Friday, June 22, 2012

Scorpion Winter-Andrew Kaplan

Scorpion Winter

Andrew Kaplan

Harper, Jul 31 2012, $9.99

ISBN 9780062063786

Ukrainian billionaire businessman Vadim Akhnetzov stuns Scorpion by doing the near impossible without permission by contacting him. Vadim wants Scorpion to stop an assassination attempt. The owner of the Ukengaz firm says Kozhanovskiy is supported by the West while Cherkesov by the Russians. He explains there is a plot to kill Cherkesov, which would lead to a Russian invasion and a NATO counterstrike. Scorpion asks Vadim re his interest and the Ukrainian responds by saying he would do business with the devil as the Russians would end his company if their man is murdered and that the prototype is the assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand in 1914.

Scorpion agrees to prevent the assassination not for the seven digit fee he accepts, but because his “handler” Rabinowich must think this is a potential crisis by enabling Akhnetzov to contact him. In the Ukraine, Scorpion teams up with political adviser Iryna Mikhailivna Shevchenko to keep the Russian backed candidate alive. As seemingly unrelated events in Siberian Penal Colony 9 and Yemen occur, Scorpion kills several people. At the same he eludes the local police, the state secret police, the Ukrainian mob and several spy agencies including his former mates at the CIA; many of whom work conflicting devious games with no regard for collateral damage. However, he soon realizes he has been betrayed by someone apparently on his side.

The third Scorpion espionage thriller (see Scorpion Betrayal) is a fast-paced tale even before the free-lance spy and the business mogul meet and never slows down until the final confrontation. Fast-paced with a high kill rate, Andrew Kaplan uses the tense 2010 Ukraine election (and the upcoming one) as the basis of a strong thriller.

Harriet Klausner

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