The New Cold War


Loved it! 😍

Entrancing story with a right balance between action, conflict, and technology

The second book of the Relevant series, The New Cold War: Defending Democracy From Russia's Secret Tech Weapon, by Peter Zaccagnino, sends readers on the thrilling worldwide journey through the US, Pakistan, and Russia. 

Chris Hodge is a devoted CIA agent, not afraid of the new challenges, testing his mental and physical skills - despite his severe ankle injury. He's tough and determined, and a pretty woman (especially the one that acts too overtly) can't distract him from his goal. He's a firm believer in his country's values, and he doesn't hesitate in acknowledging his beliefs, even risking an open confrontation with colleagues and family members. After the CIA acquires intel that Russia is about to make a breakthrough in quantum computers, Chris Hodge employs the best specialists and leads the group into the lion's den, Moscow, to sabotage the research. 

As an espionage novel, the book successfully balances the action-packed and the technical sides of the story. This is not a breakneck thriller where life-threatening situations go one by one without giving a reader a minute to reflect on what is going on. Instead, a reader slowly becomes invested in the general atmosphere of the year 2005, a year with controversy over troops' involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq and the beginning of the race between Russia and the US. The book deserves high marks for full disclosure of quantum computing topic: the author does an excellent job unravelling how it works in the understandable yet technical language. The explanations are transmitted in the characters' dialogues, so a reader doesn't feel overwhelmed by new information. 

Aside from the main story, the book also contains some minor plotlines that, at this moment, seem incomplete. The Pakistan line loosely connects the two books of the series through a figure of Duale, an ex-friend of Chris Hodge. The plotline that takes around a quarter of the second book ends on a cliffhanger but leads nowhere. It also would be beneficial to add a logical conclusion to the relationship between Chris Hodge and his brother. As it is now, the brother figure serves as mere means to show Chris Hodge's superior political views. 

The book has some flaws, not apparent to the English-speaking audience, in depicting post-Soviet Russia and contains outdated words not used in the modern Russian language. 

The book can also be read as a standalone. At the beginning of this book, the information briefly fills a reader into what happened in book one. 

I'd recommend the book to lovers of captivating, thought-provoking narratives. The book is a brilliant blend of mystery, suspense, and thriller. 

I received an advanced review copy through Reedsy Discovery, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

Reviewed by

I've a Bachelor degree in Slavic languages and cultures, with the first specialty in Russian language and literature, the second the Bulgarian language. I've been interested in history and politics for more than 20 years. Occasional fiction is my respite from the unbearable heaviness of being.


About the author

Peter Zaccagnino is a 4x Gold Medal winning jet racer, a small business owner, and more recently an author of military spy thrillers based on true events. Peter is passionate about the truth, as well as telling stories that deserve to be told. Peter's 2nd book, The New Cold War, is out now! view profile

Published on October 09, 2021

80000 words

Contains mild explicit content ⚠️

Genre: Espionage

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