Red to Black by Alex Dryden


Finn is a veteran MI6 operative stationed in Moscow.  In the guise of an amiable trade secretary, he has penetrated deep into the dangerous labyrinth that is Russia under Vladimir Putin to discover some of its darkest secrets, thanks to high-level source deep within the Kremlin. 
The youngest female colonel in the KGB, Anna is the ambitious daughter of one of the former Soviet Union's elite espionage families.  Charged with helping to make Russia strong again under Putin, she is ordered to spy on Finn and discover the identity of his mole. 

At the dawn of the new millennium, these adversaries find themselves brought together by an unexpected love that becomes the only truth they can trust.  When Finn uncovers a shocking and ingenious plan - hatched in the depths of the Cold War - to control the European continent and shift the balance of world power, he and Anna are thrust into a deadly plot in which friend and foe wear the same face.  With time running out, they will risk everything - career, reputation, and even their own lives - to expose the terrifying truth.

Published by Ecco, an imprint of Harper Collins Publishers.
Published in the United Kingdom by Headline.





"Alex Dryden's brilliant and unforgettable novel has told me more about the making of modern Russia than I could learn from all books of journalism and contemporary history combined. That it has done so in the form of a compulsively readable spy story, love story, and moral fable is nothing short of miraculous." - STEPHEN FRY
"One of the more intriguing novels of the year in any genre. A doomed love-among-the-spooks story so delicately pitched that the narrative is as engaging as the commentary is chilling." - DAILY TELEGRAPH (London)
"Alex Dryden's novel could not be better timed.  Crammed with detail and a forcefulness that outweighs the human story, Dryden's anger with the sinister developments in today's Russia leaps off the page. Dryden is grimly authoritative on the power plays of Putin and the new Russia." - DAILY EXPRESS (London)
"Alex Dryden is the real thing.  If he got any realer, he would step out of the pages and physically punch you, with both elegance and regret." - HUGH LAURIE
"Prescient...Red to Black depicts a frightening and ruthless Russia which answers to nobody. This debut thriller is thrillingly topical and skilfully structured." - ECONOMIST
"Red to Black reinvigorated the classic Cold War espionage genre." - BOOKLIST
"Set in post-glasnost Russia and spilling into Western Europe, this superb debut novel by a pseudonymous British journalist tells the tale of star-crossed lovers who spy for opposing sides. . . . . VERDICT: This reviewer has never read a novel that captures so well what it must be like to live in a world where one party constantly lies to the other, knowing the other will see it as a lie and lie back in return. An exceptional novel by any standard; readers who enjoy a love story mixed with their espionage (à la le Carré's The Little Drummer Girl) will appreciate." - LIBRARY JOURNAL
"The pseudonymous Dryden, a British journalist, eschews both technological marvels and implausible action scenes in his absorbing debut, a spy thriller that exposes the links between the "old" Russia of the Cold War and the "new" Russia of Vladimir Putin. . .. Dryden's fact-based scenario provides worrisome food for thought. - PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
"Red to Black is a terrific espionage novel wrapped in an affecting story of fated love. It also oozes a chilling, timely verisimilitude, and thoughtful newspaper readers can be forgiven for wondering if the "second KGB President," Vladimir Putin, didn't begin to execute the Plan less than two years ago. Dryden is a journalist who has specialized in security matters since the Berlin wall fell two decades ago. This is his first novel, and it vaults him directly into the top rank of espionage novelists." - BOOKLIST
"Set in present-day Russia, Red to Black is a spy thriller. This riveting novel by Alex Dryden, who lived in Russia for more than 15 years, is both insightful and informative." - NATIONAL EXAMINER
"Terrifying, quite frankly...chillingly unputdownable - everything you didn't want to know about Putin but were afraid to ask." - EMMA THOMPSON