Rosenberg’s latest thriller opens in 1999. A young Russian lawyer named Oleg Kraskin plans to ask the father of his longtime girlfriend, Marina, for his permission to propose to his daughter.
There’s just one problem. . .
Marina’s father is Aleksander Luganov, the former head of the Russian Federal Security Service, current prime minister, and the man chosen to be the next president of Russia.
Jumping forward a few years, twenty-one-year-old Marcus Ryker, a student at the University of Northern Colorado, finds himself in jail — put there for defending his mother against an abusive man who’d beaten her on more than one occasion. Having acted in self-defense, Marcus eventually walks free, but the sobering moment alters the trajectory of his life forever. After graduation, Marcus abandons his original plans and joins the Marines, something he hadn’t previously considered.
Though a world apart, Rosenberg masterfully develops both Marcus and Oleg, skillfully detailing their backgrounds and careers.
Russian President Luganov granted Oleg’s request, hosted a great wedding for his daughter and new son-in-law, and then welcomed Oleg into the family business by making him an aid in the Kremlin. Marcus, meanwhile, who experienced war first-hand on the battlefields in Afghanistan, got out of the military, married a beautiful woman, started a family, and then joined the United States Secret Service. Oleg, too, had a child and similarly climbed the career ladder. Eventually, both men find themselves at the peak of their professions. Marcus is on the president’s security detail, while Oleg (after proving his loyalty) is promoted to senior aid, working directly under his powerful father-in-law.
As readers follow both characters, Rosenberg slowly reveals an evil force lurking behind the scenes. Realizing the time to strike is now, while the American president is distracted by the events unfolding in Iran and North Korea, a czar rising within the Kremlin develops a plan to invade several NATO countries just ahead of October 25th, the anniversary of the Russian Revolution — a move that could trigger a major war with the United States.
Suddenly, the lives of Marcus and Oleg, two men on opposites sides of a dangerous conflict, collide in full force as Rosenberg cranks up the suspense, delivering his most stunning, high-stakes thriller yet.
Called a “modern-day Nostradamus” by U.S. News & World Report after his first novel, The Last Jihad, came out in 2002, Rosenberg has been known to write headline-beating thrillers. After writing a five-book series and two back-to-back trilogies about the threat of radical Islamic terrorism, Rosenberg has shifted his attention to Russia.
“I needed a new challenge and wanted to focus on a different part of the world, different enemies. In this case, I kept finding myself drawn to Russia,” Rosenberg told The Real Book Spy back in July of 2017.
“Moscow was once known as the seat of the ‘Evil Empire’ and I believe it is once again emerging as the center of the most dangerous government on the planet. Remember, Iran, al Qaeda, and ISIS just dream of having nuclear weapons. Moscow not only has them but also has the long-range ballistic missiles to hit every city in NATO and the United States. If they reemerge not simply as a geopolitical challenge but an aggressive enemy, the world will be headed down a very dark road.”
Aspiring authors should take note of Rosenberg’s deftly plotted story and first-rate character development — he puts on a clinic for how to introduce and bring along new characters. Some readers, especially early on, may find the plot moving a tad slower than his past books, but that’s clearly by design. Rosenberg meticulously builds the necessary foundation for later on, and, when you least expect it, he yanks the rug out from underneath you. This is Joel C. Rosenberg at his absolute best, proving yet again that he’s one of the premier novelists working in the genre today.
With his knack for writing prophetic fiction, those who want an early glimpse at what the world might look like in the very near future should pick up Joel Rosenberg’s latest thriller. . . Strap in and hold on tight, The Kremlin Conspiracy is a high-octane thriller that will stun readers and stay with them long after they turn the final page.
Author: Joel C. Rosenberg
Series: Marcus Ryker #1
Pages: 480 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Release Date: March 6, 2018
Book Spy Rating: 8.5/10
Praised as “one of today’s finest book reviewers” by New York Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds, Ryan Steck has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.