Friday, June 19, 2009

The Venona Cable-Brent Ghelfi

The Venona Cable
Brent Ghelfi
Holt, Aug 2009, $25.00
ISBN 9780805088946

The murdered corpse of elderly American cinematographer Everett Walker is found in a Moscow warehouse. The Russian police charge master criminal and espionage agent Alexei “Volk” Volkovoy with the homicide for several circumstantial reasons one of which is he made pornographic videos at the “studio”.

Additionally Walker was blackballed by Hollywood in the 1990s due to the release of the previously Top Secret Venona Cables that incriminated him with many spies. He had come to Moscow seeking Volk. The American possessed a microdot of a decrypted 1943 cable concerning a meeting between Churchill and Roosevelt and a photo of Walker with Volk's disgraced father, Stepan, who mysteriously vanished in 1974. Volk knows the only way he can prove his innocence is to investigate his father in order to ascertain whether Stepan was a GRU military intelligence operative or a traitor. With only Valya at his side, he quickly realizes both the Russians and the Americans are clueless as to whom the genuine agents were, who were the moles, and who were the triple/double crossers, but each side wants Volk stopped from uncovering the truth.

This action-packed thriller grips readers from the opening moment when Volk realizes how much trouble he is in and how little time he has to extract himself from pending disaster. Readers will enjoy his latest exploits as he struggles to stay one step ahead of the Russian and American police and espionage groups. The ties to 1943 are brilliantly forged as Volk learns that the sins of the father are often carried on the backs of their offspring.

Harriet Klausner