Monday, April 8, 2019

Books: Robert Dugoni's "The Eighth Sister"

The Eighth Sister
By Robert Dugoni
Thomas & Mercer; 466 pages; hardcover, $24.95; trade paperback, $15.95; Kindle eBook, $4.99; available Tuesday, April 9

Robert Dugoni is one of the most acclaimed crime writers around. His books that have topped the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Amazon bestseller lists, been selected for best books of the year features, and published in more than twenty-five countries in two dozen languages.

Dugoni's latest novel, The Eighth Sister, is a stand-along thriller of espionage, spy games, treachery, and legal battles that spans the globe from Seattle to Russia.

Robert Dugoni.

This book does feature a character familiar to his legions of fans, former CIA officer Charles Jenkins, who was featured in the David Sloane series when the eponymous lawyer called him in for investigative assistance in Wrongful Death.

Jenkins is at a crossroads now, as he is in his early sixties and he is living with his family on remote Camano Island off the coast of Washington. He had a new baby on the way and a security consulting business that's on the brink of bankruptcy.

An unexpected visitor arrives at his house, his former boss from the Agency, and he has a risky proposition. He wants Jenkins to travel undercover to Moscow and locate a Russian agent believed to be killing members of a clandestine United States spy cell known as the seven sisters.

It seems like an assignment too lucrative to turn down, as Jenkins is desperate for money. He agrees to the mission and heads to the Russian capital. When he finds the mastermind agent allegedly behind the assassinations, known as the so-called eighth sister, she turns out not to be who or what he was led to believe.

As he is being pursued by a determined Russian intelligence officer, Jenkins executes a daring escape across the Black Sea, only to return home and discover he has been abandoned by the agency he serves.

Jenkins' family and freedom are now at risk, and he finds himself in a battle he never dreamed of, against his own country. Now, he is calling David Sloane for help.

Dugoni was inspired for Jenkins' backstory after meeting a former CIA operative who had been acquitted of espionage in the 1980s. He was eager to explore the possibilities of a spy thriller set in Russia, and he relied on his own past experiences visiting the complicated and enigmatic country as he wrote this book.

The Eighth Sister is perfect for these times, as we read about Russia stirring things up around the world and turning the heat on the United States as much as back in the Cold War era.

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