Book review: 'The Eighth Sister' is a gripping thriller
"The Eighth Sister" by Robert Dugoni; Thomas and Mercer; 500 pages
Charles Jenkins has left his time in the CIA far behind and now lives with his family on a farm on a remote island in Washington state. His wife is expecting their second child, and he runs a security consulting business to pay the bills. When financial issues force him to contemplate how to pay his employees while at the same time keeping his wife as stress-free as possible due to pregnancy complications, Jenkins receives an offer he should refuse.
His former boss arrives at the farm and asks him to travel undercover to Moscow to find a Russian operative targeting agents from the United States that were part of an operation known as the "Seven Sisters." The hope is that when Jenkins arrives in Russia and starts to ask questions, the elusive agent known as the Eighth Sister will make her presence known. Jenkins desperately needs the money, so he reluctantly agrees to the mission.
The initial routine assignment soon turns deadly when Jenkins stumbles upon a buried secret, and with that comes the wrath of a Russian intelligence officer. He wants Jenkins eliminated, and like Javert in "Les Miserables," will not give up under any circumstances. Now it becomes a race as Jenkins tries to escape foreign territory while the climate favors an angry Russian official who wants his brand of justice.
Robert Dugoni has crafted a thriller with "The Eighth Sister" that echoes the best of classic Russian literature with a hint of John LeCarre added to the mix. When the storyline veers into predictability, the narrative takes a drastic turn and becomes a legal drama that will remind readers of Scott Turow's best. This novel is destined to be a classic in the genre, and Dugoni is arguably one of the best writers in the field right now.