cover image The Blind Spy

The Blind Spy

Alex Dryden. Ecco, $24.99 (416p) ISBN 978-0-06-208808-6

The pseudonymous Dryden’s personal knowledge and experience of both the British security services and Russia’s intelligence apparatus informs his fine third entry (after 2010’s Moscow Sting) in a series grounded less in physical action than in the twisting intellectual gamesmanship that makes the shadow world of espionage so compelling. Anna Resnikov, a former KGB colonel who defected to the British, works for Cougar, the largest private intelligence agency in the world, which is run by ex-CIA legend Burt Miller. The CIA enlists Cougar as part of several operations designed to uncover Russian deceit in Ukraine. Into the mix of superspies comes Gen. Valentin Viktorov, head of Russia’s secretive Department S, whose son, Balthasar, is the intelligence service’s most accomplished agent, despite being blind from birth. Russia’s plan to take over Ukraine lies at the heart of the chess-like machinations that consume the characters in this intricate and deadly struggle for international domination. Agent: Peter Matson, Sterling Lord Literistic. (Mar.)