A Gripping Espionage Thriller

In Moscow X, David McCloskey delivers a high-stakes espionage thriller set in modern-day Russia. CIA operatives, Sia and Max, enter Russia to recruit Vladimir Putin’s moneyman.

Sia works for a London firm that conceals the wealth of the super-rich, while Max runs a family horse-breeding business in Mexico, a CIA front since the 1960s. They pose as a couple, targeting Vadim, Putin’s private banker, and his wife, Anna, who is both a banker and an intelligence officer. As they navigate a world of luxury and gangland violence, they hope Anna, who is playing her own game, will be their ally.

Disgraced CIA officer Artemis Aphrodite Procter sees a chance to regain favor by recruiting Anna to destabilize Putin’s regime. She selects Max and Sia for the mission, offering Anna a prized horse to sweeten the deal. Complications arise when Max and Sia fall in love, and Russian intelligence officer Konstantin Konstantinovich Chernov stands in their way.

Moscow X combines classic spy craft with urgent global tensions, weaving a tale of betrayal, loyalty, and pursuing truth. The well-developed characters and McCloskey’s deep research add authenticity and intrigue. The Russian names can be difficult to follow, and the complex plot is filled with double-and triple-crosses, so it is important for readers to pay attention. Some elements are intense and disturbing.

Former CIA officer McCloskey (Damascus Station) serves up another authentic espionage thriller. “Moscow X” is both a gripping tale of modern espionage and a daring political commentary on U.S.-Russia relations. I give it 4 stars.

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