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The Kremlin's Candidate

(Red Sparrow Trilogy #3)

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  13,041 ratings  ·  1,060 reviews
The “exciting conclusion” (Entertainment Weekly) in the New York Times bestselling Red Sparrow Trilogy has Russian counterintelligence chief Dominika Egorova and her lover, CIA agent Nate Nash, on the hunt for a Russian agent working in the US government.

With a plot ripped from tomorrow’s headlines, Jason Matthews is “one of America’s most readable spy novelists” (The Wash
Hardcover, 435 pages
Published February 13th 2018 by Scribner
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Average rating 4.15  · 
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 ·  13,041 ratings  ·  1,060 reviews

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Feb 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

The final book in the Red Sparrow trilogy is intricately plotted, packed with tension, and filled with twists and turns. I am sad this series is over, but the good news is that it ends on a solid note!

Numerous individuals are trying to promote Putin’s agenda, while the CIA crew of Forsyth, Benford, and Gable work to take him down. Dominika and Nate fight to be together, but as always there are competing forces in their way. Do they serve their countries or give up everything to be
Mar 07, 2018 rated it did not like it
Boy this book pissed me off at so many levels!!

I guess I've yet to encounter a book/trilogy that profoundly disappointed me as much as this.
Based on the current 'Hollywood' "Red Sparrow' movie in theaters, the book continues the saga between Dominika a Russian operative and Nate, a CIA operative who fall in love and spend the best part of 3 books reconnecting in high secretive spy missions, etc.
I swear this last book was the best by far, I was close to giving it a 5 stars...until the author Ma
May 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Ex-CIA man Jason Matthews brings his considerable experience and expertise to this final part of the Red Sparrow trilogy, lending it an air of real authenticity in its echoes of events in our contemporary world. CIA agent, Nathan and Russian ex-ballerina, Dominika, return for the last time with the lovers facing the gravest of dangers in a setting that moves from one colourful location to another, including Moscow, New York, Sudan, Hong Kong and Turkey. Putin himself plays a critical, at times a ...more
Jun 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
In this, the final novel in a high-impact trilogy, Jason Matthews seeks to take the story in a new and interesting direction, while tying up some loose ends and leaving others to dangle without resolution. Dominika Egorova remains a highly-placed mole in the Russian Government, having climbed the ladder within the SVR and rumoured to be the next director. In an early chapter flashback, Dominika remembers using her wiles and other newly honed ‘Sparrow’ assets, and has been able to secure a mid-ra ...more
Mar 27, 2019 rated it liked it
I can't comment without providing spoilers, so just saying hoped the ending would be better. 6 of 10 stars
Jan 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Kremlin’s Candidate concludes the fabulous Red Sparrow spy trilogy. I have spent the last week in the company of Nate and Dominika, slowly falling in love with this complex and global tale of espionage. Red Sparrow and Palace of Treason must be read before The Kremlin’s Candidate. They all follow on beautifully from each other and establish a base of characters in the Russian intelligence service and the American CIA.

I must admit that I feel sad to leave Nate and Dominika. I started The Krem
Feb 20, 2018 rated it did not like it
In my opinion, a five-star series with a one-star conclusion. I absolutely hated the ending - some may love it, some may say it's more realistic as to what really happens in the world of the CIA. That's probably true, but still, I hated the way it ended. The first two books I put up there as among the very best I ever read - but the ending of this book, well, I wish I would've stopped and pretended it didn't happen. I am very curious to see how others liked the ending - and I know I shouldn't le ...more
Jul 24, 2018 rated it liked it
A brief synopsis of this trilogy:

Everyone: "No, Dominika!"
Dominika: "Yes, Dominika!"
Everyone: "Okay, Dominika."

In the spirit of the books, I'm just gonna go balls-to-wall right off the bat with this review (heh-heh!).

Pros: Jason Matthews is ex-CIA, and I honestly felt like this trilogy gave a behind the scenes peek at the inner workings of the CIA and Russian intelligence/counter-intelligence agencies. I ate the crap up, let me tell you. I feel like I have the edge on Russia. I know their game.
kartik narayanan
Mar 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Read the review of the Red Sparrow Trilogy at my blog

The Kremlin's Candidate is an excellent conclusion to the Red Sparrow Trilogy. It has a great story, intricate plotting and an ending that will stay with you long after the book is over.

Without getting too much into spoiler territory, let me just that The Kremlin's Candidate is an exploration of the various themes that pertain to Dominika - her upbringing, Sparrow school, her rise in the SVR - from other spy agencies' perspectives. Her charac
Greville Waterman
Jan 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I put this book down with great regret and - without giving away any spoilers - not a few tears as well.

This is the final part of the great trilogy of novels relating the relationship between Nate (or Neyt), Nash and Colonel Dominika Egorova, the FSB Counter Intelligence chief who has been a CIA asset for many years.

The author's working knowledge of the espionage game is again apparent and shines through and the book is relentless in its excitement but is also sensitive in the way it portrays hu
Nick Sanders
Feb 22, 2018 rated it did not like it
Not out with a bang, but with a whimper.... After two thrilling parts of the trilogy, the third part is a vast disappointment. It's written as if Matthews had a thesaurus for breakfast each morning, and the plot develops in an alarmingly predictable way. And then, in just a few pages, it ends. Disappointingly, I must say.

What a pity.....
RoseMary Achey
Mar 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
There seemed to be a good deal of superfluous material that slowed or bogged down this read. The story had an engaging plot and I enjoyed reading about the internal workings of US and Russian counter intelligence agencies.
Feb 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
I"M ANGRY! I even read the reviews before I started this last book, there were no warnings. I would have been perfectly happy to stop at the second book. There was no warning with the direction that this book was going to go.

Not cool.
Aug 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Kremlin's Candidate, which is the last of a trilogy by Jason Matthews, continues the story of the contest to outdo one another by the CIA and the Russian successors to the Soviet KGB. Since Matthews goes to great lengths to fill in the back story one needn't read all three books BUT you would be missing a great treat if you only read the latest.

Matthews does a fabulous job in creating and developing truly memorable characters, both American and Russian. I will never forget some of them and,
Sep 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“The Kremlin’s Candidate” is the third book in the highly regarded Red Sparrow spy and espionage trilogy by Jason Matthews, a retired officer of the CIA’s Operations Directorate. He completed the trilogy earlier this year along with the release of the first one as a major Hollywood movie with Jennifer Lawrence and Joel Edgerton in the lead roles. Coming into this read I also was made aware of some warnings that as amazing as the first two books were, there would be some disappointment with the t ...more
Mar 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The Kremlin’s Candidate is the final installment in The Red Sparrow Trilogy- how I am going to miss these richly drawn, multi-dimensional characters. I savored every word! This trilogy depicts 21st century spy craft in all its intrigue, dangers, and suspense. All the scenarios ring true ( even Russia’s ploy to cause disruption and chaos in elections)! The author has nailed it! The first installment, RED SPARROW, is now released as a major motion picture, but I don’t think I will see it; I am qui ...more
Otis Chandler
Sep 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, spy, russia
Another excellent thriller to conclude this trilogy. I think the first and third books were best, but I powered through all three. The author is a legit former spy, so this series felt very realistic from the spy side, and then wove a nice love story in too. And the descriptions of Putin and how he operates Russia were fascinating. (view spoiler) ...more
Jill Mackin
May 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller, fiction, cia, russia
Definitely a great CIA/FSB thriller. You can certainly tell it was written by a former CIA Operations officer. Lots of twists and turns.
“The tenets of espionage were immutable—go forth and steal secrets—but technology was changing the Game.”

In The Kremlin’s Candidate, the race is on to identify the Russian spy who is one of three individuals currently in the running to become the next CIA director. This was hands down my favorite plot line of the trilogy and is by far the most thrilling in how Matthews brought everything full circle. Retelling Dominika’s time when she was still just a Sparrow, she was instructed to compromis
Michael Martz
Apr 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
'The Kremlin's Candidate', the 3rd in the Red Sparrow series by Jason Matthews, is yet another intricately crafted thriller with strong writing, good dialogue, and great 'tradecraft'. I'm sad to see this series end but getting there has been very satisfying.

The plot involves a bit of a race to see which spy, Russia's or our's, ascends to the top spot in their respective country's spy organization first. Whoever 'wins' is in a position to identify and expose the biggest traitor on the other side
Jun 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What, What, WTF just happened? It ended, that's what, suddenly and abruptly. No spoilers here, just a quick recap of the final installment of the trilogy. "The next CIA director could well be U.S. admiral Audrey Rowland, a mole working for the Russians, in bestseller Matthews’s stellar conclusion to his Red Sparrow trilogy. If selected, Rowland would learn the identity of Diva, the code name for Gen. Dominika Egorova, a spy for the Americans who has caught Vladimir Putin’s eye and is on track to ...more
Lorraine Meissner
Why only three stars

I anxiously awaited the final book of this trilogy only to discover that the author has changed his style of writing. I gave the first two books five stars each because they beautifully brought the reader along for the ride with clarity. The verbiage in this last book was rediculous! I'm an avid reader and have never had to research the meaning of a word more than once or twice in a book. When even kindle has no definition I know I'm in uncharted territory. I'm not sure if th
Ron S
Jan 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: espionage, cia, putin, russia
Retired CIA officer Jason Matthews wraps up his Red Sparrow trilogy centered around Russian counterintelligence agent Dominika Egorova. The first two books received high critical praise and comparisons to le Carre; the plot is plausible, the characters compelling. Unfortunately, the seeming sheer implausibility of the current U.S. political climate is such that fiction with authenticity seems dull by comparison. A movie version of Red Sparrow, the first book in the trilogy, starring Jennifer Law ...more
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic, surprising ending to the Red Sparrow trilogy. Early on I was worried that Matthews was stretched too thin, but as the book progressed, I found the numerous plot lines to be wonderfully executed. I loved that actions had consequences, that just because someone's a good guy it doesn't exempt them. Didn't want it to end!
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Who better to write a superb spy versus spy novel than Matthews who has 33 years of experience working for the CIA Operations Directorate. This is the third installment in the Red Sparrow series and it does not disappoint. His descriptions of surveillance-detection runs have the ring of authenticity rarely achieved in other spy novels.
Dominika Egorova began her career as a sparrow, an operative trained in the sex arts. But she has risen up through the ranks of the SVR as a result of her intelli
Feb 16, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I am disappointed! It is no “I am Pilgrim”...

I was eagerly looking forward to the release of Mr. Matthews’ book, and once it appeared in my kindle I devoured it! It took me longer to think about writing this review than actually finishing the book. The writing, the story, the characters all flowed and stayed true to the story. Indeed, the amount of minutiae, CIA lingo, hopelessness directed this tale towards a tragic future where nothing but deceit, treachery, and prostitution of ones values wor
Apr 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2019
This is an outstanding spy novel! Real characters, real feelings, intriguing storyline. 4.5 stars!

I liked the whole Red Sparrow Trilogy, this final book was a decent ending to this thrilling journey. I loved the characters of the CIA team - Benford, Gable, Forsyth and Nash of course. Dominyika is a stubborn but smart girl, she learned everything in this spy-world to be a really good asset in this dangerous game called espionage.
(view spoiler)
Jul 06, 2018 added it
Shelves: russia, fiction
I really enjoyed this trilogy. Matthews does a good job of weaving romance with all the trappings of a spy novel: heart-breaking treachery, double-crossings, lots of suspense, plus fun gadgets and cutting-edge technology. I powered through all three books and would probably read more of them. The first and the third novels in the trilogy were the best.
Mar 09, 2018 rated it liked it
A fitting end to the trilogy, but it turns out that I don't really want to hear as many grody details about Putin as this novel had to offer. Now I'm curious to see the movie of Red Sparrow as well!
This concludes Matthews' compelling espionage series that started with Red Sparrow--read the book instead of seeing the movie. It displays the same strengths as the previous titles (and you must start at the first or you'll be lost), although I think the body count is higher here, certainly higher among characters we care about, and the scenes of torture were gruesome but fortunately brief. This especially is a book for our times with an insider's view of the skullduggery in the world of espiona ...more
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Librarian's note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Jason Matthews is a retired officer of the CIA’s Operations Directorate. Over a thirty-three-year career he served in multiple overseas locations and engaged in clandestine collection of national security intelligence, specializing in denied-area operations. Matthews conducted recruitment operations against So

Other books in the series

Red Sparrow Trilogy (3 books)
  • Red Sparrow (Red Sparrow Trilogy, #1)
  • Palace of Treason (Red Sparrow Trilogy, #2)

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