as its director by the new president following the assassination of the previous president.  Page tried unsuccessfully to get his predecessor at the CIA to act on a strong tip that a former Russian KGB agent was headed for the US to undertake some major act of terrorism.  As a result, that spy, Orlov, acting on behalf of both Chinese and Russian presidents, managed to recruit a Pakistani sleeper to carry out an assassination of the US president.  I won’t reveal more of the plot than this, although there are plenty more chilling episodes in the book– more than enough to keep the interest of those who like a good spy thriller.

For the most part the plot seems plausible, and very chilling at that. “The Russian Endgame” makes it very clear that in the amoral world of espionage there is more dis-information generated than truthful accounting of what is going on in foreign affairs today.  The recent revelations of phone taps on the major leaders of the world is no doubt  just the tip of the iceberg.

Spy thriller enthusiasts will have a hard time putting “The Russian Endgame” down.

Reviewed from a supplied copy.

Liz Nichols

 

 

 

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