The Bottom Line: One of the more realistic spy thrillers in recent memory, Maskirovka employs patient, meticulous storytelling that should earn Richard Meredith a loyal following.
Maskirovka is a sprawling, complex spy thriller – but it doesn’t start that way. Author Richard Meredith Maskirovka begins the novel as a quiet police procedural that follows San Francisco Homicide Detective Steve Nguyen as he looks into the death of 31–year-old accountant Lucas Miller. Had Miller been in his 40s or 50s, or if Nguyen had a heavier caseload, he might have simply accepted the coroner’s initial finding that Miller died of “natural causes.”
But Nguyen keeps digging, doggedly pursuing things that don’t add up. Along the way, he finds compelling evidence that Miller’s bedroom had been sealed at the time of his death.
What follows is a labyrinthian investigation that is way above Nguyen’s pay grade or jurisdiction. The once-simple murder investigation soon leads to Russian Intelligence and the Kremlin. Along the way, Nguyen enlists the help of his talented cousins to reveal a sophisticated scheme to dominate the European energy market. While the real-world war in Ukraine isn’t the book’s focus, readers following recent headlines about the way Russia has used its oil dominance as a strategy will find Meredith’s well-researched narrative especially poignant.
In parallel, Meredith opens a storyline that follows Jennifer Krauss, of the Glass Foundation where Miller worked. To say much more would be to reveal spoilers, but let’s just say that readers won’t have to wait long before her world becomes complicated. And like any good spy novel, the closer Nguyen gets to the truth, the more imperiled he himself becomes.