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Summary

Russian counterintelligence chief Colonel Dominika Egorova has been a recruited asset of the CIA, stealing Kremlin secrets for her CIA handler, Nate Nash, for over seven years. In the dazzling finale to the Red Sparrow Trilogy - which will be published right before the release of Red Sparrow, a major motion picture starring Jennifer Lawrence and Joel Edgerton - their forbidden and tumultuous love affair continues, mortally dangerous for them both but irresistible.

In Washington, a newly installed US administration is selecting its cabinet members. Dominika hears a whisper of a closely held Kremlin operation to place a mole inside a high intelligence position. But it's worse than that: One of the three candidates under consideration has been a paid Russian spy for a decade, selling precious US secrets. If the Kremlin's candidate for the position is confirmed, the Russians will have access to all the names of assets spying for CIA in Moscow, including Dominika's. But which of the three individuals is the mole?

Dominika's report triggers a desperate mole hunt before she's exposed and arrested. Resisting all suggestions to defect and save herself, Dominika recklessly immerses herself in the palace intrigues of the Kremlin, searching for the mole's name, and stealing as many of President Putin's secrets for her CIA handlers before her time runs out - even as Putin's dangerous interest in her grows. The treasure trove of her intelligence reporting sends Nate Nash and colleagues on desperate missions to Sevastopol, Istanbul, Khartoum, and Hong Kong.

With a plot ripped from tomorrow's headlines, The Kremlin's Candidate is a riveting story if you've never listened to Jason Matthews and a thrilling conclusion to the trilogy begun with Red Sparrow and Palace of Treason, which The New York Times Book Review called "a primer in 21st-century spying...terrifically good".

©2017 Jason Matthews (P)2017 S&S Audio

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Gary
  • 15-02-18

Torn from today’s news

This was an incredible story. Both current and thought provoking. The best of this series I believe. Would make a block buster movie. How soon do we get the next book? :)

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Priscilla
  • 21-03-18

Best of the 3 but hated the end

I read (listened to) all 3 in a row. The first I loved, the second... I liked but was worried it was slipping towards a drug store romance novel. The 3rd, was awesome, lots of intrigue and plot twists, but... the end was dissapointing. Still very much worth the listen and excellent narration!!

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Richard
  • 17-02-18

Clumbsy Final Ending To Potentially Great Trilogy

What disappointed you about The Kremlin's Candidate?

What a grand disappointment. I expected much better. I think the editors are as much at fault as the author. I feel like this was written just to finish the trilogy. What happened?Jason Mathews' Kremlin Candidate is by far the weakest of the three books. Red Sparrow is absolutely superb. Palace of Treason is very good. The first two books created characters that are multifaceted as we would expect in the real world. The characters have complicated motivations and their actions are true within the world created by Mr. Mathews.Sadly, in Kremlin Candidate, Mr. Mathews decided to just end this world. This feels like Mr. Mathews is under contract to write a third book, but is tired and angry so he takes it out on his characters and through them the listener or reader. And the editors did not care enough.Some characters actions are not consistent with their psyche.One character is sent to a global hot spot and dies in a few pages with no foundation. This feels like Mr. Mathews just wanted to get rid of him. Another character is suddenly fired from the CIA in a few pages and goes away. There is not enough foundation for these two characters to exit. These two episodes as well as others just feel untrue. They seem to come out of no where.There is one part where a cut out gets away in the water. I could see this coming because this was already done in a previous book.At the end of this book we discover that Mr. Mathews situations and character actions are created with only one purpose in mind; to end this story.This final effort is totally unsatisfying. I think that this book might not have been published at all without Red Sparrow.Mr. Mathews, what happened anyway?

What was most disappointing about Jason Matthews’s story?

This final effort feel untrue within the world and characters. It feels like the only point of this book was to end the trilogy.

Have you listened to any of Jeremy Bobb’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Mr. Bobb's performance was great. I do not think he had as much to work with in this final effort.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Kremlin's Candidate?

I would cut the scene where Gable is killed. This just does not feel true.The scene where Susan gets away is trite. This also happened in Palace of Treason. Once per trilogy is enough. The scene at the end where the CIA agent is fired is so quick that it feels like the author just wanted to end this.

Any additional comments?

Kremlin Candidate does not do Mr. Mathews previous two books justice. I wold like to know what happened.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • Charles Atkinson
  • 17-02-18

Remarkable Story Telling, Bravo!

This is third book in the Red Sparrow series, yet it easily stands out on its own merits. The suspense and spy craft is so realistic and clever I felt like I was in a movie theater.

The story is complicated with many characters which made listening to the first half of the novel a bit difficult to follow. However, patience pays off as the suspense begins to build. A dark, doomsday storm seems to rage in every chapter. As I said before, the story is so well read, I visualized every scene in my mind as if I was watching a movie.

Jeremy Bobb narrates as well as anyone in the business.

Each chapter ends with a recipe of one of the dishes mentioned in that chapter. In Red Sparrow I found the technique unique and even charming. In House of Treason I ignored it. In this novel I found it tedious and unnecessary.

Nevertheless I found this to be remarkable entertainment.

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

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  • Chris
  • 26-02-18

Layers of spy stories that tie together in a bow

If you could sum up The Kremlin's Candidate in three words, what would they be?

Bitter sweet ending

What did you like best about this story?

Jason Matthews swung for the fences when he finished off his spy series started and then continued in his first two wonderful books of this series. While those books focused primarily on a continuous time-line of the main characters, this book moved back and forth and played with the other characters we have grown to know.

Jason clearly used his spy craft expertise when writing this book and empowered our main soviet character, yet gave her the faults which made her as real as anyone that might be sitting in a desk in cold Moscow today. I hope it makes it to a movie house someday.

What about Jeremy Bobb’s performance did you like?

Jeremy Bobb did an excellent job. Had anyone else's voice echoed through my buds, I would have howled in pain.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Who knows. As with Red Sparrow, I'm sure changes will have to be made.

Any additional comments?

Jason Matthews is really an amazing author. I am so tired of authors writing about "pulling faces" and such. His writing is old fashion sophisticated yet still approachable.

I'd recommend this series to anyone that likes a mystery.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Lawrence P.
  • 26-02-18

Not as good as previous two in trilogy

The plot was looser than the previous books. It seemed like the author was using filler to finish in a hurry, Disappointing after Red Sparrow, which was a great read.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Edgar
  • 24-02-18

End of the story?

After a rather slow start, the book develops into a gripping and fitting completion of the trilogy. Although the books can stand alone, I recommend that the three books be read in sequence -- together they represent some of the best fifty hours of listening I've experienced in the last five years.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Seahawk
  • 23-02-18

Wow!

Best book of the trilogy- masterfully written. Suspenseful and believable. Serious spy stuff for the thinking reader.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • s good
  • 17-02-18

Who cries at the end of an espionage thriller??...

The tears flowed down my cheeks at the conclusion of this superb trilogy. This unexpected emotional reaction was a first for me. I avoid romance novels for this very reason, preferring fast paced, action packed thrillers and espionage. Titles which keep my attention for the duration DO NOT normally EVER make me cry at the end but this one did. To prevent "spoilage" for others, I won't elaborate on that aspect, except to say I would add a 6th star to my review if possible.
As a stand alone book, I feel this third and final installment was not quite as "good" as the previous two. However, as a final part of the trilogy, it succeeds to conclude each thread of the story.
As a whole, this Trilogy is packed with fact alongside fiction, which makes for the best stories. Fast paced, edge of your seat writing, with enough twists and turns to keep even the most ADD afflicted attentions'. (if it'll keep my ADD short attention span, it'll keep almost anyone's, laugh laugh)

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Lisa Davidson
  • 17-02-18

After Great Anticipation, a Tragic Disappointment

I have been an eager fan of this espionage series, but Book Three broke my fascination with a shocking and unbelievable ending. If this was a setup for another in the series, the author has betrayed readers who believe that novels are stand-alone works of art. Series are acceptable only if you can enjoy each book on its own merits, without having to read any other series works to find value in the book on hand.

Yes, we live in a desperate world of violence, lies, and betrayal, but what is the purpose of literature if not to provide some framing wisdom and deeper discernment to enable us to pick up and carry on? The end was such a HUGE disappointment that I returned this book and intend to boycott the movie (which already had me uneasy with casting I couldn't accept). No satisfying sense of inevitability or completion here, just more incredible violence. A shame.

12 of 17 people found this review helpful