A Story of Love, Intrigue and The KGB
by Owen Jones
Review by Barry Boy
Andropov’s Cuckoo is in the genre of Thriller, but straddles the sub-genres of Love (Romance) and Espionage. It is written in the third-person singular and set in the Soviet Union, and several other Eastern and Western countries, in the thirty-odd years after the Second World War.
We meet the main character, Natasha, quite late in the novel – the fourth chapter – although we hear of her under another name – Youriko – before that.
Natasha was born in Kazakhstan and happened to look Japanese, which is the basis of the plot. However, Natasha was an idealistic, naive young woman who wanted to help Socialism better the condition of the Working Class around the world, and so was vulnerable to abuse by the Soviet hierarchy, which is where Yuri Andropov makes his appearance as the fearsome head of the dreaded KGB.
At first, things went well for Operation Youriko, but Natasha gradually lost her enthusiasm and wanted out, which could not go unpunished. Shortly after this point, she meets a British student and falls in love for the first time in her life, and the race is on to get out of the USSR and into the UK.
We are told that Andropov’s Cuckoo is based on a true story that happened to the author himself, but that cannot be corroborated. The realism and passion in the story suggests that that might be true.
I enjoyed Andropov’s Cuckoo by Owen Jones and give it full marks. It is thrilling, pacey and realistic. Your heart will go out to Natasha, I promise you. It is a love story on several levels filial love, patriotism, idealism and romance.
Andropov’s Cuckoo by Owen Jones is available from all major retailers both on and off line, although it is probably quicker to order it from Amazon as a paperback, ebook or (free) audiobook here: