Books about Russia are red-hot right now – New York Post

Russians are hot in the publishing world these days, and leading the pack is “A Legacy of Spies” by John Le Carré, his first George Smiley novel in 25 years.

The latest book finds Smiley protege Peter Guillam retired from the world of spies, enjoying some rest and relaxation on a farm in southern Brittany. But his Cold War past gets dredged up again as he and other colleagues are called back to London to account for past misdemeanors, actions taken during a time when the methods used against the Soviets mattered less than winning the ideological war.

Other recent and upcoming diplomatic thrillers — and you’ll know one when you see it: blocky font, red type, Kremlin on the cover, hammer and sickle optional — include “The Defectors” (Atria, out now) a page-turner by Joseph Kanon involving the KGB, the CIA and two American brothers caught between the two; and “The Shadow List” (GP Putnam’s Sons, out Tuesday) by Todd Moss, formerly the top American diplomat in West Africa, which deals with a Nigerian e-mail scam, a married couple that works for the US State Department and the CIA, and a Russian master criminal nicknamed The Bear.

But the Russian page-turner that should be on everyone’s list isn’t out until January: “Need to Know” by Karen Cleveland (Ballantine, out Jan. 23), written during her maternity leave from the CIA, is a fast-paced thriller about a CIA analyst tasked with uncovering a Russian sleeper cell in the US — when she discovers something that threatens to destroy her family.

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