Book Review: Nerve Attack

“He had no idea who they were or why they were after him. He no longer had access to classified intelligence, so they couldn’t want information. But a long list of people wanted him dead. After 10 years in the game: to be expected. He’d worry about that later. Right now, he needed to end the threat to fifteen people without any of them getting hurt.”

“Nerve Attack”, by S. Lee Manning

I’m delighted to join the Blog Tour of “Nerve Attack” by S. Lee Manning. Many thanks to Anne of Random Things Tours, the publishers Encircle Publications, and of course the author for organising the tour and gifting me a copy of the book.


Kolya Petrov has survived kidnap and torture, but he’s not the same man he was. Giving up his career in a US government intelligence agency that has seen him working in the field for 10 years, Kolya is hoping to settle down to a more ordinary existence, making a new life for himself as a lawyer and living with his fiancée Alex.

But Kolya’s past is never far behind him, and soon he is drawn back into his old life. Someone is using the deadly nerve agent Novichok on US soil, and the only man with information that might lead to those responsible – Dmitri Lemonsky, a prisoner convicted of racketeering and suspected in several murders – is refusing to talk to anyone except Kolya. And things are further complicated by the fact that Dmitri was Kolya’s childhood best friend, and was captured thanks to Kolya’s undercover work…

Given the lives at stake, Kolya reluctantly agrees to undertake one more mission for his former employers, the Executive Covert Agency, and along with Dmitri and a team of ECA agents, he travels to St Petersburg to try and avert a deadly terrorist attack. But with so many forces at work, Kolya can’t trust anyone if he’s to come out of the mission alive, with deception reaching right into the top echelons of power…

This exciting espionage thriller from S. Lee Manning picks up 8 months after the events of the first book in the Kolya Petrov series, “Trojan Horse”. I came to this book not having read the first installment, but this didn’t hamper my enjoyment of it – it works well as a standalone book, with the previous events described in sufficient detail for the reader to quickly get to know Kolya as a character, and the physical and mental scars he is carrying from his earlier missions. That being said, I enjoyed this one so I’ll certainly be going back to check out the first! The book is fast-paced, Kolya is an interesting and likable lead, and he is surrounded by a memorable cast of supporting characters that made this a real page-turner for me. I’d highly recommend this book to all fans of the spy fiction and action genres. The book ends with a direct lead into the plot of the next installment, and I look forward to seeing Kolya take on his next mission!

Pages: 356
Published: 22nd September 2021
Rating: 🐈🐈🐈🐈/5


About the author

S. Lee Manning spent two years as managing editor of Law Enforcement Communications before realizing that lawyers make a lot more money. A subsequent career as an attorney spanned from a first-tier New York law firm – Cravath, Swaine & Moore – to working for the State of New Jersey, to solo practice. In 2001, Manning agreed to chair New Jerseyans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (NJADP), writing articles on the risk of wrongful execution, and arguing against the death penalty on radio and television in the years leading up to its abolition in the state in 2007.

An award-winning short story writer, Manning is the author of international thrillers. Her life-long interests in Russia and espionage are reflected in her Kolya Petrov thrillers, Trojan Horse and Nerve Attack (Encircle Publications, 2020 and 2021). Manning is currently working on the third thriller in the Kolya Petrov series.

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