THE HYDRA PROTOCOL by David Wellington


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Wellington wants those of you who haven’t kept up with the news to know that Cold War relics and new world order infighting have made the former Soviet Union a very dangerous place indeed.

Just because the USSR is no more doesn’t mean it’s not armed to the teeth. Consider the missile defense system Perimeter, which is programmed to automatically unleash a full-scale attack on the U.S. if it ever senses the approach of an American missile. Clearly, this dinosaur system, whose existence Russia never acknowledged, is a disaster waiting to happen, and Agent Nadezhda “Nadia” Asimova, of the Federal Service for Technic and Export Control of the Russian Federation, wants to stop it. And she wants one-armed Capt. Jim Chapel, of U.S. Military Intelligence, along to witness that the system has indeed been neutralized. After rescuing Chapel (Chimera, 2013) from detection when his routine deep-sea dive to recover a notebook from a long-sunken Soviet submarine off the Cuban coast goes unexpectedly wrong, she asks his boss, Rupert Hollingshead, to authorize his participation, a process that’s considerably eased when Julia Taggart, the girlfriend for whom he’s willing to quit the service to marry, walks out on him. Picking up Bogdan Vlaicu, the Romanian hacker who’ll tinker under the hood of the doomsday machine, the pair makes for remote Uzbekistan. Problem: They’re not the only parties to turn up on the scene in the middle of nowhere. Problem: Chapel’s growing attachment to Nadia threatens to compromise the mission. Problem: Nadia may not be exactly what she seems to be. The threats keep shifting, but the well-choreographed action, which requires a remarkably small cast, is nonstop.

From Russia with Love meets Dr. Strangelove. Wellington has added a few twists of his own, but the rhetoric—“What could come close to measuring up to the fate of the entire world?”—has changed remarkably little over half a century.

Pub Date: May 13th, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-06-224880-0
Page count: 448pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15th, 2014


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