Title: The Eighth Sister (Charles Jenkins #1)
Author: Robert Dugoni
Published on: 9th April 2019
Genre: Mystery and Thriller
Charles Jenkins, former CIA operative is in crossroads. At 65, his company CJ securities, a security consulting firm, is on the brink of bankruptcy. Alex, his wife, is expecting their second baby and has been diagnosed with some complications. When Carl Emerson, Jenkins’ boss at the CIA drops by to say that he is selected for a clandestine operation in Russia, Jenkins sees this as an opportunity to clear his debts.
Jenkins goes to Russia and meets an FSB operative, Viktor Federov. It is believed that the CIA trained seven Russian women to act as double agents and were known as The Seven Sisters. Years later, the lives of these double agents are at risk as someone is killing them. With two women dead and the third one missing, Jenkins’ job is to find out the Eighth Sister (Russian double agent) and give her details to the CIA before it is too late.
When Jenkins goes to Moscow for the second time, he realizes that he’s been set up. Viktor and Jenkins are in for an adventurous cat-and-mouse chase.
The Eighth Sister is my first Robert Dugoni book. Having seen a lot of rave reviews about his novels, I decided to give this book a try. I am a sucker for Spy thrillers and this book looked promising as I started to read it. But…
I have mixed opinions about this book. The book is divided into two parts. The first part deals with Jenkins and his escape from Russia. The second part has nothing to do with spying! I really liked the first part of the book. It was a high-end chase between Viktor and Jenkins. Adventurous too, like the ones that keep you on the edge of your seat.
However, the second part of the book fell flat – it was boring! So, Jenkins is now back to the US of A and he wants to hold Emerson responsible for setting him up. But Emerson is nowhere to be seen. Then the story takes a whole new turn and there’s a court drama in progress!
As the title suggests, I was thinking the story would be about finding the Eighth Sister or, at least, rescuing the remaining four of the seven sisters before it is too late. Now, wouldn’t that be a good spy thriller? The first part reminded me of Frederick Forsyth’s spy thrillers. It all sounded too good to be true. The FSB tailing Jenkins in Russia and following him all the way to the Black Sea and Turkey.
There was equal preference given to Jenkins’ family and his misadventures with the CIA. But what sounded a bit disappointing was that Jenkins worked for just two years in the CIA before walking away. Forty years later, he’s still considered to be an important asset? The courtroom drama was totally unexpected and disappointing.
What would have been a better story – Jenkins saving the remaining four of the seven sisters. Maybe, part 2 could have been something about Jenkins still being chased in his homeland! As I started to read this book, I felt this book could be a 4.5 or 5 starred but as the story proceeded, I changed my opinion! I might give the next book in this series a try and I hope there would be more of spying and less of courtroom drama.