This aptly titled spy thriller is about power and control. Those who have it, those who want it, and finally… those who will do ANYTHING to get it. The ‘anything’ in this case is coercion in it’s true and most diabolical sense. The deadliest form of coercion comes not when you threaten a person’s life, but rather when you threaten the life of those that that person loves most in the world.
That’s where the Peitho Pill comes into play. Named for the Greek goddess of persuasion, when injected into a body, the Peitho Pill is harmless in itself, but it can be triggered remotely causing it to divulge it’s poison and kill the target instantly. People can live for years with the time-bomb Peitho implanted in them, leaving their loved ones under the complete control of KNYAZ. For they know that if they do not follow orders their loved one will perish. Sabotage and industrial espionage are the norm for the family members of those implanted with the Peitho Pill.
KNYAZ is a clandestine organization within the Russian government who wants to gain control by ridding the country of Gorbachev and endowing Russia with their own version of Peristroika. With Vasily Karpov, a KGB General, as it’s leader, they procure control over those who can help them attain their goal. Whether it be politicians, scientists, industrial workers, or anyone else – the use of the Peitho Pill makes them almost omnipotent. They infiltrate American industry so as to gain an advantage over them and outshine them in international competitions.
In the United States we meet Victor Titov, who is Karpov’s son. He has lived for years as a U.S. citizen with the name of Jason Stormer, but he is a deep-cover mole for his father’s group KNYAZ. Always seeking his father’s approval, he is devoted to his cause. And believe me – you’ll be hard put to find a more evil father and son duo in popular fiction.
Alex and Frank Ferris are twins. Alex, our protagonist, is a former United States intelligence agent and Special Forces soldier – a Green Beret. Frank is a brilliant scientist who is working on an airplane engine. When Frank apparently commits suicide, Alex investigates his brother’s death. His investigations take him on a path around the world where he becomes intimately acquainted with the Peitho Pill and KNYAZ.
Set in late 1990, “Coercion” is a political thriller that reads like a cross between the television show “The Americans” and a James Bond or Jason Bourne movie. Well written, with lots of action and violence, it is my opinion that this book will appeal more to men than to women. A novel of heroes, assassins, martyrs and international espionage which will be loved by fans of Vince Flynn, Chris Ryan, Brad Thor, Stephen Coonts and Robert Ludlum.
A good portion of the novel takes place in the desolation of rural Siberia in winter. The ingenious survival skills portrayed astounds the reader with the training, courage, audacity and physical stamina of the characters.
I found the first third of the novel to be a tad confusing due to the myriad characters, many of whom have Russian names that are unfamiliar to my personal experience. However, once I got everyone straight, the fast pace of the narrative ensured that I was in for an exciting ride/read.
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Tim Tigner began his career in Soviet Counterintelligence with the US Army Special forces, the Green Berets.
Tim’s thrillers juxtapose international espionage with breakthrough medical technologies to take the reader into a world where the fortunes and dreams of powerful people are on the line, and they’re doing whatever it takes to thrive. Heroes emerge as their victims pile up, people with the courage, skills, and resources required to fight back, overcome, and survive. Tim grew up in the Midwest and Europe, earning a BA in Philosophy and Mathematics from Hanover College and then a MBA in Finance and a MA in International Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. He now lives with his wife Elena and their two daughters in Northern California.