Mini review: “Red Sparrow” by Jason Matthews


Time has marched on but seemingly the Cold War never quite went away…

This book has gotten some good reviews.  With certain reservations, they are justified.  This is worth a read, but it is closer to good than great. Three stars.

For a book where one of the principal characters is a seductress for the security services, the early scenes of a more intimate nature are somewhat clumsy.  The feeling you get is of some middle-aged author getting his kicks by getting his female character to act out certain things.  Some passages really make you cringe.  Frankly, once the twists and turns of the plot start getting more intricate none of this is particularly relevant to the story – it is largely unnecessary.

When you get beyond that, things improve dramatically.  A hundred pages in and the game is underway.

The author does a good job of bringing the two main characters together and is able to flit between the parallel thoughts of the pair, and later the manoeuvres of the two opposing sides  – each assessing the situation, trying to play for the advantage.

At the end of each chapter there is a recipe for a dish that has featured.  It is something that I would expect from Len Deighton, whose love of food is well known.  It seems to be a bit out of place here, especially when he highlights a dish that barely featured.  Having said that, some dishes sound pretty tasty…


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s