Robert Duogoni does it again, delivering another can’t-miss thriller that brings back one of the genre’s best new heroes.
Following the events of The Eighth Sister, Charles Jenkins wants nothing more than to settle down, officially retire, and live out the rest of his days in peace. He’s tired. And cranky. Being betrayed by your country and falsely accused of treason has a way of doing that to a man. His name cleared and the dust officially settled, Jenkins plans to surround himself with his family and leave the spy game behind once and for all.
But that doesn’t happen.
Instead, Jenkins’ plan of going quietly into the night is forever changed when he learns that Paulina Ponomayova is being held captive in Moscow’s Lefortovo Prison. Paulina, readers may remember, was the double agent for the CIA who previously saved Jenkins’ life. Feeling he owes it to her, and hoping to repay the favor, Jenkins sets out to rescue Paulina at all costs—but he’ll need help along the way if he has any chance of pulling off the unthinkable. Desperate and in need of someone with major connections, Jenkins seeks out former FSB operator Viktor Federov, the man who chased him around Russia, to help him infiltrate the notorious Russian prison.
Making the dangerous mission even more complicated is the fact that Jenkins has no definitive proof that it is, indeed, Paulina being held prisoner. Then, of course, there’s the issue—assuming it is Paulina and he can break her out of Lefortovo—of how he’ll smuggle her out of Russia. On top of that, Federov’s own motives make him untrustworthy at best, and potentially deadly at worst. Not exactly a recipe for success. Still, Jenkins knows it’s something he has to do, or else he’ll never be able to ride off into the sunset guilt-free.
With everything to lose and more questions than actionable intel, Charles Jenkins charges head-first back into the world he wants so desperately to leave behind . . . and there’s no telling what waits for him in the shadows.
Few authors have exploded in popularity the way Dugoni has the last few years. Always a terrific writer with unmatched range (not many authors could pull off writing both The 7th Canon and The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell—two very different thrillers that are incredible for completely different reasons), Dugoni has really found his stride with this series. Though the genre is dominated by names like Bourne, Rapp, and Gentry, Dugoni’s hero endears himself to readers by being far more relatable. He feels real. Human. And in the end, it’s impossible not to root for the guy.
Story-wise, jailbreak plotlines aren’t an entirely new concept. Mainstream examples include Prison Break, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, and even 24. Alex Berenson and Sean Parnell are just two of many authors who’ve written recent books with similar threads. All that said, Dugoni really does offer up something fresh here, and without giving anything away, his plotting and character development are lightyears ahead of the writers mentioned above. Just like Jenkins entering the unknown, so too are readers (to an extent), and Dugoni has plenty of surprises waiting along the way.
If you’re searching for a great international spy thriller, look no further. Stuffed with more action and espionage than most writers can cram into two books, Robert Dugoni’s The Last Agent is fast, unflinching, and absolutely fantastic.
Author: Robert Dugoni
Series: Charles Jenkins #2
Pages: 431 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Release Date: September 22, 2020
Real Book Spy Rating: 9.0/10
Praised as “One of the hardest working, most thoughtful, and fairest reviewers out there” by #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline, Ryan Steck 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.