4.5 starsWould you ever want to go back to a place where you knew your life was in constant peril, where the fate that awaited you at best was prison and at worst prison accompanied by torture, suffering, and misery? Would you ever want to work once again for a place that prosecuted you falsely for espionage and treason? Most of us would definitely decline this “opportunity”, but not Charles.What would entice Charles back into the deadly business of spying, leaving his loving wife and two children, leaving a life of retirement, leaving a life where he was exonerated of his supposed crimes?For Charles, there was no question to do so when he learned of the possibility that his friend and the women who previously saved him might be alive Paulina Ponomayova, had years ago provided the way for Charles to escape Russia, literally sacrificing herself, and if she is still alive, Charles owes her a debt he feels he needs to repay If alive, Paulina would be held in the heinous prison called Lefortovo, a virtual hell hole on earth.Returning to Russia, Charles meets up with his former nemesis, Viktor Federov Viktor, maltreated by the Russian government, is enlisted, and in a twist of fate, joins in helping Charles free Paulina, a task that has insurmountable odds of not succeeding In essence two former enemies become united in what once had seemed an impossibility.The game is on to free Paulina and the stakes are ever so high as one vindictive ruthless Russian agent pursues Charles and seems to be always anticipating Charles’s next move Who will win this cat and mouse game where death seems to be the only option?If you enjoy stories that never let up on the thrills and suspense factors, pick this one up It keeps getting better as every page is turned and your breathe is held as Charles races to save not only Paulina, but also his own life that hangs in the balance at every turn in the road.Thank you to Robert Dugoni, Thomas Mercer, and NetGalley for an advanced copy of this electrifying book due out September 22, 2020. A great espionage story often pits spy 🕵️♀️ versus spy 🕵️♂️, matching wit for wit, often like a chess game Each move, no matter how brilliantly conceived, is countered with yet another brilliant move Modern surveillance equipment, traffic cameras, financial transaction monitoring, and game theory programs change the way its played, have the players up their game, but the rules remain the same It’s a match of wits Whoever is quickest to the solution survived to fight another day.“The Last Agent” is book two in the series and does not require the first book as a prerequisite Nevertheless, it continues where the first book (the Eighth Sister) left off Jenkins is back at home outside Seattle with his family, bitter at how the Agency disposed of him when it was convenient But word is that Paulina, who saved his life and after whom his daughter was named, survived the car crash and is entombed deep in an interrogation chamber in the basement of a Russian prison Jenkins is called out if retirement to effect the impossible: a rescue deep in the heart of Moscow There is a slow build up as Jenkins sneaks his way into Russia and alerts the one Russian agent who might be convinced to help him From there, it’s making the impossible happen, getting Paulina out if Russian prison and to safety without maybe causing World War 3 The slow methodical buildup pays off big time with the holdyourbreath and pray cat and mouse game as Jenkins and his allies ferret a way out against all odds Once you get to this part, you are not going to want to put it down. MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE I could hear the music from that late 60searly 70s TV spy series in my head throughout my entire reading of Robert Dugoni’s new Charles Jenkins thriller, The Last Agent Jenkins’ mission, should he choose to accept it, is to get into back into Russia, find out whether a prisoner the Russians are holding is the asset Paulina Ponomayova, and smuggle her out of Lefortovo and into the US for debriefing Piece of cake, right?Jenkins has reasons to refuse He has a family, wife Alex, son CJ, and a new baby daughter Lizzie He has just been acquitted of espionage after his government threw him under the bus Now the Agency has the nerve to come asking for his help If it were anyone else, Jenkins would likely decline, but Paulina Ponomayova saved his life His baby girl is named for her: Elizabeth Paulina Jenkins He believed Ponomayova to be dead, but now, if she is alive, he must try to get her out because he owes her Alex understands this, but the decision weighs heavily on Charlie.Sending Jenkins to Russia as an undercover agent is no small task Literally not small Jenkins is a six footfiveinch tall African American man, which makes him stand out in Moscow So he must rely upon his experience and his contacts, plus the resources and backing of the CIA to maintain his cover To whom does he turn when he arrives? His old nemesis, Viktor Federov It was fascinating to watch their rivalry transform into an uneasy partnership, with neither totally trusting the other, but rather cooperating because the other options are unacceptable.With Federov assisting Jenkins in attempting to learn if Paulina is indeed the prisoner inside the notorious prison, a new, extremely dangerous foe, Adam Efimov leads the hunt Efimov claims to have ties to Putin himself and knows if he does not get the information they need from Ponomayova, his head will roll So he pulls no punches when it comes to pursing Charlie Jenkins He will stop at nothing to prevent him from letting her escape from Russia, even if it means endangering lives of his men or innocent civilians.This is a brilliantly conceived story Once I got the hang of who was who with all the Russian names, I just sat back and enjoyed the ride “Enjoy” has different meanings at different times This was not like your walk in the park or a ride the merrygoround This was like, I don’t know, pick your favorite bumpy ride At times, I held my breath At times, I gripped my Kindle tightly and wanted to shut my eyes A few times, I even chuckled, like when the pilot, Rod Studebaker broke out into song, “Come on baby, light my fire” as he was flying his nervous passengers through a particularly rough patch in a snowstorm “Hot Rod” was quite a memorable character.Federov turns out to be memorable, if not rather sad at times He’s basically a lonely man, and he seems to respect Jenkins I liked Matt Le, and I hope to see him again in future books The good news is that it seems quite likely that there will be at least onebook to follow this one as the mystery of the “Seven Sisters” isn’t quite wrapped up If it’s anything like The Last Agent, I may need to stock up on vodka before I read that one!Highly recommended You’ll want to read The Eighth Sister before reading this one so that the characters and events make sense And it's a great read!My thanks to NetGalley, Thomas Mercer, and the author for this ARC copy My views and comments are my own.5 stars Thank you to Net Galley,the publishers and the author for an ARC copy for review, and apologies for the delay.Firstly I have read some of the Tracy Crosswhite books, but I personally loved this character and book , here we have Charles Jenkins.Net Galley, the publishers gave me the second book in the series, I had not read the first, but the author explains so much and so well in this second book I understood this book fully and the history of the first.An American operative in Russia is on the run for his life in a thriller of heartstopping betrayal and international intrigue by the New York Times bestselling author of The Eighth Sister.Betrayed by his own country and tried for treason, former spy Charles Jenkins survived an undercover Russian operation gone wrong Exonerated, bitter, and safe, the retired family man is through with duplicitous spy games Then he learns of a woman isolated in Moscow’s notorious Lefortovo Prison.If it’s Paulina Ponomayova, the agent who sacrificed her life to save his, Jenkins can’t leave her behind But there’s no guarantee it’s her Or proof Paulina is still alive To find out, Jenkins must return to Russia Next move: blackmail Viktor Federov, a former Russian officer with his own ax to grind, into helping him infiltrate Lefortovo The enemy who once pursued Jenkins across three continents is now the only man Jenkins can trust.Every step of the way—from Moscow to Scandinavia to the open ocean—they’re hunted by a brutal Russian agent on a killer quest of his own Out of loyalty to Paulina—dead or alive—Jenkins is putting everyone’s life on the line for a new mission that could be his last.This was an action packed thriller, action, crime, espionage the tension builds as each chapter flies by and there were moments I wanted to close my eyes! Panicked at what was about to happen, I felt all the time this would make a great film.Great characters,all the way through you could not be sure who Charles could trust, who was helping, who wasn't and throughout he was literally steps ahead.The pace, the strength of the story, the characters, the tension, also how tired I am do justice to how good this book was, late nights yes Tired. yes!Five stars. AnCharts, Washington Post, and Wall Street Journal bestselling seriesAn American operative in Russia is on the run for his life in a thriller of heartstopping betrayal and international intrigue by the New York Times bestselling author of The Eighth SisterBetrayed by his own country and tried for treason, former spy Charles Jenkins survived an undercover Russian operation gone wrong Exonerated, bitter, and safe, the retired family man is through with duplicitous spy games Then he learns of a woman isolated in Moscow’s notorious Lefortovo PrisonIf it’s Paulina Ponomayova, the agent who sacrificed her life to save his, Jenkins can’t leave her behind But there’s no guarantee it’s her Or proof Paulina is still alive To find out, Jenkins must return to Russia Next move: blackmail Viktor Federov, a former Russian officer with his own ax to grind, into helping him infiltrate Lefortovo The enemy who once pursued Jenkins across three continents is now the only man Jenkins can trustEvery step of the way—from Moscow to Scandinavia to the open ocean—they’re hunted by a brutal Russian agent on a killer quest of his own Out of loyalty to Paulina—dead or alive—Jenkins is putting everyone’s life on the line for a new mission that could be his last The Last Agent by author Robert Dugoni is the second book in the Charles Jenkins SeriesA Thriller espionage series Charles Jenkins is an American operative who spent time in Russia the first time we were introduced to him The pace starts off fast pretty early on in this book, and continues the adrenaline driven race until the endHe is back in Russia to see if Paulina Ponomayova is still alive She is the agent who sacrificed her life to save him in the first book of the series The Eighth SisterA very enjoyable style of writing, with another great storylineLooking forward tofrom this author in the futureThank you to GoodReads, Author Robert Dugoni, and Thomas Mercer for my advanced copy to review, in exchange for my opinions! #TheLastAgent #NetGalley Netgalley ARC..review coming Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an ARC of The Last Agent in exchange for an honest review.Background is absolutely, positively necessary for understanding The Last Agent It is a sequel to The Eighth Sister I can not recommend THE LAST AGENT as a stand alone! The first 33% of the book was spent trying to clarify what happened in the first book and understand how it plays in this new installment! In The Eighth Sister, 40 years after leaving the CIA, Charles Jenkins, is living in Washington Due to financial problems, he agrees to be reactivated when his former CIA station chief, Carl Emerson approaches him He is sent to Moscow, tasked with finding the woman responsible for the elimination of three of seven Russian women known as the Seven Sisters, who were chosen from dissident parents and trained from birth to infiltrate Russian institutions and provide the United States with valuable intelligence Charles must identify this assassin, the Eighth Sister, so the CIA can take action before the remaining four agents are harmed He quickly discovers that the Eighth Sister is not as Carl portrayed Someone has set both her and Charles up, putting both in grave danger The aforementioned is the backstory which would have been VERY helpful in knowing as the prelude to The Last Agent Having said that, The Last Agent is intensely gripping and exceptionally exciting and nerve wracking a true edge of the seat spy thriller! Crosses, double crosses, and the suspense of not knowing who is trustworthy is intriguing! The cat and mouse hide and seek escapade leading up to the climax is positively riveting! Thoroughly satisfying, including the denouement, which is well thought out and well developed ( compared to rushed and hurried “thrown together” conclusions which are all too often the case in some recently read novels) Kudos to Mr Dugoni on developing another likable protagonist in Charles Jenkins after his widely successful Tracey Crosswhite protagonist in his previous series! For full enjoyment, read the prequel, The Eighth Sister before undertaking The Last Agent! You won’t be disappointed if you want a thrilling Russian spy thriller! It is superb! Thank you Net Galley and Thomas Mercer (publisher) for allowing me to read the latest book by ROBERT DUGONI He proves yet again that he is one of the finest storytellers writing today, as well as one of the best writers period I first read one of his books, JURY MASTER in 2006 In that book, Charles Jenkins first appears as a private investigator Thank you Mr Dugoni for for a decade and a half of great entertainment Over the years, I have been fortunate enough to to hear the author speak at various author events in my part of the country At these events, one of the many things that impressed me about the author was the amount of research that he does for each story For example, when he started writing the David Sloan courtroom books, he talked to criminal trial lawyers about preparation and courtroom decorum Although a lawyer himself, he was not a criminal lawyer When he started writing the Tracy Crosswhite police procedurals, Mr Dugoni had conversations with trackers, forensic experts, prosecutors and police officers so he could speak with some authority in his books For the Charlie Jenkins spy thrillers, the author consulted with people who knew that field.Now the second book in the Charlie Jenkins saga is ready The title is THE LAST AGENT Along with THE EIGHTH SISTER (the first Charles Jenkins story), the two books have been optioned for a television series I see LL Cool J or Vin Diesel as Jenkins but I am not the casting director.In book two, Jenkins is called upon by his former employer, the C.I.A., to return to Russia to see if Paulina/Anna who rescued Jenkins in book one, is alive and is in Lefortovo Prison If so, he is to see if it it is at all possible to rescue her This trip will be fraught with danger since the FSB, Vladimir Putin and Adam Efimov will be particularly on alert for him He is definitely a persona non grata in Russia As an added incentive for Jenkins is the fact that his oneyearold daughter is named Elizabeth Paulina in honor of the woman he thought had died saving him.Jenkins returns via the same route by which he left in book one Through Turkey, across the Black Sea via a fishing boat operated Desmir Kaplan and two sons and into southern Russia He makes his way to Moscow where is going to look for Viktor Federov (retired FSB Colonel) who chased him out of Russia Why would Federov be willing to help his former adversary? There are 10 million reasons That is the amount of US dollars in a Swiss bank in Moscow, now frozen by Russia, and split 60 – 40 in two accounts – one Federov’s name and one in Jenkins’ name Charlie has a plan to gain control of the accounts to access all $10,000,000, to be used to gain Federov’s assistance.The money is acquired The rescue of Paulina takes place Efimov unearths the plot Efimov enlists Simon Alekseyov and Arkady Voltov to catch the plotters The chase takes follows them from Moscow to Saint Petersburg in the dead of winter The weather plays a major role as an adversary The finale ends up in a Baltic state after a harrowing trip.Fans of Mr Dugoni rejoice Fans of spy thrillers rejoice This is a pageturner You will love the action, the characters and the descriptions of the places HIGHLY RECOMMENDED If I could givethan five stars, I would gladly do so Although this can be read as a standalone story, I strongly suggest reading book one first.GO! BUY! READ! I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.I requested this book because I very much enjoyed Dugoni's previous book, The Eighth Sister 3.75, rounding up because ultimately an entertaining, diverting read This book is a continuation of the story of former CIA agent Charles Jenkins Dugoni devotes considerable time to setting up the premise and providing background from the previous book Jenkins is visited by current agent, Matt Le, who tells him that Paulina Ponomayova, the agent who sacrificed her life to save his, may still be alive in Moscow's notorious Lefortovo prison He asks Jenkins to return to Russia, to ascertain if this is so Jenkins deliberatesnot wanting to leave his wife and son and get back in the game BUT As Jenkins has given his newborn daughter the middle name Paulina; the pull for helping is strong And the plot is set in motion.Espionage, blackmail, and lots of cat and mouse I thought the book got off to a very slow start Even somewhat boring.Many bad Russian characters [Putin is mentioned many timeshis KGB/FSB connections, etc.] And what of VIktor Federov, a former Russian officer and key player in the story, who Jenkins must blackmail [i.e, hold out the possibility of getting millions of dollars] into helping him I was not totally engaged until almost half through but by then I couldn't put it down and couldn't wait to get back to reading and seeing how it would all pan out I loved the chase and back and forthand especially all the shellgames set up, The last quarter of the book really ramped up the suspense for me Would they? Could they? Did they? Well, no spoiler from me, but of courseAnd at the very end, wait for Charles Jenkins #3.Don't forget!