Kings of Many Castles: A Charlie Muffin Thriller [NOOK Book]


Television audiences around the world witness in horror the Moscow assassination attempt upon the American and Russian presidents. The captured gunman is revealed to be the son of one of Britain's most infamous nuclear defectors, which brings the shuffling, believe-nothing Charlie Muffin into the investigation.

Within hours, the death of the Russian leader and the diagnosis that the American's president's wife will be maimed brings the ...
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Kings of Many Castles: A Charlie Muffin Thriller

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Television audiences around the world witness in horror the Moscow assassination attempt upon the American and Russian presidents. The captured gunman is revealed to be the son of one of Britain's most infamous nuclear defectors, which brings the shuffling, believe-nothing Charlie Muffin into the investigation.

Within hours, the death of the Russian leader and the diagnosis that the American's president's wife will be maimed brings the pressure on the combined American, Russian and British investigators to a melting point. Only Charlie Muffin refuses to accept the defector's son was the sole shooter and he doesn't endear himself to anyone--including ex-KGB debriefer Natalia Fedova and mother of Muffin's daughter-and must risk his life and his love to prove his case.

From the corridors of power in Russia to the offices of MI5, Charlie must once again challenge higher authorities to bring justice to all. In perhaps his most intense thriller to date, Brian Freemantle once again uses his unique understanding of international espionage and intrigue to remarkable results.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Often compared with John le Carre, espionage veteran Freemantle brings back colorful MI6 operative Charles Muffin, the urbane, cerebral spy last spotted in Dead Men Living. Charlie is assigned to the British embassy in Moscow and secretly reunited with his on-again, off-again lover, Natalia Fedova-a former KGB agent, now with the Interior Ministry-and their five-year-old daughter, Sasha. Not long after, the entire civilized world witnesses, on live satellite TV, a botched assassination attempt on both the Russian and American presidents in Moscow. The sniper mortally wounds the Russian leader, but the First Lady takes a bullet for the leader of the free world. Charlie, much to his chagrin, is called in to investigate when the gunman turns out to be the son of a British atomic physicist who defected to Russia nearly 30 years before. As he plumbs the murky secret files of the KGB, he's plagued by the bureaucratic ineptitude of the Americans and by veiled resistance from the Russians. Natalia tries to help, but Charlie can't quite bring himself to trust her. A power struggle in the Russian hierarchy and shady American campaign finances become the focus of the thin, unconvincing plot, which introduces too many colorless characters with forgettable names on both sides. Freemantle's witty, clipped style is a pleasure as always, and the scenes dealing with the assassination attempt are suspenseful, but those who stay the course will wonder if it was worth making the effort. (Dec.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
First introduced in 1977, Charlie Muffin is a British espionage agent who has regularly surfaced in well-received thrillers. Now readers can enjoy his 25th anniversary in this assassination tale reminiscent of the Oswald-Ruby-Kennedy tragedy. Charlie and his secret lover, Natalia, are on opposite sides again as they investigate a botched attempt to kill the U.S. and Russian presidents. All hell breaks loose when the bullets found in the victims are inconsistent with what the TV cameras recorded. An even messier drama arises from the competing intelligence organizations and most of all from the vicious insider scheming of the KGB's remnants. Praised as more than a match for John le Carr , Freemantle will not disappoint readers, except perhaps those who hope Charlie and Natalia can make a go of it. For all libraries where espionage is popular. Barbara Conaty, Library of Congress Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Despite a two-novel rest, MI5's Charlie Muffin returns to the fray a bit frayed at the edges. He's a little grayer, plumper, slower on the uptake, and maybe in need of still more vacation. Even so, Charlie makes the scene with enough residual style to assure a performance classier than what you get from the bulk of the genre's spying fraternity. This time out, Charlie's been posted to Moscow, where we find him living secretly with Natalia Fedova, his long-time girlfriend-and mother of his child-who's now a very senior official in Russian intelligence. Charlie's relationship with Natalia is frayed at the edges, too, the strains and stresses of inimical jobs having begun to wear down sensibilities. Shove all that to the back, however, when shots are suddenly fired and complications ensue on a variety of diplomatic fronts. The Russian president is gunned down, as is the wife of the visiting American president, both severely wounded, neither certain to survive. Arrested and charged with the crime is George Bendall, son of the infamous British turncoat who defected some 30 years earlier. At first-what with a battery of TV news cameras bearing full witness-agreement is general that the case against Bendall is rock-solid, but Charlie has seldom been swayed by conventional wisdom. He picks up on a familiar scent, the one given off by sweaty conspirators manipulating events on behalf of iniquitous agendas. In fact, what Charlie smells is the KGB-never mind that it no longer exists. Old spooks never dematerialize, he knows. They simply change their acronyms. Charlie's battles in the bureaucratic killing fields are usually worth the price (Dead Men Living, 2000, etc.), but here we get themunstintingly. It turns out to be too much of a good thing.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429974080
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 12/12/2002
  • Series: Charlie Muffin Thrillers , #13
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 644,175
  • File size: 400 KB

Meet the Author

Brian Freemantle is the author of over 30 books, which have sold more than ten million copies worldwide. He lives in England.

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