The Charm School

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Click for availability and more information The Charm School, by Nelson Demille
One of Nelson Demille's earlier books, The Charm School is a wonderful example of why he has remained a very widely-read author noted for books with intriguing plots for years. Set during the days of the Cold War, The Charm School offers a terrifically interesting plot. Briefly, while traveling through Russia in a Pontiac Grand Am, American Gregory Fisher quite accidentally and briefly stumbles across Major Jack Dodson in a pine forest. Dodson tells Fisher the seemingly outlandish tale that he has just escaped from a type of prisoner of war camp run by the Russians called Mrs. Ivanovs's Charm School. His fellow American prisoners at the "school" were all taken by the North Vietnamese during the United States involvement in the Vietnam War and shipped to Russia. When Fisher gets to Moscow, he contacts the American Embassy and tells Lisa Rhodes, a consular officer at the embassy this strange story. Rhodes subsequently enlists another embassy officer, Sam Hollis, to help verify the strange possibility that there indeed might be such a prison camp.

The Charm School takes off as Rhodes and Hollis travel around Russia trying to uncover the truth, if any, to this tale. A great feature supposedly of this school is that is serves as a training ground for Russian agents to be placed in America as spies. The school trains them to acquire true American traits and characteristics. Hollis and Rhodes face dangerous situations and tough dealings with the Cold War era Russian military officers as they race to find the truth.

Demille's writing makes The Charm School fun and gripping reading. He captures the Cold War mentality and tensions between the Russians and Americans quite strongly. When details of the school do emerge, the story becomes all the more entertaining. This is a great read and highly recommended.

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This page contains a single entry published on December 2, 2013 9:07 PM.

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