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The Russian Woman
Alex Lukeman, author

Adult; Mystery/Thriller; (Market)

The Russian Woman is the first book in a series featuring Michael Thorne.

Colonel Anya Volkova is a patriot who loves her country. She works in the Russian Ministry of Defense, where she's an important part of Moscow's machinery of war. She's more or less content with her ordered life, until things start to fall apart.

Her younger brother is sent to fight in Syria. Her boss wants her for his mistress, and if she doesn't give him what he wants, her career is finished. She discovers a secret plan for a first strike on America. She has to stop it from happening, but what can she do?

Michael Thorne is a Specialized Skills Officer, an expendable spy. He's fed up with the games played by Langley's chiefs, but there's not a lot he can do about it. Worse, there's a mole at Langley who is about to make his life more complicated.

Thorne is assigned to make contact with Anya, but he's not ready for the powerful attraction that ignites between them. As the world spins toward nuclear war, he's caught up in a deadly web of intrigue and betrayal that will force him to choose between duty and love.

Plot/Idea: 8 out of 10
Originality: 8 out of 10
Prose: 9 out of 10
Character/Execution: 8 out of 10
Overall: 8.25 out of 10


Plot/Idea: The Russian Woman kicks off a multilayered thriller series that seamlessly integrates espionage, international conflicts, and romance. 

Prose: The prose text is eminently readable and immersive, with a graceful blend of exposition, in-scene development, dialogue, and character development.

Originality: While the political turmoil at the center of the novel is familiar territory, Lukeman crafts realistic scenarios with fast-paced action and a clear sense of the humanity at stake. 

Character/Execution: While the number of characters may overwhelm readers, Lukeman capably blends characters' personal and biographical details with their broader political and social alliances. Michael Thorne emerges as a formidable character with enough complexity to keep readers invested. While the relationship between Michael and Anya unfolds somewhat hastily, readers are still likely to be swept up in their romantic tension. 

Date Submitted: April 18, 2023