Red Star Rising: A Thriller

Author : Brian Freemantle

Red Star Rising: A Thriller   is a professional first for me, after 80 novels.

It is the first book in a trilogy, something I’ve never before attempted, although it is 14th in the series featuring my Charlie Muffin character. Red Star Rising – with Red Star Burning and Red Star Falling to follow – brings Charlie back to Moscow, after the discovery of a tortured-to-death, unidentified Russian in the grounds of the British Embassy. It also brings him back to Natalia, the Russian intelligence colonel to whom he’s secretly married. So of course he has yet another chance to persuade her finally to defect with their daughter to England. That personal ambition is sidelined when the murder investigation uncovers a KGB-originated operation (20 years in the making) to manipulate every decision of the American president from within the Kremlin. To defeat it, Charlie blows his intelligence cover, confronting inevitable assassination and other problems.

Which is where Red Star Burning, the second in the trilogy scheduled for June publication by St Martin’s Press, begins. Charlie risks Russian assassination by returning to Moscow to rescue Natalia when their marriage is discovered by the FSB, successor to the KGB. The danger he doesn’t anticipate is becoming a sacrificial target for his own side.

The completion of Red Star Falling, the last of the trilogy, coincided with my contracting with Open Road Media to digitize 43 of the 81 so far published books, including all in the Charlie Muffin series. The first in that series was written while I still worked as a foreign editor and chief foreign correspondent at one of Britain’s leading national newspapers, the Daily Mail. During that earlier, Cold War career I was twice approached to be a spy for the KGB-controlled intelligence services of Poland and Hungary.

The attempts to blackmail me into becoming an “agent of influence” – writing pro-Soviet articles in British newspapers – failed, but the experiences provided background for my novels. That background proved so worrying for the KGB that agents stole a pre-publication copy of a non fiction expose of the service at the Frankfurt Book Fair and for six years after its publication I was banned from entering Russia.

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