cover image Palace of Treason

Palace of Treason

Jason Matthews, read by Jeremy Bobb. S&S Audio, , unabridged, 16 CDs, 20.5 hrs., $49.99 ISBN 978-1-4423-8088-2

Matthews, once again calling on his experience as a 33-year veteran of the CIA, has filled his new espionage thriller with more of his seemingly authentic examples of tradecraft woven into a vivid mixture of international intrigue, violent action, and hard-boiled romance. The focus of the novel is the continuing (after 2013’s Red Sparrow) love affair of CIA agent Nate Nash and Dominika Egorova, a Russian spy as deadly as she is beautiful. Bobb does a splendid job of narrating this globe-trotting misbegotten romance, smoothly switching accents (Russian, French, Viennese, etc.) and pronouncing the names of cities, towns, and streets as if he were a native of each location. In presenting Dominika, Bobb concentrates more on attitude than accent, an approach he uses for another of the novel’s key players, Russian president Vladimir Putin, who conveys a chilling arrogance and ego. Matthews describes one of Putin’s advisors, a steely woman officer, as having a “voice that sounded like melting ice cream.” Bobb’s interpretation is soft and emotionless enough to narrow that down to a frosty vanilla. A Scribner hardcover. (June)