Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Agent 6, Tom Rob Smith - 2011

Information was the spine of any credible authoritarian regime - a government needed to know its people.
Do you remember that old dream that maybe you had during your childhood? what you wanted to be when grown, things you would do when become an adult, places you dreamed to visit; how many of these old azimuths you have reached? how long would you wait to make the real? how strong and solid are or were your dreams?

Leo Demidov sees his wife and daughters depart to New York for a diplomatic event in the United Nations building without know that a conspiracy is undergoing and his family is a key part of it. After the loss of his wife and the separation from his daughters by the Soviet regime,that he had always defended and loved, he is transferred from Moscow to Afghanistan as a government adviser.

Leo blends with his environment becoming at the same time an asset and an odd Soviet officer. His knowledge and experience will be used to create the Afghan Secret Police and, whilst serving to his country his soul will look like fading, falling in the trap of the time and distance. He was ready to give up until a chain of events will revive it and take him out from his permanent opium-fed status.

What did Leo expect to achieve after sixteen years?

Leo will resume the quest of his life: to know the truth about the death of Raisa, his wife. What's the actual link between her death and the murder of Jesse Austin? CIA or KGB? both?

... there was no God, or if there was, then this God was not in the business of intervening in wars.

Keep an eye on: just as it was in 'Child 44', Tom Rob Smith give us an vivid and fully detailed portrait of the Soviet Union system under Stalin's yoke and the later years. His work in this book sometimes seems closer to journalism rather than fiction and that's what makes this novel a fantastic experience. Along with this, 'Agent 6' explores further and deeper the human condition that is conditioned by our strengths, weaknesses and principles. Shown in 'Child 44' as a strict and incorruptible Secret Police agent; Tom Rob Smith brings us now a different side of Leo Stepanovich Demidov as a father and devoted husband but nonetheless  clever and  tough.

A man's status had become defined by how much empty space surrounded him.

This book is by far, the very best book I've ever read and I will not forget the anxiety it provoked on me during two nights that I couldn't sleep well until I finished it.

Paradise doesn't need progress.

A must-read-before-you-die

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