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The Moscow Deception

Review

The Moscow Deception

Bianca St. Ives is the kind of woman you’d want as your best friend. Loyal, funny, intelligent and capable, Bianca has built a successful business, Guardian Consulting, which provides exceptional computer security for companies in need of protecting their data from hacks. Her tight-knit band of employees includes a hacker who infiltrated the Department of Defense’s own computer system; a handsome former cop and soldier; and her best friend Evie, who’s in the middle of both a divorce and a pregnancy.

Bianca seems like a typical American success story --- everything externally that a person would admire. She’s also living a double life. Most CEOs aren’t masters of disguise, lethal in hand-to-hand combat, or skilled in various types of explosives detonation. Bianca has mastered living two lives, though, and those closest to her have no idea that she’s anything other than what she appears to be. Whether she’s rescuing a young woman from a gang or waiting in the rain with a sniper rifle to take out someone before they can get to her, she has compartmentalized her life to the point that those around her would never suspect that her away-from-the-office activities verge on dangerous or even illegal.

"...a fast-paced, exciting and highly readable thriller.... Karen Robards has crafted a novel that reads very much like the literary versions of 'Alias' or 'Mission: Impossible' might..."

However, Bianca’s two lives are veering dangerously close to collision. She has discovered that she was part of a government project to produce real-life versions of super soldiers (she was number 44 of 48 of these genetically modified experiments). Worst of all, she has learned that she is the only one left alive. Apparently, one of the men in charge of these human experiments is determined to eradicate the one living piece of evidence --- Bianca --- who can link him to the program. And eradication means murder. By contract, put out on the dark web, for more money than most could imagine.

But there just might be a way for Bianca to escape the threat on her life. She was rescued as a child by a man named Mason Thayer. All of her life, she had thought he was her father. While he had called her his daughter and raised her (and trained her in spycraft and thievery), it took a CIA black site in western Europe to reveal to her that he was not. In the moment when she has no other place to turn to for help, Bianca discovers that Mason might have the key to save her life. And of all things, it involves stealing an enormous German treasure from a famous Moscow museum --- an impossible theft. But it is a theft that might enable Bianca to nullify the contract on her life and, just maybe, return to her normal life in Savannah. Still, it will take a crew of unusual people, impeccable planning and extreme vigilance to carry it all off. And that’s only if Bianca doesn’t get killed first.

THE MOSCOW DECEPTION is a fast-paced, exciting and highly readable thriller. Bianca and her compatriots are likable and entertaining characters. Author Karen Robards has crafted a novel that reads very much like the literary versions of “Alias” or “Mission: Impossible” might, and Bianca is every bit as capable and inventive as Sydney Bristow or Ethan Hunt. (She’s also funnier than they are!) From seaside Savannah, to intoxicating Asia, to the famous capital city of Russia, Robards opens doors for the reader to experience a taste of the spy life in various locales.

Although most of us will breathe sighs of relief for not having to live while constantly looking over our shoulders, it’s quite compelling to watch as Bianca looks over her own. All the while, we’re hoping against hope that she’ll escape to live another fascinating day.

Reviewed by Melanie Reynolds on July 20, 2018

The Moscow Deception
by Karen Robards

  • Publication Date: June 12, 2018
  • Genres: Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Mira
  • ISBN-10: 0778330745
  • ISBN-13: 9780778330745