||May 3, 2012
In a desperate attempt to save her daughter's life, an unemployed microbiologist falls into the Russian underworld and a plan to export a deadly biological weapon.
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In one of Siberia's formerly closed cities, Alexandra Pavlova, an unemployed microbiologist, struggles to save her daughter’s life. When she turns to Vladimir, her oldest friend, for help, she's drawn into Russia’s underworld. His business dealings with the Iranians come to the attention of Sergei Borisov, an FSB (formerly the KGB) agent. Alexandra finds herself joining forces with Sergei to stop the export of a deadly virus in a race to save both her daughter and the world.
“An alpha female heroine and a tantalizing premise that toys with the most basic of emotions—a parent’s drive to save their child. Nothing frilly or fancy, just good old-fashioned, gimmick-free storytelling. And what could be better than that.”
—Steve Berry, New York Times’ bestselling author of the Cotton Malone series and The Romanov Prophecy.
“Liese Sherwood-Fabre has concocted an extremely well-written story that grabs you from the beginning and holds you relentlessly through all the twists and turns until the unexpected end.”
—Paula G. Paul, winner of the Willa award.
She’d heard nothing, merely became aware of his presence beside her. She flinched, dropped her keys, and bolted toward the stairs. The man picked up her keys and grabbed her arm in one fluid movement.
“Don’t run off, Alexandra Alexandrieva. You won’t get very far without these,” he said in a low voice.
He straightened himself and dangled the ring from one finger in front of her face. He gave her a slight smile, as if amused by her attempt to get away from him. “Besides, I’m not going to hurt you.”
“I thought you were someone else,” she said, glancing down at the hand still on her arm.
He released his hold.
“Your acquaintance Kamovski, perhaps? Or maybe Ahmed, Vladimir’s friend?”
She squinted at him, trying to make out his features in the hallway’s half light. “Who are you?”
“So rude of me. Borisov, Sergei Andreivich, at your service,” he said, giving a short bow. “I work for the FSB.”
She swallowed hard, trying to keep her face still and hide her shock. The KGB by any name still made her stomach jerk in fear. “I’ve done nothing.” Her level voice didn’t betray her racing heart. “What interest would federal security have in me?”
“We’ve been watching you for a while.”
“You’ve mistaken me for someone else.”
“Pavlova, Alexandra Alexandrieva. Born August 16. Widow of Yuri Ivanovich Pavlov. Daughter, Nadezhda Yuriyevna Pavlova, currently spending the night with her grandparents. Shall I continue? We do have the right person. You caught our eye some time ago. As soon as you left your job at the Institute.”
“That was several years ago. Any information I have would be of no use to anyone.”
“We’re not interested in what you used to do. We already know that. We’re interested in what you’re doing now.”
“Typing letters? I’m afraid that’s rather boring.”
A sound from a floor below made the man cock his head. Footsteps clicked on the tile floor and echoed in the stairwell as their owner descended the stairs. “Perhaps we should continue this discussion inside?”
“I have nothing to share with the FSB.”
“Did you know your friends Vladimir and Ahmed have been seen recently in the company of an Iranian?”
“No one has asked you about your work at the vaccine lab?”
“As you can tell, Alexandra Alexandrieva, we know a lot about you and your family. I can assure you we plan to keep our eye on you.”
“The FSB must have nothing to do these days if you’re following me around.”
“Your father died in service to his country. We want to make sure you don’t dishonor his memory.”
“I’ve done nothing to dishonor him. And I resent the implication I have or would.”
“We want to make sure you continue his memory. We’re here to make certain the Motherland he so unselfishly served remains for the future. You do care about the future, if nothing else, for your child?”
4-Star Review from You Gotta Read
Saving Hope is about a family who was involved in some trouble. The main characters are Alexandra (mother of [Hope] Nadzedha; Yuri father of [Hope]; Nadzedha [Hope] and they represent a family. Yuri has a position with the government as an agent and he is involved in an investigation with a suspected terrorist. He works with Sergei. The importance of Sergei will become apparent later. Hope, the daughter is sick with pneumonia and has to go to the hospital. But she also has a congenital heart condition. Alexandra her mother has a science background and also dealt with highly classified viral information. And the last in the cast of characters is Vladmir. His importance too will become apparent at the end of the novel.
After Hope gets better from her pneumonia, all three of them travel to another part of the country to deal with her heart condition. Skimping and managing to get what they need, the family travels to Moscow to take care of their daughters heart condition. Due to the strain on their marriage, Yuri committed suicide but Alexandra thinks that he got murdered by Vladmir, a man who we later find out is in love with Alexandra but he is not who she loves. He does however love her and wants to fight to keep her in his life along with her daughter.
As we read the story in the midst of all of this that is going on, we find out that an Iranian terrorist is around, Ahmed, and that he is being watched right. But what they also find out is that there is a virus that could possibly be very deadly out there and people will kill to find it and manufacture it. As the story goes on we find that the agent other than Yuri, Sergei finds enough information to place Ahmed in the custody of the government. But what we also find out is that the virus that they are searching for, was in the possession of the Alexandras’s little girl, Hope inside of a bear toy that she carries with her everywhere. I believe that the bear is a gift either from her parents or Vladmir. And that he placed the virus inside of the bear.
So here we are at the end of the novel, with a healthy girl who carried a deadly virus, a man who was supposed to care for her mother placing it in the possession of the little girl and having her transport for him unawares allowing him to do what he needed. It is sad that fact.
So fellow readers, I suggest that you read this novel more than once. And enjoy it. I think I will revise it upwards to a 4 star read though. By the end of the novel you are sad but involved.
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Liese A Sherwood-Fabre