Conspiracy in Kiev (Russian Trilogy Series #1)

( 39 )

Overview

A shrewd investigator and an expert marksman, Special Agent Alexandra LaDuca can handle any case the FBI gives her. Or can she?

While on loan from the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Alex is tapped to accompany a Secret Service team during an American Presidential visit to Ukraine. Her assignment: to keep personal watch over Yuri Federov, the most charming and most notorious gangster in the region.

Against her better judgment---and fighting a ...

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Conspiracy in Kiev

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Overview

A shrewd investigator and an expert marksman, Special Agent Alexandra LaDuca can handle any case the FBI gives her. Or can she?

While on loan from the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Alex is tapped to accompany a Secret Service team during an American Presidential visit to Ukraine. Her assignment: to keep personal watch over Yuri Federov, the most charming and most notorious gangster in the region.

Against her better judgment---and fighting a feeling that she’s being manipulated---she leaves for Ukraine. But there are more parts to this dangerous mission than anyone suspects, and connecting the dots takes Alex across three continents and through some life-altering discoveries about herself, her work, her faith, and her future.

Conspiracy in Kiev---from the first double-cross to the stunning final pages---is the kind of solid, fast-paced espionage thriller only Noel Hynd can write. For those who have never read Noel Hynd, this first book in The Russian Trilogy is the perfect place to start.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780310278719
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication date: 10/1/2008
  • Series: The Russian TrilogySeries Series
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 1,426,016
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Noel Hynd has sold more than four million copies of his books throughout the world, including The Enemy Within and Flowers From Berlin. His most recent novel, Hostage in Havana, is the first book in the Cuban Trilogy starring Alexandria LaDuca. Hynd lives in Culver City, California.
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Read an Excerpt

Conspiracy in Kiev

By Noel Hynd
Zondervan
Copyright © 2008

Noel Hynd
All right reserved.


ISBN: 978-0-310-27871-9



Chapter One The late-evening cognac and cigar were indulgences that Daniel had come to enjoy. So each evening at ten, on fiendishly cold nights like this one, he would set out on foot to the lively restaurant at the corner. It was Friday, January 2, two days into the New Year. He wouldn't be in Paris for much longer, so he might as well enjoy each evening. Even he didn't know which evening would be his last.

His small apartment was on the rue du Bourg Tibourg in the Marais district, not far from the Hôtel de Ville, which was no hotel, but Paris's majestic city hall. The neighborhood, which stretched across the third and fourth arrondissements on Paris's Right Bank, had been the city's most exclusive neighborhood in the seventeenth century. It had deteriorated into a sordid slum two generations ago, one of the tougher sections of the city for the Parisian police when they bothered to go into it.

Now all that had again changed. The Marais had been gentrified and rebuilt during the reign of President François Mitterrand - a regal Socialist, said by critics to be "the last French king" - in the 1970s. It was now a lively place in the first decade of the twenty-first century, a favorite of tourists, busy during the day with art galleries, museums, quirky shops, and restaurants. And it still had its distinctive flavor; several small shops and stores that catered to the older Jewish residents of the area, Holocaust survivors, and their descendants.

His favorite café, L'étincelle - "the spark" in French - anchored the square that connected the rue du Bourg Tibourg with the rue de Rivoli. This was not the tourist rue de Rivoli with the arcades that ran on one side of the Tuileries and along the Louvre, but its extension that ultimately turned into the rue Saint-Antoine and wound up in the place de la Bastille. There were few tourists here.

Daniel trudged past the South American café on the near corner, affecting the awkward hesitant gait of an old man. The night was frigid, unusual even for Paris in January. He pulled his overcoat tight. He stepped past some remaining patches of ice. His breath was a small cloud in front of him. Twenty degrees Fahrenheit. It felt colder.

His gray whiskers, a two-week growth of beard, shielded his face. He looked like an old rabbi, which was ironic, but not exactly an accident. Below the beard, he wore the white clerical collar of a priest. Under the bulky coat rested a silver cross with the body of Christ, the unmistakable sign of a Roman Catholic.

Just a few more steps and Daniel was in the restaurant.

The Spark was appropriately named. It was a bright place with a pleasant staff. One of the waitresses spotted him as he entered. Irène. She was a trim girl in her early twenties, articulate, pretty, and friendly. Like the rest of the staff she zipped around in a brown T-shirt bearing the restaurant's logo and a snug pair of jeans.

Why, if he were a younger man, he mused, watching her ... and if he weren't a priest ...

Not a priest. The thought amused him.

She had an interesting exotic face. Daniel was a student of faces. He pegged her as half French, half Algerian. Irène reminded him of this French-Algerian singer he liked named Nadiya or the American singer Norah Jones.

"Bon soir, mon Père," she said. "Hello, Father."

"Bon soir, Irène," he answered.

He had been here often enough to know the staff and their names. He pulled off his wool coat, gloves, and scarf. The restaurant smelled good. It was a good life he was living these weeks in Paris. He liked this part of the day where he could sit in a bustling place, pick up on the energy of the young people around him, and be alone with his thoughts.

"Sit anywhere you like," she said.

He nodded. He scanned. He spotted the American woman at a table by herself. Well, fortune was smiling on him. He would not be alone this evening. Rosa, as she had introduced herself on a prior evening. She was a professor of some sort, or so she said. Single, she had said, and appreciative of some unthreatening companionship as the day ended. She had never given her last name and he had never asked it.

She had held him in conversations about philosophy and theology for the last two evenings and didn't seem to have any ulterior motives, something against which Daniel was always watchful. Surely she wouldn't mind having company again. He knew he wouldn't. It was tough these days to even find a woman who could tolerate a cigar, much less a cigar smoked by a priest.

She was seated near the door. She smiled when she saw him.

He approached her table. "Mind if I join you?" he asked.

They spoke English, his with a trace of an accent that suggested eastern or south central Europe. Hers was American, flat as corn country. When she had asked about his accent, he had explained that his roots were in Hungary.

"I was a boy in Budapest," he had recounted. "That's where my parents had lived until 1956. When the Russian tanks rolled in, they fled to England and then Canada."

"Where did you go to seminary?" she had asked.

"Montréal. That's how I speak French."

She, in turn, explained that she had grown up in Kansas but now lived in New York City. He knew all about New York, it turned out. He entertained her with stories. She did likewise.

This evening, as always, Daniel folded his overcoat and placed it neatly on an extra chair at their table. He sat down. Irène brought him a cognac, gave him a cute smile, and quickly left to attend other tables.

"You're sure my cigar doesn't bother you?" Daniel asked his table companion.

"Not at all."

They fell into a conversation easily. He noticed that she was watching his hands.

She was drinking a Coca-Cola with a twist of lemon. There was music playing again tonight, so loud that one had to raise one's voice just to be heard. A friendly din. Lots of conversation in several languages, lots of glasses clinking and plates clattering. L'étincelle was a cheerful upbeat joint.

A few minutes into their conversation, she raised a hand and waved to a man who came in the door and surveyed the place.

"Oh! There's a friend of mine!" she said. "He's going to join us."

Daniel didn't like that. For no reason, or for every reason, he didn't like it at all. He had an acute antenna, and he sensed something was wrong. He looked at the stranger with a stare that could bore a hole in a cinderblock wall.

But before Daniel could object, the newcomer slid into the extra chair, the one closest to the door. Daniel took him to be American before he even opened his mouth. He looked like a businessman of some sort. Another sign of trouble.

There was an awkward moment. The man looked at Daniel with intent dark eyes. Rosa offered no introduction. That in and of itself was enough of a further clue.

Three strikes and -

"What?" Daniel asked, looking back and forth, hoping he might be wrong.

"You're not an old man, Father Daniel," she said.

"You're not my friends," he answered.

"And you're not a priest," the man said. "You're not even Catholic."

Daniel moved his hand quickly under his jacket, reaching for the gun that he carried for just such moments. But Rosa thrust her hand roughly after his, momentarily deflecting his grasp and minimizing any possibility that he might defend himself.

At the same time, the newcomer, quickly and professionally, reached across the table with a small snub-nosed handgun. He pressed it right to Daniel's chest and he pulled the trigger.

The gun erupted with an ear-splitting bang. It was barely audible above the noise of the restaurant, though diners at some tables started to look around.

Daniel's face showed shock, then outrage. Then all that dissolved with accelerating pain. The bullet had smashed the sternum at the midpoint of his chest. The gunman followed his advantage with a second shot. Another powerful bang. He squeezed that one off so quickly and accurately that it passed directly through Daniel's heart.

The woman braced his body and steadied it so that Daniel didn't tumble. Instead, with a helpful little push, Daniel slid forward, his body slumping onto the table as if he were drunk.

The gunman pocketed his weapon and rose to his feet. Rosa did the same. They used their hands to shield their faces and moved quickly to the door. Only as they were going through it did they start to hear a commotion behind them. Loud agitated conversation built into shouting.

Several seconds later young Irène came to the table to see what was wrong.

She saw the shattered brandy glass under Daniel's lifeless head. She saw his unfocused eyes and his blood mixing with the cognac on the table.

Her hands flew to her face and she started to scream. The evening manager, a fit young man named Gerard, rushed over. But by this time, Daniel's two acquaintances had disappeared into the dark side streets and alleys.

They were gone into the icy night, leaving their victim behind.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from Conspiracy in Kiev by Noel Hynd
Copyright © 2008 by Noel Hynd. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 39 )
Rating Distribution

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(19)

4 Star

(9)

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(5)

2 Star

(3)

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(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 39 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 21, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Surprising Best Read of the Year

    This is probably one of my surprising reads of the year. I had been a bit wary of this book because it was an unfamiliar author and I'm usually not a big fan of books that take place in Eastern European countries. However as soon as I started reading the book, I was hooked in completely. Alex is a character that I absolutely adored from the beginning. She's the type of heroine that you want to be, and that you like very much. She's strong, yet you can see her weaknesses. I really enjoyed all the historical facts that were presented in this book. As a historian, I appreciated how the author used real history and didn't create events to make the story better. It's interesting how real life events can be just as interesting (or even better) in comparison to fictional tales. Some readers might find these bits boring, as the history of Ukraine and the former Soviet Union are told in details but they are relevant to the plot of the story and shouldn't really be skimmed over. The story is extremely well researched and I actually felt like I had traveled to Europe along with Alex. With so much going on in the book, one would think the storyline would be hard to follow. However it's not and it makes for a very fast paced read. One other thing I really liked is that even though the author is male and writes as a first person female, Alex acts like a rational woman and does not fall into cliched stereotypes. I personally enjoyed the downplay of romance in this book.

    There is quite a bit of violence in this book. The story is very action packed and many characters do die. In fact, it seemed that there was someone that died in almost every chapter. Characters also do drink socially throughout the story. This book felt very realistic in the way situations were handled. Events that take place in this book could pretty much be ripped from headline news. To be honest, I don't consider this book Christian fiction at all. It may be by published by a Christian publisher, but the story doesn't really project anything preachy. Alex does grow stronger in her faith but it is not a main focus point. In fact I would just consider this book to be a good international suspense thriller. By far and away this was one of the best suspense books I've read all year. Tight storyline, thrilling action sequences, an engaging heroine and a page turning read make this one of my favorite reads of the year. VERY HIGHLY recommended.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 16, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Loved it!

    This is the first Noel Hynd book that I have read and I am ready for more! I was intrigued and I found it thrilling! Having a strong female character was great and perfect for the book, only a female could have gotten away with what she did. This is the first book of a trilogy and I am excited about the next one to come out! Great read if you are in the mood for a fast exciting book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 24, 2013

    Very good read.  I bought it on a whim.  I like to read mystery

    Very good read.  I bought it on a whim.  I like to read mystery books, and this one was online with James Patterson books.  Nice short chapters.  Makes you feel smart when flying through them.  Give it a try,

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  • Posted August 4, 2012

    My wife bought this book so I had it tagged as chick lit and avo

    My wife bought this book so I had it tagged as chick lit and avoided it for some time. Finally picked it up and then I was hooked. Had to buy the next two books in the trilogy. I'll not get into the story as that's covered more than adequately elsewhere. Had a good mix of characters, some of which you like, some of which you don't like and some you're not sure of. I liked the mini history/geography/travel diversions. It gives you a better feel for the story than just saying it happened in Kiev. And it helped to keep my laptop and atlas handy to check out things I had further interest in. I was a bit amused that it has been criticized it for its references to Christianity. It made them seemed threatened somehow. I also appreciated the absence of steamy sex and gutter language. Most current authors seem to feel this is necessary to make their stories more "authentic" and also to boost sales. And I suppose it does boost sales somewhat. But a story can be authentic without these crutches.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2012

    Keith

    * nods and opens ur door and leads u inside to the bedroom*

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2012

    Steph

    Mommy?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2012

    Kiev

    Herre

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  • Posted September 12, 2011

    Great book!

    I am quickly becoming an Alex La Duca fan. Read in a few days, could not put it down. Can't wait to read "Midnight in Madrid", the next in this trilogy by Noel Hynd.

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  • Posted May 17, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Must read!

    A page turner indeed!

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  • Posted December 18, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    You'll be hooked from page 1-- contains spoilers.

    From the openning scene with Daniel until the surprise ending is revealed, Conspiracy in Kiev manages to envelope and maintain the readers attention completely for the most part. The scenes are filled with excellent descriptors and the reader has no problems visualizing them. For instance, the reader could see the rattler coiling around Alex's leg slowly raising his head to strike. Then after Alex finally pulls the trigger, the reader finds himself exhaling with relief to find the danger has passed.
    The one time your attention may waiver is when Alex has returned home after Robert has been killed. She becomes depressed to the point of having suicidal ideations and although realistic, I felt Nydel could have gotten his point across in half the words and used the extra words to further describe Rizzo's own investigation further.
    As with most Zondervan books, the lead character is Christian but not so much that the book is overwhelmed by it. Alex's faith is a main part of who she is and unlike most books these days, her beliefs, questions and doubts, as well as actions such as touching her cross are realistic and believable.

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  • Posted December 17, 2010

    good story

    the story was well done, but the feligious aspect seemed forced in places

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  • Posted February 27, 2010

    The First of the Trilogy

    During the preparation for a United States presidential trip to Ukraine, Department of Treasury Special Agent Alexandra LaDuca was approached by the Secret Service for a special assignment. Her assignment was to keep an eye on organized crime leader Yuri Federov. Although conflicted, she accepted the job that would be a challenge to her both professionally and personally. Before the action ends, Part Two of the book changes the location and Alex finds and uneasy alliance.

    Conspiracy in Kiev is the first in this trilogy of international intrigue. I read these out of order, and although each of them was perfect as a standalone book, the three of them together are captivating.

    Alex is a smart woman of faith who can handle herself well in tough situations. The locations in the book are well described, so I had a sense of being there with the action. The characters are interesting and there is ample information to get to know and understand them. There is a perfect blend of narration and conversation without either being overdone. Plenty of action and adventure held my interest until the end.

    Although Alex is a person of faith, this is not a religious or preachy book. Her feelings of conflict in her faith and moral dilemmas are worked out in the book, but she is far from a perfect person. I highly recommend this book for anyone who enjoys a good thriller, adventure, and story of international intrigue.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 20, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 11, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 19, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 4, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2011

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