Red Sparrow

Red Sparrow

A Novel

Book - 2013
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Now a major motion picture starring Jennifer Lawrence and Joel Edgerton!

"A great and dangerous spy-game is being played today between Russian intelligence and the CIA. Very few people know about it, but Jason Matthews does, and his thrilling Red Sparrow takes us deep inside this treacherous world. He's an insider's insider. And he is also a masterful storyteller. I loved this book and could not put it down. Neither will you." --Vince Flynn

In the grand spy-tale tradition of John le Carr#65533;...comes this shocking thriller written with insider detail known only to a veteran CIA officer.

In present-day Russia, ruled by blue-eyed, unblinking President Vladimir Putin, Russian intelligence officer Dominika Egorova struggles to survive in the post-Soviet intelligence jungle. Ordered against her will to become a "Sparrow," a trained seductress, Dominika is assigned to operate against Nathaniel Nash, a young CIA officer who handles the Agency's most important Russian mole.

As the action careens between Russia, Finland, Greece, Italy, and the United States, Dominika and Nate soon collide in a duel of wills, tradecraft, and--inevitably--forbidden passion that threatens not just their lives but those of others as well. As secret allegiances are made and broken, Dominika and Nate's game reaches a deadly crossroads. Soon one of them begins a dangerous double existence in a life-and-death operation that consumes intelligence agencies from Moscow to Washington, DC.

Page by page, veteran CIA officer Jason Matthews's Red Sparrow delights, terrifies and fascinates, all while delivering an unforgettable cast, from a sadistic Spetsnaz "mechanic" who carries out Putin's murderous schemes to the weary CIA Station Chief who resists Washington "cake-eaters". Packed with insider detail, this novel brims with Matthews's life experience of espionage, counterintelligence, spy recruitment, and cyber-warfare. Brilliantly composed, Red Sparrow is a masterful spy tale. Authentic, tense, and entertaining, this novel introduces Jason Matthews as a major new American talent.
Publisher: New York : Scribner, 2013.
Edition: 1st Scribner hardcover ed.
ISBN: 9781476706122
Branch Call Number: F Matt
Characteristics: 434 p. ; 24 cm.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Mar 16, 2018

Jason Matthews gave us an amazing, intriguing, smart, page turning thriller. I could not put this book down! Then I went to see the movie. I thought there’s no way Hollywood could mess this up. If you take the words from the book and put them in a script-it’s fool proof. Jason Matthews wrote a superb spy thriller like a cross between Salt & the female Jason Borne. In turn Hollywood gave us The Spy Who Shagged Me, bad accents and all. I could not have left that theater more dissatisfied. They cut sooooo many characters and left out everything that made Dominika the layered, nuanced heroine you cheer for as Jason Matthews intended. Poor Jennifer Lawrence if I read this , then read the script I would’ve been irate. Hollywood & JLaw eagerly turned Dominika into a flat, hypocritical, backstabbing weirdo. They really messed this up. Do not go see this movie. Just read the book because clearly the producers and director did not. The book gets five blazing hot stars , the movie gets half a star for casting Jeremy Irons but had to take the other half away because they barely used him and completely rewrote the character.
OH & thank you Jason Matthews for the receipes! At first I thought it was completely random then by the time chicken kiev came around I was planning my Red Sparrow receive blog.

LoganLib_Erin Mar 14, 2018

Read the book before seeing the movie.

Dec 06, 2017

Well above average spy novel that reeks of authenticity since author was a former CIA operative. Very good plotline but doesn't quite have Tom Clancy's gift for storytelling. But to be fair it's very difficult to make following people or avoid being followed (SDR) sound interesting no matter what spin you put on it. Nonetheless, a very good first novel and looking forward to more in the series. Interesting that Matthews seems to be a foodie as he addends a recipe to each chapter.

Nov 12, 2017

Fabulous. Great writing. Well researched, great balance, humor the best. And new things to cook. One of the best spy novels I have read in decades.

Oct 21, 2017

Fast-paced, wonderfully researched spy novel. It is well written and super thrilling, and if that's not enough to sell you, there is an authentic, delicious Russian recipe at the end of each chapter!

Apr 19, 2017

Ultimate spy game! First hand experience plus unusual writing skill, macho and sensual (1 recipe per chapter, a bonus).

Oct 11, 2016

This book was definitely entertaining but despite its length, I couldn't help feeling like I was reading the "light" version of a spy novel, the flavour was off and there was not enough substance. The characters are definitely likeable so maybe the next book will be better

Aug 21, 2016

One of the best spy novels I have read. It was interesting, fast moving, full of suspense and excellent descriptions of all the countries where action took place, including the Russian phrases used. It is up there with my other favourite writers such as Philip Kerr, Vince Flynn and Daniel Silva. Lot better then the likes of Alan Furst , or Len Deighton (the latter I had trouble understanding!).

Feb 23, 2016

Hard to read - too many acronyms.

debwalker Sep 28, 2015

Best fiction I've read in a long while. The Cold War spy novel resurgent in the era of Mr. P. P for psycho among other things. Matthews knows his stuff from the inside of the CIA. Tautly written and intensely plotted. Can't put it down and yet sometimes I need to just to catch my breath.

View All Comments


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at DCPL

To Top