Palace of Treason

Scribner. Jun. 2015. 480p. ISBN 9781476793740. $26.99; ebk. ISBN 9781476793757. F
OrangeReviewStarNow for the best of the lot! Introduced in the Edgar Award-winning Red Sparrow, Dominika Egorova, as appealing a heroine as has appeared in recent fiction, returns to Russia as a double agent, intent on bringing down the lumpy gray men ruining her country. She works in counterintelligence: her superior, a psychopathic dwarf, sees her as a threat. He fantasizes torturing and raping her while recording it for posterity. You'll never see Vladimir Putin in the same light after reading this chilling portrait. Matthews's characters seem to leap out of the page; his firsthand familiarity with the toys and routines of the spy world is a definite plus.
VERDICT Seldom is a sequel as stunning as the original, but this one absolutely triumphs. [See Prepub Alert, 11/24/14.]
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