The Kremlin's Candidate

The Kremlin's Candidate

In the final, thrilling installment of the Red Sparrow Trilogy, Russian counterintelligence chief Dominika Egorova and her lover, CIA agent Nate Nash, must find a Russian agent about to be appointed to a very high office in the US government.With a plot ripped from tomorrow’s headlines, Jason Matthews’s high-powered, seductive third novel not only continues the dangerous e...

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Title:The Kremlin's Candidate
Author:Jason Matthews
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Edition Language:English

The Kremlin's Candidate Reviews

  • Greville Waterman

    I put this book down with great regret and - without giving away any spoilers - not a few tears as well.

    This is the final part of the great trilogy of novels relating the relationship between Nate (or Neyt), Nash and Colonel Dominika Egorova, the FSB Counter Intelligence chief who has been a CIA asset for many years.

    The author's working knowledge of the espionage game is again apparent and shines through and the book is relentless in its excitement but is also sensitive in the way it portrays hu

    I put this book down with great regret and - without giving away any spoilers - not a few tears as well.

    This is the final part of the great trilogy of novels relating the relationship between Nate (or Neyt), Nash and Colonel Dominika Egorova, the FSB Counter Intelligence chief who has been a CIA asset for many years.

    The author's working knowledge of the espionage game is again apparent and shines through and the book is relentless in its excitement but is also sensitive in the way it portrays human emotions and relationships as well as the in-fighting, jealousies and backbiting within the top echelons of the respective intelligence services.

    As always there is a mole to discover and neutralise before he or she can reveal Domenika's true identity to her colleagues and the denouement is taken to the wire.

    It could work as a standalone read but why deny yourself the pleasure and relentless rollercoaster excitement of the two previous books in the series? Take my advice and start with Red Sparrow first, follow it up with Palace of Treason before tacking The Kremlin's Candidate.

    I am an avid reader of spy thrillers and this is one of the best books in this genre that I have been fortunate enough to read.

  • Christine

    The Kremlin’s Candidate concludes the fabulous Red Sparrow spy trilogy. I have spent the last week in the company of Nate and Dominika, slowly falling in love with this complex and global tale of espionage. Red Sparrow and Palace of Treason must be read before The Kremlin’s Candidate. They all follow on beautifully from each other and establish a base of characters in the Russian intelligence service and the American CIA.

    I must admit that I feel sad to leave Nate and Dominika. I started The Krem

    The Kremlin’s Candidate concludes the fabulous Red Sparrow spy trilogy. I have spent the last week in the company of Nate and Dominika, slowly falling in love with this complex and global tale of espionage. Red Sparrow and Palace of Treason must be read before The Kremlin’s Candidate. They all follow on beautifully from each other and establish a base of characters in the Russian intelligence service and the American CIA.

    I must admit that I feel sad to leave Nate and Dominika. I started The Kremlin’s Candidate with a sense of terrible anticipation. If anything, we learning that the spying game has deadly consequences. We know that spies have a limited shelf life. We know that the chances of death in service, as a spy, are high. I had a feeling that our heroic pair would be in for one final emotional and bumpy ride. I was right.

    To recap, we first met Dominika back in The Red Sparrow. Dominika is the star of the trilogy. She is the strongest character and a total kick ass woman. She will kill and seduce. She has risen from ballerina to rising star in the Kremlin, with the eyes of President Putin upon her. She was sent to Sparrow School by her uncle, to learn the dark art of seduction. Sparrow School is the key to Dominika’s recruitment as a CIA asset, a double agent. Dominika was sent to seduce a young CIA agent, Nate. This did not go to plan. They fell into bed and in love. Dominika became one of the most important CIA assets, as she was promoted within the SRA. Over the years, Nate and Dominika have shared valuable information and met, on an irregular basis, renewing their love affair.

    The story starts with the recruitment of a SRA asset with the involvement of Dominika, as a young sexually alluring Sparrow. This all happened many years ago. The effects are felt in the present day. The CIA head is murdered. Will the Russians get their way and get their mole into a position of great power? Failure will lead to CIA assets, like Dominika, being uncovered and destroyed. At the same time, Dominika is getting closer to Putin and his circle of power. This is dangerous. Putin has seen all of her Sparrow videos and wants to control her sexually. Nate finds himself in the Chinese Hong Kong, recruiting a new asset and trying to stay out of trouble. Events quickly conspire against Nate and Dominika. I really cannot say any more about the story and how it progresses. Be prepared for anything. Trust no one. This is not happily ever after land.

    One of the funniest aspects of The Kremlin’s Candidate is the depiction of Putin. Putin feels very real as man desperate to hold onto power. I found it hilarious, when we were given the big Sparrow seduction scene. Shame there was no mention of a tiny penis or performance issues. They were expected. Matthews should send Putin a signed copy of his book. I am sure it would be appreciated.

    I loved The Kremlin’s Candidate. It is modern. It is entertaining. It thrills. It raises the heart beat. I wept. I wanted more. Fans of espionage drama, you will not be disappointed.

    Highly recommended.

  • kartik narayanan

    Read the review of the Red Sparrow Trilogy at my

    The Kremlin's Candidate is an excellent conclusion to the Red Sparrow Trilogy. It has a great story, intricate plotting and an ending that will stay with you long after the book is over.

    Without getting too much into spoiler territory, let me just that The Kremlin's Candidate is an exploration of the various themes that pertain to Dominika - her upbringing, Sparrow school, her rise in the SVR - from other spy agencies' perspectives. Her charac

    Read the review of the Red Sparrow Trilogy at my

    The Kremlin's Candidate is an excellent conclusion to the Red Sparrow Trilogy. It has a great story, intricate plotting and an ending that will stay with you long after the book is over.

    Without getting too much into spoiler territory, let me just that The Kremlin's Candidate is an exploration of the various themes that pertain to Dominika - her upbringing, Sparrow school, her rise in the SVR - from other spy agencies' perspectives. Her character development is also brilliant.

    The book is good till the final act and the climax catapults it into greatness category. I found the ending to be almost Le Carre-like. It is realistic, brutal and essentially, the world moves on.

  • Meredith

    Numerous individuals are trying to promote Putin’s agenda, while the CIA crew of Forsyth, Benford, and Gable work to take him down. Dominika and Nate fight to be together, but as always there are competing forces in their way. Do they serve their countries or give up everything to be to

    Numerous individuals are trying to promote Putin’s agenda, while the CIA crew of Forsyth, Benford, and Gable work to take him down. Dominika and Nate fight to be together, but as always there are competing forces in their way. Do they serve their countries or give up everything to be together? There’s also a host of new characters, some of whom interfere in Nate and Dominika’s relationship in unexpected ways. So much happens in

    that I am not even going to attempt to recap!

    When I first started reading this installment, I had a moment where I wondered if I was going to get through it. It’s very long and at times the CIA operational jargon went straight over my head. I feel like some parts could have been edited out. However, once I reached the 20% mark, I hit a groove and remembered just how much I enjoyed reading this series!

    I didn’t love the ending, but at the same time I knew it was coming. There are some extremely violent moments and some events are hard to read. I didn’t realize how much I will miss these characters until I finished reading; I had tears in my eyes when I read the last page. I highly recommend this series if you like espionage, romance, intrigue, and current events.

    I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and Scribner in exchange for an honest review.

  • Matt

    In this, the final novel in a high-impact trilogy, Jason Matthews seeks to take the story in a new and interesting direction, while tying up some loose ends and leaving others to dangle without resolution. Dominika Egorova remains a highly-placed mole in the Russian Government, having climbed the ladder within the SVR and rumoured to be the next director. In an early chapter flashback, Dominika remembers using her wiles and other newly honed ‘Sparrow’ assets, and has been able to secure a mid-ra

    In this, the final novel in a high-impact trilogy, Jason Matthews seeks to take the story in a new and interesting direction, while tying up some loose ends and leaving others to dangle without resolution. Dominika Egorova remains a highly-placed mole in the Russian Government, having climbed the ladder within the SVR and rumoured to be the next director. In an early chapter flashback, Dominika remembers using her wiles and other newly honed ‘Sparrow’ assets, and has been able to secure a mid-ranking female US Navy official, which could prove highly useful in the years to come. In the present, Dominika has been able to work with a North Korean nuclear scientist who has admitted that the country is on the verge of creating the necessary weapon to wipe the United States off the map. While conferring with others inside the Russian Intelligence inner circle, as well as President Putin, Dominika learns that her long-ago victim of sexpionage may hold a larger role in the overall Russian plot to bring down their former Cold War enemy, having sold this nuclear technology to the North Koreans. For the time being, it’s all about silently waiting, hoping to learn enough to send along to her CIA handler, Nate Nash in order to prepare for the worst. Dominika agrees to make a covert trip to America, where she can hopefully identify the mole’s Russian handler and allow Nate to extinguish that asset. Worried that Nate might be getting too involved in Dominika’s missions, he is sent to an obsolete American Embassy, only to realize that the Russians are wreaking havoc in an attempt to send a message and locate him through back channels. This serves only to strengthen Nate’s willingness to bring the Russian Intelligence community to the ground, through Dominika’s deception. Having curried enough favour with Putin, Dominika is handed the directorship of the SVR, but cannot shake that someone may be keeping a close eye on her. She is put in a precarious position when approached by a Russian ally, one that could place Nate in the crosshairs of a kill order that cannot be neutralized without compromising her own status. The chase is on to remove the Russian mole, who is positioning herself to be named into the American president’s Cabinet, where there is no end to the secrets she will be able to ship back to Russia, thereby leaving the country open for destruction. Nate has been able to remain one step ahead, but luck is finite and Dominika can only do so much! Another brilliant novel that furthers the complex espionage that Matthews has come to make all his own. A trilogy that impresses many, especially those who love a traditional novel of spy games, with an ending that is second to none. Highly recommended to those with the patience and interest in deep-rooted spy novels, à la John Le Carré!

    I started this trilogy just over a week ago because of all the hype it was getting online. It was a slow start, but I had to remind myself that I am not one who normally reads well-crafted spy novels, which seek to forego the superficial banter and develop over time, enriching the reading experience. This novel offers a thorough review of the information to date and provides the reader with an impactful culmination of all in a high-stakes game of spying and trying to destroy the enemy. Nate Nash and Dominika Egorova may come from different spheres but their dedication cannot be discounted, especially towards the latter chapters of this book. Matthews offers up the most intense and impactful Nash yet, as he tries to get the Russians to come to their knees and lose everything, though that is surely not done in a single act. Matthews adds the complexities of Nash’s inability to treat Dominika simply as a mole and someone who is going to help bring Putin’s tsar-lifestyle to an end. Dominika’s secret synesthesia continues as an integral part of her character and is used throughout the narrative quite effectively, especially to allow the reader to better understand the emotional banter taking place in a realm (espionage) where the players remain neutral. Dominika’s struggle both to stay alive and to resurrect her ‘Sparrow’ persona with Putin creates a worrisome connection that could backfire at any moment. Matthews personalises the story by filling the narrative with his own experiences within the CIA. The reader can feast on a methodical understanding of the world of espionage with results dependent on the risks undertaken. Extensive mention of cultural dishes throughout the piece is complemented by Matthew’s addition of basic recipes embedded at the end of each chapter, which has been a central part of all three novels. Lighter fare in a novel full of dark plot development. I know this was a trilogy and the end has come, but I hope Matthews has more up his sleeve. Trust me, once you read these books, you will as well!

    Kudos, Mr. Matthews, for another stellar novel. This series has won me over and I hope to spread the word to anyone who will listen.

    Love/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at:

    A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge:

  • Paromjit

    Ex-CIA man Jason Matthews brings his considerable experience and expertise to this final part of the Red Sparrow trilogy, lending it an air of real authenticity in its echoes of events in our contemporary world. CIA agent, Nathan and Russian ex-ballerina, Dominika, return for the last time with the lovers facing the gravest of dangers in a setting that moves from one colourful location to another, including Moscow, New York, Sudan, Hong Kong and Turkey. Putin himself plays a critical, at times a

    Ex-CIA man Jason Matthews brings his considerable experience and expertise to this final part of the Red Sparrow trilogy, lending it an air of real authenticity in its echoes of events in our contemporary world. CIA agent, Nathan and Russian ex-ballerina, Dominika, return for the last time with the lovers facing the gravest of dangers in a setting that moves from one colourful location to another, including Moscow, New York, Sudan, Hong Kong and Turkey. Putin himself plays a critical, at times a humorous, starring role in the novel. The Russians have ambitions to replace the murdered head of the CIA with their own carefully cultivated agent, this sparks a desperate investigation to identify who the mole might be. Should the Russians be successful then CIA assets will be exposed, including Dominika, and become targets to be eliminated. This is a intense, suspenseful and thrilling tale of politics, high intrigue, the deadly repercussions of being involved in espionage, romance, cold blooded killers, all leading to a violent and harrowing finale. One of the highlights of this book are the insights it offers into the American and Russian intelligence agencies and how they work. I found this an entertaining and absorbing read although I felt a little disappointed with the ending. Many thanks to Penguin Michael Joseph for an ARC.

  • RoseMary Achey

    There seemed to be a good deal of superfluous material that slowed or bogged down this read. The story had an engaging plot and I enjoyed reading about the internal workings of US and Russian counter intelligence agencies.

  • Patrick

    In my opinion, a five-star series with a one-star conclusion. I absolutely hated the ending - some may love it, some may say it's more realistic as to what really happens in the world of the CIA. That's probably true, but still, I hated the way it ended. The first two books I put up there as among the very best I ever read - but the ending of this book, well, I wish I would've stopped and pretended it didn't happen. I am very curious to see how others liked the ending - and I know I shouldn't le

    In my opinion, a five-star series with a one-star conclusion. I absolutely hated the ending - some may love it, some may say it's more realistic as to what really happens in the world of the CIA. That's probably true, but still, I hated the way it ended. The first two books I put up there as among the very best I ever read - but the ending of this book, well, I wish I would've stopped and pretended it didn't happen. I am very curious to see how others liked the ending - and I know I shouldn't let the ending color my whole perspective of the book. It does have excellent qualities, but for me, it is hard to separate those from the ending pages.

  • ChopinFC

    I guess I've yet to encounter a book/trilogy that profoundly disappointed me as much as this.

    Based on the current 'Hollywood' "Red Sparrow' movie in theaters, the book continues the saga between Dominika a Russian operative and Nate, a CIA operative who fall in love and spend the best part of 3 books reconnecting in high secretive spy missions, etc.

    I swear this last book was the best by far, I was close to giving it a 5 stars...until the author Ma

    I guess I've yet to encounter a book/trilogy that profoundly disappointed me as much as this.

    Based on the current 'Hollywood' "Red Sparrow' movie in theaters, the book continues the saga between Dominika a Russian operative and Nate, a CIA operative who fall in love and spend the best part of 3 books reconnecting in high secretive spy missions, etc.

    I swear this last book was the best by far, I was close to giving it a 5 stars...until the author Matthews fucked it up!!! Bastard. That's all I'm saying without giving any spoilers.

    Maybe I'll switch my opinion in the future. But I feel robbed of investing time and effort on all 3 books to have such a disappointing and mediocre ending.

    1 star

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