cover image Red Star Falling

Red Star Falling

Brian Freemantle. St. Martin’s/Dunne, $25.99 (352p) ISBN 978-1-250-03224-9

The talky concluding volume of Freemantle’s Red Star trilogy (after 2012’s Red Star Burning) finds MI5 operative Charlie Muffin in the custody of the FSB, the KGB’s successor, which seeks “to inflict the heaviest punishment possible for the incalculable damage he’s caused them.” As he endures interrogation and torture, Muffin hopes that his wife, Natalia Fedova, a former Russian agent, and his daughter are safely on British soil—and he wonders who might have aided in his capture on the British side. Meanwhile, back in London, the Machiavellian MI6 director, Gerald Monsford, is fretting about whether his “designated assassin,” Stephan Briddle, has successfully terminated Muffin. While MI6 is trying to cover its tracks, MI5 is trying to figure everything out; while Muffin is trying to foil his captors and stay alive, Fedova is trying to save her husband. Freemantle ties up many loose ends in this complex tapestry of intrigue, but only fans of the first two Red Star books are likely to care. (June)