Saturday, 4 June 2011

Book Review: Red to Black by Alex Dryden

If you like your spy stories a la James Bond, with lots of martinis, gizmos and explosions from the off then you will have to be patient with Red to Black, it's much more le Carre than Fleming. It is a slow build up but all the better for it, this is a real must read.

The Soviet Union is gone, Putin is in power and Russian oligarchs are seemingly buying up the world in a capitalist orgy of conspicuous consumption. But is all as it seems? Has Russia embraced the freedom and democracy that people fought to replace the totalitarian terror of the USSR with?

The book is set today with Europe obsessing about itself as it slowly stews within the incompetenc and complacency of the European Union. But Europe can't see what is so plain to the rest of the of the world, it is blinded to reality by its self-obsession. Is the Cold War really over, or is it just by-passing Europe now?

Anna and Finn are spies from opposite sides who come together in a thoroughly realistic and credible working and personal relationship around which the terrifying tale unfolds. Throughout the 501 pages Alex Dryden entertains, teases and at times terrifies with a style that sometimes resembles a historical account of the Putin years. Many times I had to remind myself that the book is a powerful tale of fiction and not a warning. Or is it?

No comments:

Post a Comment