LAST TO FOLD by David Duffy


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The ups and downs of an ex–Russian spy in a first novel that also has its ups and downs.

For 40 hard years, boy to man, Turbo Vlost served Soviet intelligence in one clandestine capacity or another until he was offered—and gratefully accepted—early retirement. That was in 1993. Now, in his mid-50s, the Russian in him is confined to such carry-overs as a leaning toward vodka (his booze of choice). This ex–KGB colonel now resides in the City That Never Sleeps, energetic, entrepreneurial, a quintessential New Yorker. He calls his thriving one-man company Vlost and Found and, awful pun aside, it’s descriptive enough. “I get paid to find things,’” he tells a prospective client. “Sometimes people. Sometimes valuables. Sometimes information.” In the case of financier Rory Mulholland, it’s Eva, a l9-year-old stepdaughter who’s gone missing. Moments after learning that, however, Turbo is hauled back to a time and place he’d begun to believe was safely on the other side of the looking glass. Unexpectedly, he finds himself confronting his own unsettling history. And a scary, unwelcome history it is. Eva, it turns out, is the daughter of Turbo’s ex-wife, a woman as notoriously venomous as she is obsessively vindictive. The fact that her hatred of Turbo is unjustified matters little to Polina, who long ago might have settled Turbo’s hash if only she’d known where he was. But now, suddenly, a lot of Turbo-haters know where he is—a motley collection of former colleagues: world-class grudge-holders skilled at rendering maximum personal discomfort as the need arises, all intent on making the point that nobody, ever, takes early retirement from the KGB.   

Despite occasional rewards, this is mostly cookie-cutter spy lit, but if Duffy ever gets around to making a real person out of his Americanized Russian, he could have something special. 
Pub Date: April 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-312-62190-2
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Dunne/St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2011


NonfictionINSIDE THE KGB by Vladimir Kuzichkin
by Vladimir Kuzichkin