18 May 2012

Imprint Friday: The Blind Spy by Alex Dryden

Welcome to Imprint Friday and today's featured imprint: Ecco books. Stop by each week to be introduced to a must-read title from one of my favorite imprints. I know you'll be adding many of these books to your wish list.

After the break up of the Soviet Union, a entire genre of fiction faced the possibility of extinction. Thanks to Alex Dryden and his Anna Resnikov novels, spy thriller fans can breath easy again. The Blind Spy, which came out in March, is Dryden's third in a series but can easily be read as a standalone novel.

Here's the publisher's summary:

Russia has never accepted Ukraine's independence and now the Patrioti—Putin, his elder statesmen, and seasoned generals dedicated to rebuilding their fallen empire—are using the KGB's controversial elite and clandestine forces of Department S to destabilize the young democratic nation and bring it back under Russian control.

But Cougar, the powerful private intelligence company that overshadows even the CIA in its reach, learns of Russia's plans and strikes at the heart of its plot with its own lethal weapon—the gorgeous ex–KGB colonel Anna Resnikov. More than a gifted spy and expert killer, Anna lost the love of her life and the father of her child at the hands of her former countrymen. Her defection to Cougar has made her the most wanted woman in Russia, but she'll risk any danger to herself for the chance to destroy the evil that rules her homeland. And on the ground in Ukraine, she meets a formidable foe, a mysterious KGB spy whose aims are suspiciously unclear but whose power is unmistakably deadly.
The Blind Spy starts in Damascus in the 1970s, when cold-war Soviet spy Lieutenant Valentin Viktorov discovers he has a son, the result of a one-night stand with a Syrian woman. After leaving the infant on the doorstep of an orphanage, Valentin returns to the USSR.

The story then jumps to Moscow in Putin's Russia, where Valentin's son, Dmitry, is now in his late 30s and is himself an elite spy for his father's homeland. Dmitry, however, is no ordinary man; although he has been blind since birth, he is blessed with an almost psychic talent to disguise his disability. The current mission for Putin's Department S agents? To find a way to bring Ukraine back under Russian control.

Enter Anna Resnikov, ex-KGB officer now working for the West, whose task is to undermine Putin's plans. Once she's on the trail of the blind spy--or is it really that Dmitry's on her trail?--the action really takes off. Thanks to believable characterizations, twisty plots, and vivid descriptions, Dryden has successfully revived the spy vs. spy genre for twenty-first-century readers.

Now for some other opinions (click on the links for the full reviews):
  • From Publishers Weekly: "Dryden’s personal knowledge and experience of both the British security services and Russia’s intelligence apparatus informs his fine third entry . . . in a series grounded less in physical action than in the twisting intellectual gamesmanship that makes the shadow world of espionage so compelling."
  • From the Richmond Times-Dispatch: "His thrillers are thus an extended clarion call to arms, despite their spy-thriller guise. And as guises go, Dryden's books are doozies. They're exceptionally intelligent examples of the genre."
  • From BookLoons Reviews: "A former spy and international security expert turned novelist, [Dryden] knows what he's writing about and is able to wring every ounce of suspense and riveting action from his authentic thrillers."
For more on Alex Dryden, visit his website or follow him on Twitter.

Beth Fish Reads is proud to showcase Ecco books as a featured imprint on this blog. For more information about Ecco, please read the introductory note from Vice President / Associate Publisher Rachel Bressler, posted here on July 15, 2011. Find your next great read by clicking on Ecco in the scroll-down topics/labels list in my sidebar and by visiting Ecco books on Facebook and following them on Twitter.

The Blind Spy at Powell's
The Blind Spy at Book Depository
These links lead to affiliate programs.

Published by HarperCollins / Ecco, March 2012
ISBN-13: 9780062088086


Sandy Nawrot 5/18/12, 6:57 AM  

I love a good spy novel, as long as it doesn't get too complicated! Many of them are complicated. But I have all kinds of respect for Ecco, so I'm betting this one would be an excellent read.

Beth Hoffman 5/18/12, 7:21 AM  

There are times when I'm in the mood for a spy/thriller, and this one sounds really good!

bermudaonion 5/18/12, 8:48 AM  

I love books like this! It sounds like one that would appeal to both Carl and me.

Zibilee 5/18/12, 2:09 PM  

Oh, you really won me over with the blind spy! That is something I have never even imagined before! I don't usually read thrillers, but there is something about this book that is captivating to me. Thanks for sharing your excellent review today, and for greatly enticing me to add this book to my shopping cart!

Robyn 5/21/12, 1:54 AM  

I am always looking for a good thriller. Thanks for the review. It sounds like a great one! I am reading a wonderful book right now. It is called, "Angels Gate" by Andrew J. Rafkin and Louis Pagano. I love that it is a true story. The book is based in Los Angeles in 1983 and is about the largest monetary drug heist in history. It is amazing what actually went on. http://www.andrewrafkin.com/

Julie P. 5/23/12, 6:21 PM  

This sounds perfect for Booking Pap Pap!

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