I requested this title because the combination of "Italian good looks," a journalist on a Russian espionage mission, and Washington politics sounded promising - as I'm Italian by heritage, journalist by career, and at the moment inevitably interested in Russia, and enamored by Washington at every moment.
However, the promises of this book quickly died out as the reality of false pretenses set in. It was densely filled with unbearable cameos for places and companies, such as "Buber" instead of "Uber."
Another thing that caught me off guard was the fact that in the first chapter the central character, a married man, made note of the woman's legs, lips, and "attractive face," four times. Let's forget about realism for a second, obviously that wasn't a major issue in every other aspect of the book, because frankly I do not care if this is how men really think, it wasn't necessary, and it put a very bad taste in my mouth. Ordinarily, I wouldn't mind, especially if the character were unmarried, not a perfect Christian saint, and for heaven's sake if it weren't worded so awkwardly. But the attempts fell flat and made me cringe. "Being a man, I couldn't help but notice her shapely legs." Um. Ok then. Moving on.
The plotline is the most unrealistic aspect. In a less than 30-minute car drive with a complete stranger, the woman divulges classified/top-secret information that could put her in danger if released, as well as explaining her life story (including personal details which most people wouldn't even tell close friends). Yes, very believable.
Minor issues: In the first pages, the main character's name (Antonio) was written as Anthony. A typo that certainly should have been caught in at least one of the revisions. Annoying stereotypes - "While a teenager, her most complicated problems wee acne, boys, and calculus," and out-of-place platitudes which were forced in unnaturally. In addition to this, the POV jumped from one character to another with no warning, from paragraph to paragraph. Overall, thoroughly confusing.
While not morally jeopardizing, it is not a worthwhile read I would enthusiastically recommend.
*Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. I was not obligated to a positive review*