"True master" and #1 New York Times bestselling author Nelson DeMille presents a chilling, relentlessly suspenseful story of Cold War espionage perfect for fans of the hit FX show The Americans (Dan Brown).
On a dark road deep inside the Russian woods at Borodino, a young American tourist picks up an unusual passenger with an explosive secret: an U.S. POW on the run from "The Charm School," a sinister operation where American POWs teach young KBG agents how to be model U.S. citizens. Their goal? To infiltrate the United States undetected. With this horrifying conspiracy revealed, the CIA sets an investigation in motion, and three Americans--an Air Force officer, an embassy liaison, a CIA chief--pit themselves against the country's enemies in a high-powered game of international intrigue.
This highly charged espionage thriller gets off to a stunning start. On the road from Smolensk to Moscow, an American tourist, Gregory Fisher, is confronted by a man on the run: an Air Force major who was shot down over appears from his hotel and soon turns up dead, the victim of a suspicious car crash. Intelligence officer Sam Hollis, press attache Lisa Rhodes and CIA bureau chief Seth Alevy must discover for themselves what is going on at the Charm School. They must also decide whether public revelation of a horrifying KGB operation during the new era of glasnost might not damage American/Soviet relations. In this exciting, polemic novel, DeMille (Word of Honor) limns an authentic portrait of Russian society. He conveys the claustrophobic life of American Embassy officials impossibly restricted in movement, and he creates spirited American agents who dodge and spar wittily with coarse KGB men. Once DeMille brings readers into the Charm School itself, however, he cannot sustain the magic that has propelled the narrative for two-thirds of its generous length. At this point, the plot becomes predictable, and the finale differs little from standard adventure escapes, with a cruel resolution to boot. Still, it's riveting reading most of the way. 100,000 first printing; $150,000 ad/promo.
Customer ReviewsSee All
The Charm School ... True to the countries
I have spent considerable time in the former Soviet Union ... some 30 trips between 1997 & 2006. Mr DeMille has captured the gritty reality, the beauty, the pathos, & the absurdity of life inside & outside of the embassy, Moscow, & the villages. And he wrapped it all in a rollicking, thrilling, & sometimes sickening adventure. The consummate evil in the bureaucrats (on both sides) as they engage in their high stakes game-playing seems very real to me, tho I have not experienced it in such a high stakes manner. The contradictory appearance of gratuitous rudeness & extraordinary kindness of the Russian people is dead on!
All this insight into a country and a page-turner of a story ... what's not to like. I (almost) never give the top rating to anything as I know that perfection should not be defined by my limited experience. But this one has to have the top rating.
This by far was one of the best books I have read in a while...refreshingly good. I could NOT put the book down.
The Charm School
Excellent book. Enjoyed it immensely.