Book Review, Espionage, NetGalley, Political, Series, St. Martin's Press, Thriller

The Russian by Ben Coes


As the brutal Russian mafia becomes the most powerful and deadly criminal enterprise in the U.S., it’s up to covert operative Rob Tacoma to fight back, in a new series by New York Times bestseller Ben Coes.

Ruthless, clever, and unbelievably violent, the Russian mafia has rapidly taken over the criminal underworld in the U.S. and law enforcement has been unable to stem the tide. When a powerful Russian mob family declares war by publicly executing two high-profile American politicians, the message is unmistakable – opposition will be met with overwhelming deadly force. With no other viable options, the President creates a clandestine assassinations team to find and eliminate the unreachable men running this deadly criminal operation.

The CIA recruits two Tier 1 operators – former Navy SEALs Billy Cosgrove and Rob Tacoma. But before they can even get started, the Russians act – murdering Cosgrove in his own home. Now Tacoma is on his own against an organization with endless resources and no boundaries. Step one requires the near impossible – find and kill the hidden mob boss behind Cosgrove’s death. To do this, he’ll have to take on an army in a battle where there are no rules and no limits.


Two American politicians and one CIA recruit are dead. The President of the United States has no choice but to declare war on the Russian Mafia and Rob Tacoma is on his own to find and kill the Russian mastermind behind the deaths.

 La Cosa Nostra, for all of its killing and violence, was more humane than the Russians. El Chapo and the Mexican cartels could be almost as brutal as the Russians, yet in every city controlled by the cartels that the Russian mafia entered, they destroyed their competition, leaving piles of corpses in their wake

Rob Tacoma is told to not wait and act immediately. He is given no rules and has total immunity for his actions.  Will he use this job for revenge for his father’s death?

This is my first Ben Coes book and it really impressed me.  Rob Tacoma is a bad ass who has a large number of kills under his belt, but he has a compassionate side and donates millions of dollars to the Red Cross to assist veterans. It also looks like there is more to his work relationship with his colleague, Katie Foxx, so I suspect there will be more later in the series.  

A fast-paced political thriller with lots of action and corruption.  Recommend highly!


The Russian

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BenCoesBen Coes is the New York Times bestselling author of international political and espionage thrillers including Power Down, Coup d’État, The Last Refuge, Eye for an Eye, Independence Day, First Strike, Trap the Devil, and Bloody Sunday.

Ben’s books all center on Dewey Andreas, a former U.S. Special Forces soldier who was kicked out of the military after being falsely accused of crimes he did not commit. While fiction, all of Ben’s books are based on current events and are strongly influenced by friends who are or were in the military or intelligence circles.

The Russian, Ben’s 9th book, comes out in July. It is the first book in a new spin-off series featuring Rob Tacoma, a recurring character from the Dewey Andreas series. The series is domestic in focus and involves the Russian Mafia and America’s attempts to stop it. Tacoma is selected as part of a secret CIA unit given temporary permission to operate on U.S. soil. Ben will continue to write books in both series.

Ben went to Columbia College and was awarded the university’s highest writing award, the Bennett Cerf Memorial Prize for Fiction.

Ben was a White House Intern under Ronald Reagan and served as a White House-appointed speechwriter to the U.S. Secretary of Energy during the Gulf War. He was a Fellow at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

Ben lives in Massachusetts with his wife and children.

Follow Ben on his website, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and GoodReads.

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