The abrupt raising of the Iron Curtain, it would appear, has released a thousand intriguing ghosts from the past and given the spy novel a whole new lease on life. If Finder's fiction debut doesn't outdo Frederick Forsyth in grace of style, it surpasses … see full wiki
I enjoyed stepping back to Finder's first novel...
Dec 24, 2012
I thought I had read all of Joseph Finder's books, but the re-release of his first novel The Moscow Club reminded me that I had missed that one. Through the magic that is the InterLibrary Loan system, I was able to get the original hardcopy and give it a read. I finished it today, and it was an enjoyable read... plenty of espionage and intrigue set during the time when Gorbachev ruled the Soviet Union...
The story revolves around a CIA analyst, Charlie Stone, and a rumored document called the Lenin Testament. He has information that seems to point to a potential coup in the Soviet Union, which could lead to a resumption of Cold War hostilities. But the deeper Stone digs into the information, the more it all ties back to his father who was imprisoned during the McCarthy era for alleged activities with the Russians. Stone believes that his father was sacrificed to hide a larger secret known to few in the US intelligence community. That secret is still very much alive, and some very powerful (and deadly) people are willing to do whatever is necessary to make sure Stone doesn't discover the truth.
For Finder's first novel, I'm impressed. The Moscow Club reminds me of some of the classic Soviet-based spy novels, with plenty of twists and double-crosses. The scenes make you feel like you've been transported back to that point in time. Even when I thought I knew what was going to happen, something would twist and shed a whole new light on what was going on. I enjoyed Stone's resourcefulness to find ways to stay one step ahead of his killers, as well as watching him discover exactly what he was capable of while trying to stay alive. All in all, I spent much of yesterday and today buried in the book to find out what would happen next.
I'm glad to see The Moscow Club will get a chance to be seen by a whole new set of readers. Finder is a great writer, and this novel is one I'd recommend for fans of the spy/espionage genre.