Charles Jenkins #1 by Robert Dugoni
Published on: April 9, 2019
Wow. This spy/espionage thriller seriously kept my attention through-out the entire story. The build-up to the end was terrific and some of the ending scenes were so good that I grew frustrated every time I had to stop my audio book at certain crucial moments.
A pulse-pounding thriller of espionage, spy games, and treachery by the New York Times bestselling author of the Tracy Crosswhite Series
Former CIA case officer Charles Jenkins is a man at a crossroads: in his early sixties, he has a family, a new baby on the way, and a security consulting business on the brink of bankruptcy. Then his former bureau chief shows up at his house with a risky new assignment: travel undercover to Moscow and locate a Russian agent believed to be killing members of a clandestine US spy cell known as the seven sisters.
Desperate for money, Jenkins agrees to the mission and heads to the Russian capital. But when he finds the mastermind agent behind the assassinations—the so-called eighth sister—she is not who or what he was led to believe. Then again, neither is anyone else in this deadly game of cat and mouse.
Pursued by a dogged Russian intelligence officer, Jenkins executes a daring escape across the Black Sea, only to find himself abandoned by the agency he serves. With his family and freedom at risk, Jenkins is in the fight of his life—against his own country.
I loved the direction this spy thriller took. Broken up into 2 parts that were distinctly different and yet somehow cohesive. Part 1 is where the cat-and-mouse game between Charles Jenkins and the Russian intelligence officer occurs. Charles is an ex CIA-officer in his 60s with a baby on the way and his company in financial trouble when he is approached by his old station chief. They need someone with a built in cover story who has the potential to pull off being a disgruntled ex-CIA operative willing to sell American secrets – all to help identify someone who is hunting down CIA resources and killing them.
In Part 1, I loved the game Charles and the Russian intelligence office played. All the “Say this, but don’t look too eager” or “Watch your back, but don’t make it look like you’re trying to watch it” provided a lot of tense moments that draws you in. Followed by the moment when Charles realizes he needs to leave – immediately. Then the escape out of Russia toward the Black Sea keeps you on the edge of your seat.
Part II is uniquely different in that it becomes a legal thriller. At first, I was a bit concerned since it was such a different direction than the previous section. However, I shouldn’t have been – the legal drama became just as thrilling as the spy cat-and-mouse game was in Part 1.
Audio Book Review:
As I listened to the audio book, I wondered more than once what the voice actor selection process was like. Not only did they need to find an engaging voice, but they also needed to find someone who could perform different accents and speak decently enough in multiple languages to sound fluent since Part 1 included conversations in Russian and Turkish.
All in all this is a terrific book and I highly recommend it for those needing a good old fashioned spy thriller or legal drama to read.
Rating: 5 stars