cover image Palace of Treason

Palace of Treason

Jason Matthews. Scribner, $26.99 (480p) ISBN 978-1-4767-9374-0

Matthews follows 2013’s Red Sparrow, which won both the Edgar and Thriller awards for best first novel, with a sequel that’s every bit as good as his debut. CIA case officer Nate Nash and Capt. Dominika Egorova of the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) are still in love, and their relationship threatens to undermine a CIA scheme to sabotage the Iranians’ secret uranium enrichment program. Dominika is a mole within the SVR, providing valuable intel to the Americans, especially after she wins the personal approval of President Vladimir Putin. But Dominika has a jealous rival within the SVR, Col. Alexei Zyuganov, a sadistic psychopath who will do anything to thwart her career. Meanwhile, in Washington, D.C., a disaffected CIA officer, in retaliation for being passed over for promotion, starts feeding the Russians information that could lead to Dominika’s exposure as a spy for the Americans. Authentic tradecraft, a complex plot that steadily builds tension, and credible heroes and villains on both sides make this a standout. Recipes at the end of each chapter provide some welcome relief from some brutal violence. Seven-city author tour. Agent: Sloan Harris, International Creative Management. (June)