Book Review: Red Sparrow

We were lucky enough to receive Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews from Simon & Schuster Canada well before the release, along with a lovely note indicating that it was a book that everyone at S&S; couldn’t put down. With such encouragement, we jumped right into it.

A twisting spy thriller, Red Sparrow is a layered story of CIA agent Nathaniel Nash and his first-tour operation to recruit a beautiful Russian “Sparrow” Dominika, a trained seductress in the Russian service. Uncertain whether she is on assignment to work him in return, Nash’s world begins to intertwine with Dominika’s and the two begin an impossible and dangerous relationship that will ultimately change their lives and the security of their countries.

With double agents and high-level traitors, the story is full of thrilling twists and turns that drive you forward, racing to see what is around each corner. It’s no wonder everyone is reading this in one sitting. 

The authenticity of the weaving web is what keeps it all glued together. Matthews, a former CIA officer himself, has the knowledge and experience to write a convincingly shocking story of betrayal, manipulation and forbidden love. 

It’s hard to describe the bulk of the book without giving anything away, but Matthews creates intriguing characters and details their attributes in such a way that you can’t help but wonder how much of his writing is based on real people and events.

The exciting Red Sparrow is an exhilarating read, one that any fan of thrillers and complex plots won’t want to miss out on.

I wasn’t sure what to think of or expect from a book that had “sexpionage” in its description, but I was pleasantly surprised.

This isn’t your typical Jason Bourne spy thriller; Red Sparrow is an intelligent, descriptive and complex journey through Moscow, Italy and DC. The pulse pounding, non-stop action is replaced by rich characters and a superior telling of a tale full of moles and insider spy tricks.

Matthews drew deeply from his own experiences in the CIA to create this masterpiece of cunning, rich and relatable characters that leaves you turning page after page to unravel the mystery of the mole.

Dominika and Nate’s troubled relationship is in of itself enough to keep you reading but when you add in the endearing MARBLE to the mix, you have a cast of characters that will leave you wondering about them well after you’ve finished this glorious novel.

I know that after reading Red Sparrow, I immediately wanted to eat and learn how to become a spy. I’ll skip Sparrow school though.

Red Sparrow is available on June 4th.

City Girl Rating: 4 out of 5 glasses of wine


Matthews’ history within the CIA is a fascinating aspect and we were lucky enough to have the opportunity to ask him a few questions about this book. Check back on June 2 for the interview with Jason Matthews.

images from google images.