A Book Spy Review: ‘The Eighth Sister’ by Robert Dugoni


The Eighth SisterTrained from birth with one goal—to penetrate Russia’s foreign intelligence service and report back to the CIA—the most promising spy cell America has ever positioned inside Russia has suddenly come under attack. 

They’re known as the Seven Sisters. Seven women, all exceptionally skilled and capable of infiltrating various parts of the Russian government, have been exposed. Nobody knows how, or why, but three of the Sisters are dead, and it’s up to Charles Jenkins to save the remaining four . . . there’s just one problem. 

Jenkins, now in his early sixties and living on Camano Island, Washington, hasn’t worked at the Central Intelligence Agency in forty years. Married and desperately trying to keep his security consulting business afloat, Charles is gearing up to welcome a new baby when he’s approached by Carl Emerson, his former bureau chief, and offered the chance to return to the agency for one last go-around. Though reluctant at first, Jenkins eventually accepts, eager to score one more hefty payday, and is officially reactivated and sent to Moscow in search of the assassin killing the agents in place, codenamed the Eighth Sister. 

Once in theatre, Jenkins begins scouring Moscow for intel on the assassin, only to make a shocking discovery—the Eighth Sister isn’t anything like what he expected. Realizing that both he and the woman he was sent to kill were set up, Jenkins finds himself abandoned by the CIA and those who sent him and left completely on his own in hostile territory. Things worsen when he finds out that a Russian intelligence officer is hot on his heels, forcing Jenkins to attempt a bold escape plan in hopes of returning to his family.

Unwilling to go quietly, Charles fights back—but with surprises waiting for him at every turn, he quickly realizes that nothing . . . and no one . . . are quite what they seem.

Dugoni, a 2017 Edgar finalist (The Seventh Canon) has outdone himself here, serving up a double-barrelled blast of action mixed with espionage in what’s perhaps his most unputdownable thriller yet. While readers may initially feel bummed out that this isn’t the next book in his Tracy Crosswhite series, most will warm to Charles Jenkins within the first few pages. Nicely developed, Jenkins comes across as an everyday Joe, displaying plenty of relatable qualities readers can identify with. Without giving anything away, the Eighth Sister is also a fantastic character, as are the rest of the supporting cast, including those who end up playing the villainous role. 

Treason, moles, and plenty of misdirection . . . Robert Dugoni’s The Eighth Sister is a high-stakes game between spies, and he doesn’t take his foot off the gas pedal for a second. 

Book Details

Author: Robert Dugoni
Pages: 478 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 1503903036
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Release Date: April 9, 2019
Book Spy Rating: 8.0/10




Praised as “one of today’s finest book reviewers” by New York Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds, Ryan Steck (“The Godfather of the thriller genre” — Ben Coes) has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). Steck also works full-time as a freelance editor and pens a monthly thriller column for CrimeReads. For more information, be sure to follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.


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