"Listening to John Shea's narration of this bestseller, you nearly forget it's fiction. That's because this story of Russia's resurgence comes at the same time that the real-life country is attempting to reassert its influence on its neighbors. The fifth in Bell's Hawke series is one of his most exciting stories. In this fast-paced offering, leadership of the Kremlin is taken over by a power-hungry despot intent on making Russia dominant in the world. An attack against a Midwestern town--a threat of what's to come on a massive scale if the U.S. doesn't back down--brings counterspy Alex Hawke onto the scene. Shea's pacing is excellent, and his voice is clear and emphatic as Hawke races against time to prevent disaster. The only fault in Shea's reading is his handling of the Russian characters. Some, but not all, sound comical rather than fearsome. A.L.H. (c) AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine"