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A Barry Award Finalist for Best Thriller
Britain’s MI5 tolerates Charlie Muffin because he’s their best field agent. What none of his colleagues knows, though, is that he is married to Natalia Fedova, a colonel in the FSB, the Russian intelligence successor to the KGB. It’s a secret that could land her in front of a firing squad, and him in jail for life. Worst of all, their daughter would then end up in a Russian state ...
A Barry Award Finalist for Best Thriller
Britain’s MI5 tolerates Charlie Muffin because he’s their best field agent. What none of his colleagues knows, though, is that he is married to Natalia Fedova, a colonel in the FSB, the Russian intelligence successor to the KGB. It’s a secret that could land her in front of a firing squad, and him in jail for life. Worst of all, their daughter would then end up in a Russian state orphanage.
But a frantic call from Natalia has brought their secret out, and Charlie must lead a combined MI5/MI6 mission to rescue her. He soon realizes that his higher-ups have other priorities than his family’s safety. Charlie will have to outwit not just the Russians but his own government as well to protect the lives of his wife and child.
Clever, unpredictable, and exciting, Red Star Burning shows why Brian Freemantle has been widely praised as one of the greatest living espionage novelists.
“This is le Carré territory, to be sure—think The Russia House (1989)—and Freemantle hits every note perfectly in dramatizing the fundamental conflict between individual values and institutional machinations. On top of that, he constructs an airtight plot, full of backpedaling twists, that leads to a stunning cliffhanger of a finale.” —Booklist (starred review)
“A terrific story. … At least a double cross is on, if not a triple, and there’s genuine suspense in the unfolding origami.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Freemantle has written a tense and entertaining scramble.” —Library Journal
“Red Star Burning is an excellent book on several levels. Freemantle does a great job of developing the espionage plot, and it's fascinating to see the conflicts not only between the UK and Russia but the political maneuvering between MI5 and MI6. … Freemantle does a wonderful job of blending the interesting world of spy tradecraft with matters of the heart.”—Reviewing the Evidence
Praise for Brian Freemantle:
“Freemantle, certainly one of the top espionage writers today, may very well be one of the best of all time.” —-Booklist
“Praised as more than a match for John le Carré, Freemantle will not disappoint readers.” —-Library Journal
“If Brian Freemantle isn’t the best writer of spy novels around, he’s certainly, along with John le Carré, in the top two. . . . It doesn’t get much better than this.” —-The Philadelphia Inquirer
“His thrillers . . . are both sleek and tough, filled with gritty characters and superb plotting.” —-Chicago Tribune
“Impossible to put down . . . marvelous . . . real genius.” —-The Washington Post
“Wonderful . . . Freemantle holds the reader in his thrall with masterful, insightful writing.” —-Orlando Sentinel
“If you like to read about a protagonist who, like a master chess player, seems to be think three or four moves ahead of everyone, then the Charlie M series is for you. It is deliciously complex.” —-Deadly Pleasures
Excerpted from Red Star Burning by Brian Freemantle Copyright © 2012 by Brian Freemantle. Excerpted by permission.
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Posted August 2, 2014
Posted August 8, 2012
There is a plot overview above, so I limit my review to my thoughts on the novel. Red Star Rising received a rave review from me, but Red Star Burning will have to settle for a very good rating, but no rave. I found the plot a bit hard to follow as I don't think the author gave us very clear information. (The book itself, with its smaller pages and tiny print didn't help.) Nonetheless, he creates such a real picture of the bureaucracy in London as stumbling over itself while everyone covers their backs and tries to stab the others. We really do care about Charlie Muffin and admire his adeptness at getting himself out of jams. How he can do so with one London branch out to kill him and the other wavering in its support is hard enough, but he also has the Russians on his heels. A couple of the plot twists are hard to swallow- the Straughan twist, the Jane Amberson/Barry Ellis distraction. There is plenty of tension throughout the story, enough to keep you reading. I like the way the author wound up both extractions, and yes, that creates the ground for a sequel, which I will look forward to.