After a harrowing escape from Russian agents on his last mission, Charles Jenkins thinks he’s finally done with the spy game. But then the final two of the seven sisters—American assets who have been deep undercover in Russia for decades—cut off all communication with their handlers. Are they in hiding after detecting surveillance? Or have they turned and become double agents? It’s Jenkins’s duty to find out, but he’s been added to a Russian kill list. It will require all of Jenkins’s knowledge of spycraft—and an array of disguises—to return to the country undetected.
Plans go awry his first night in Moscow when Jenkins gets involved in an altercation that ends in the death of the son of one of Russia’s most powerful organized crime leaders. Pursued by mafia henchmen, Russian agents, and a particularly dogged Moscow police detective, Jenkins is determined to track down the final two sisters and get them to America—or die trying. As various forces close in, Jenkins fears this time he might’ve pushed his luck too far.
I read the first of the Charles Jenkins Spy series in 2019 for which I received a NetGalley ARC. I was already a fan of Tracy Crosswhite (another series by the same author) of which I had read one book at the time. Unlike the straightforward Tracy Crosswhite who is a police detective, Charles Jenkins-American spy-must use whatever means necessary to achieve his objective.
The Silent Sisters is the final book in the Seven Sisters Trilogy. Seven Sisters is the code name for deep cover agents trained from birth to spy for America and are named after the seven buildings Stalin commissioned post WWII. They are now in their sixties with femme fatale reputations that has accorded them the power to extract the information they desire.
It is Jenkins moral compass pointing dutifully north that he accepts the mission to get the remaining two sisters out before they too are killed. As a six-foot-five-inch tall black man, Jenkins stands out in Washington State. But when he enters Russia for the third time where the Kremlin has put out a red notice from Scotland Yard and put him on the kill list for numerous criminal charges, he is a walking target. It doesn’t help that he is also being pursued by the Russian mafia.
“So,” Lemore said. “We’ve learned that you’re also on that kill list. But as I said, I have a plan.” “A plan? Gives me the warm and fuzzies all over,” Jenkins said.
There are spy thrillers which is my favourite thriller genre and then there is this trilogy, set entirely in Russia. I’ve learnt more about espionage involving old fashioned spycraft from these books than all the others combined.
In Jenkins, Dugoni has created a character who is Tracy Crosswhite’s polar opposite and who pushes boundaries to the very extreme. In each of his adventures Jenkins encounters someone out to kill him but when their paths finally cross, he changes the equations.
Many dialogues are in Russian which offers a realistic visualisation of the book’s setting. Of course, the author seamlessly adds translations but when a Russian is angry, reading it in Russian makes all the difference.
While most fictional spies I’ve read in books are in their 40s, Jenkins is a sixty something, retired CIA case-officer with a wife twenty-four years younger than him, a teenage son, and a daughter only two years old. He is unlike any of the usual spies, both professionally and as a family man, and Jenkins’s antics prove age is just a number.
Viktor Federov, who caused much damage to Jenkins in The Eighth Sister (book one in the trilogy), returns yet again in the final instalment. I’ve enjoyed following his character trajectory over the course of this series and he never disappoints.
My favourite character in this book after Jenkins and Maria Kulikova-one of the silent sisters-is Senior Investigator Arkhip Mishkin of Moscow. Throughout the book he doggedly pursues Jenkins while we learn about his life and impending retirement. It was interesting to see where that leads him as he gets caught up in a mafia-spy love triangle.
Dugoni’s books are always on my must-read list and I highly recommend this Charles Jenkins-Seven Sisters trilogy. With a delectable mix of spycraft and adventure, the intense thrill you experience as you follow the events across Russia is unmatched.
The Silent Sisters (Charles Jenkins 03) by Robert Dugoni. Due to be published on 22nd February 2022 by Thomas & Mercer, an imprint of Amazon Publishing. This ARC courtesy of NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer.
Book 8 of 2022.
Aquamarine Flavours Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟.
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5 thoughts on “The Silent Sisters by Robert Dugoni | Book Review”
I have heard a lot about this author but have yet to read him. Also, it’s been a long while since I read any spy thrillers. Putting this one on my list.
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I’m an ardent fan of both his Charles Jenkins spy series and Tracy Crosswhite crime procedural series. I highly recommend both of them.
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