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I enjoyed stepping back to Finder's first novel...

  • Dec 24, 2012
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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.

Obtained From: Library
Payment: Borrowed

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Thomas Duff ()
Ranked #42
Thomas Duff, aka "Duffbert", is a long-time member of the Lotus community. He's primarily focused on the development side of the Notes/Domino environment, currently working for a large insurance … more
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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 both Forsyth and Ludlum in density of mystery and swirl of action. At the same time--not entirely surprisingly, coming from the author of Red Carpet, a study of the intricate connections between the Kremlin and U.S. big business--the plot is crammed with and even a little overwhelmed by details regarding the darker side of Soviet history and the workings of Soviet and U.S. intelligence. Assigned to examine a portentous tape sneaked out of Moscow by a mole, CIA Kremlinologist Charlie Stone finds himself in an espionage investigation of staggering complexity. As he hops among three continents, often the target of both the KGB and the CIA, Stone succeeds in vindicating his father, branded a traitor by McCarthy, while nosing out a plot by the head of the KGB to stage a violent coup during a Moscow summit that will end glasnost and set the world on its ear. The story contains as many chases, murders, conspiracies and uncloseted ghosts as any thriller maven could want, as well as a credible love interest; in all, it's a superbly exciting read. 75,000 first printing; $75,000 ad/promo.
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