Robert Littell, the New York Times bestselling author of The Company, has written another smart spy-thriller with The Sisters. Funny and insightful, Littell creates and uses well-crafted characters, spinning unique backgrounds and dropping them into some extraordinary situations.
Francis and Carroll are two legendary CIA agents. It seems as if they've been with the agency forever. Many think forced retirement would be best in their immediate futures, but this could be because only need-to-know agents understand what the agents actually do -- and few can do what these agents do. In fact, to most in the agency, they are known as "the sisters Death and Night." What is it The Sisters do? Francis and Carroll plot. They work in the bowels of the agency, plotting through a variety of scenarios. And this time they believe they have uncovered a way to pull off the perfect crime. But what good is plotting if you don't test the theory?
The Potter, a poor Russian man, is married to an extravagant and wild woman who wants and expects the best things in life. There was a time when the Potter was able to provide those things, back when he was the head of the KGB Sleeper School. The Sisters call on the Potter, a degenerate ex-KGB man, and manipulate him into betraying an old friend: the last Sleeper, who is living in the US. They must smuggle the Potter and his wife out of the country. After that, it is up to the Potter to contact and awaken the Sleeper using a special phrase. Once awakened, the Sleeper will do whatever he is ordered to do. In a desperate attempt to right a dangerous and potentially disastrous wrong, the Potter must stop the Sleeper and foil the sinister plotting of the Sisters.
The Sisters is engrossing from page one until the end. Littell uses plenty of dialogue and action to keep the story moving, and his work does not get bogged down in unnecessary detail the way Tom Clancy books often do. This is a chilling tale worth reading if you enjoy mysteries, thrillers and obviously, espionage novels.