The Moscow Sleepers

The Moscow Sleepers


A man lies dying in a hospital in Vermont. All the nurses know is he is an academic at a nearby university but they have been instructed to call the FBI should anyone visit their patient.

News of this suspected Russian illegal soon reaches MI5 in London where Liz Carlyle has been contacted by a top secret source known as Mischa who is requesting a clandestine rendezvous in Berlin.

Meanwhile in Brussels a Russian sleeper agent who has lived undercover for years is beginning to question his role, while suspicions have been roused about a boarding school in Suffolk that has recently changed hands in mysterious circumstances.

Our Review

The Moscow Sleepers is the first spy novel I have read as it is not a genre I am usually interested in. The reason I chose to request this book for review is that I liked the sound of the book based on the blurb.

Stella Rimington has experience in the field and this is clearly reflected in the novel. There are no off-putting incredible feats instead The Moscow Sleepers provides the reader with what I would imagine is a more accurate reflection of life in this business. Whilst I liked this it doesn’t exactly make for a thrilling read and fans of James Bond should look elsewhere.

Having said that The Moscow Sleepers was fast-paced in its own way and I didn’t find myself wanting to find something more interesting to read. 

The book begins with a nurse looking after dying patients somewhere in Vermont.

“People came her to die. And die is what they all did. Nobody left here cured.”

Every patient in there received regular visitors apart from one man – Lars Petersen. He alone had no visitors during the stay, of this she was sure as each visitor had to be logged and the nurses were under strict instructions to report it if this man were to have visitors. Though it had never been confirmed the nurse believes it is because this man is suspected of being a spy. So, it is with surprise that she realises Lars has a visitor that night ‘an old school friend.’

London and the Americans become involved in trying to discover what the ‘Illegal’ was doing during his stay and stumble upon a plot that takes them to both Berlin and a boarding school in the Suffolk countryside.

There were a lot of characters in The Moscow Sleepers and I confess to finding myself at a loss whilst trying to remember who some of the peripheral characters were. On the whole though I found the characters engaging and found that I wanted to continue reading about them.

Initially I didn’t realise The Moscow Sleepers was part of a larger series, but I feel that this book worked quite well as a stand alone and my lack of knowledge of the other books didn’t necessarily detract from my enjoyment of the book.

One thing that did detract from the book for me was the ending felt a little bit like the author was in a rush to tie it all up in a neat little bow. I felt that there were parts of the story that could have benefitted from more details and the romantic entanglements were a bit superfluous.

On the whole though I enjoyed reading The Moscow Sleepers and would read another by her.

Our Final Rating...

Our Rating

  • Currently 3/5

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