Publishers Weekly - Publisher's WeeklyIn a very readable thriller, his first novel after several nonfiction books, Reiss ( The Road to Extrema ) asks an intriguing question: What happens to a nest of Soviet spies, in deep cover in the U.S. for almost two decades, when the government they serve begins to break down? Washington Post reporter Jimmy Ash and his cell leader, former Undersecretary of State and current lobbyist David Kislak, have been rivals since their boyhood days as trainees in a Russian mock-up of the very American town of Smith Falls, Mass. Their beautiful classmate Corinna Leonard, once married to Ash at the behest of their Communist masters, is now a Justice Department lawyer and David's lover, but she still has a strong hold on her ex-husband's heart. Turmoil inside the Soviet Union and Ash's questioning of David's leadership in the U.S. finally lead to a bloody finale in the real Smith Falls. This well-wrought tale perfectly captures the undercover agent's sense of paranoia, the inability to trust anyone or anything and the consequences of that terrible loneliness. (Jan.)
Library JournalWith the Soviet Union breaking up, what's a KGB spy in the United States to do? Ash, a special spy raised with several others as an American, is planted as a reporter for the Washington Post. Others of his group are in U.S. government, universities, and so on. Now Ash suspects that David, his American contact and leader, may have drifted from Moscow to work for other governments. After an attempt is made on his life, Ash seeks out members of the group to find out what's going on and what should be done. Along the way he meets a sexy talk-show hostess who is drawn into the chase and his heart. Lots of melodrama, excitement, a touch of sex, and some philosophizing about loyalties add up to a very readable thriller that will appeal to most readers.-- Robert H. Donahugh, formerly with Youngstown & Mahoning Cty. P.L., Ohio
Emily MeltonAsh, David, and Corinna were part of a group of Soviet children trained to live, eat, speak, and view the world as Americans. The object: to smuggle the children into America so they could grow up to become trusted leaders in influential positions and then use their knowledge and power as spies for the USSR. David's always been the leader who's given orders to the others, but now that the Soviet Union's breaking up, David has begun acting strangely. Ash tries to discover what's wrong and finds himself the target of violent assassins. Now more than ever he doesn't know whom to trust or even how long he'll be alive. In his race to find the truth before the unknown enemy can find "him", Ash uncovers a frightening secret. This is an action-packed, suspense-filled, edge-of-your-seat tale with plenty of surprising plot twists and just the right amount of romance. A good read that will probably be quite popular among fans of the genre.
Kirkus ReviewsCrackerjack spy yarn about an ultra-deep Soviet agent trying to come in from the coldand a big step up for Reiss, who's previously spun out only so-so thrillers (Flamingo, 1989; Saltmaker, 1988, etc.). Reiss opens in 1967, with a group of Smith Falls, Mass., schoolkids studying current eventsonly these kids are Russian, and their town, a training ground for spies that's a carbon copy of the real Smith Falls, sits in Siberia. Cut to 1991: One of the kids, known only as Ash, is now a Washington Post reporterand, like his ex-classmates, is feeding information back to Moscow through the group's leader, David Kislak. But lately Kislak has inexplicably been asking for data about Third World trade; curious, Ash breaks the cardinal rule of no-contact. Kislak gives Ash a vague explanation and, when Ash leaves, sends a killer after the nosy spysparking the nonstop manhunt that dominates the story. Running fast, Ash tracks down another group member; but she, loyal to Kislak, tries to kill Ashwho then seeks refuge in the Soviet embassy in Washington, only to learn that no one there knows of his group: So many years have passed that the group's Moscow controls have died. Kislak, Ash realizes, is acting on his own, fattening his wallet by selling to various parties the data fed him by the group. Meanwhile, Gorbachev is ousted by the coup, and two KGB honchosan old-liner and a moderatebegin to vie for control of Kislak's network. As Ash heads to the real-life Smith Falls to resolve matters by locating the group's founder, Kislak followsbut the KGB moderate follows as well, cavalry riding to a last- minute rescue during a brutal, bloody climax.High-velocity action plus clever interludesas when Ash confesses to his girlfriend that he's a spyadd up to a smart, taut thriller, Reiss's best by far.
- St. Martin's Press
- Publication date:
- Product dimensions:
- 4.14(w) x 6.74(h) x 0.94(d)
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Last Spy based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
One of the best spy books I ever read. Great setup. Great characters. Suspense never stops. I like "The Americans" on TV, but this far surpasses that, and is set in the Cold War era. My mom has told me about all the fear during those years, and this brought it home in a way she never could.
The Last Spy is the poorer sister of DeMille's Charm School. Comparison stops there - same idea of Russian children groomed in a mock USA town for the puropose of becoming Americanized and planted in the USA as spies. Character development - poor. Only Ash is developed to a point where the reader sees some depth and understanding of his character. This is not a taut thriller nor a tightly written piece; I skipped myriad of pages and still got the gist. Good idea, but DeMille did it right.