Nerve Attack

A Kolya Petrov thriller

Fiction - Suspense
368 Pages
Reviewed on 08/15/2021
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Author Biography

S. LEE MANNING spent two years as the 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 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—the winner of the 2020 Phoenix Kops-Fetherling International Book Award for New Action/ Thriller Fiction—and Nerve Attack, book two in the series (Encircle Publications, 2020 and 2021). Manning is currently working on the third Kolya Petrov Thriller.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite

Nerve Attack: A Kolya Petrov thriller by S. Lee Manning is a suspenseful thriller featuring Russian-Jewish immigrant and former American intelligence operative Kolya Petrov on a mission to stop a unique and dangerous terrorist attack. The only person who has the key to stopping the attack is a childhood friend, Dmitri, a man whom Kolya helped put behind bars. He is willing to help stop the deadly attack, but on one condition: he wants a Cherry Garcia pint, ten million dollars, and his freedom, and he only wants to work with Kolya. Is he seeking an opportunity for revenge for what Kolya did to him ten years ago or can he really be trusted? Things seem normal until Kolya’s fiancée’s life, together with the lives of hundreds of people, is endangered.

Every day you discover a new terrific writer and S. Lee Manning has been a delightful discovery for me this year. In Nerve Attack, she gives what every reader expects from a gifted crime and terrorist thriller writer, creating characters that are multidimensional, emotionally rich, and a conflict that captures the attention of the reader. The story has strong psychological underpinnings and while this is a terrorist thriller with a conflict that escalates and involves world governments, the author does an impeccable job in creating two characters that shine through the story. The backgrounds of Kolya and Dmitri are so beautifully written that readers find it easier to understand both the internal and external conflicts and what drives these characters. The characters are deftly written, robust, and unforgettable, and apart from the key characters in the novel, readers will adore the way characters like Alex, Kolya’s fiancée, President Yuri, and Rzaev, amongst others, are written. You’ll love the intrigue, the strong and elaborately written conflict, the intricate plot, and the expertly accomplished dialogues in this thriller. Can’t wait to read more from this author.

Anne-Marie Reynolds

Nerve Attack by S. Lee Manning is a Kolya Petrov thriller. Kolya Petrov is in his own personal hell after being kidnapped and tortured. He is dragged back into the game when he discovers that his childhood friend, Dmitri, is the only one who can stop a terrorist attack with a deadly nerve agent. Dmitri isn’t the easiest person to work with – their lives have gone in different directions, with Kolya responsible for putting Dmitri, a former head of a Russian gang, in prison. Ten years on, Dmitri offers his help in finding the nerve agent smuggler in exchange for a sizeable sum of cash and his freedom. He will only work with Kolya, but Kolya isn’t sure he can trust Dmitri. Will Dmitri honor his side of the bargain and help stop an attack that could kill thousands of people?

Nerve Attack by S. Lee Manning is a taut political thriller that offers page after page of suspense and terror. It provides a breathtaking insight into the world of intelligence and spies, and the story is scarily accurate given the events of recent years. The story is packed with tense action and deals expertly with the sensitive issue of PTSD, along with learning where your loyalties lie, sometimes the hard way. The characters are real people – easy to like and relate to – and the antagonists are pretty terrifying. As the second book in the series, Nerve Attack builds effectively on the previous story but introduces enough detail for those reading it as a standalone to keep up with the story and understand what’s going on. The fast-paced plot twists and turns with dizzying speed, each chapter leaving you in breathless anticipation of the next. Thoroughly enjoyable, highly recommended for those who like true-to-life novels.

Christian Sia

In S. Lee Manning’s spellbinding thriller, Nerve Attack: A Kolya Petrov thriller, the paths of two compelling characters cross again in a spy game with very high stakes. Kolya Petrov - a former American intelligence agent and a Russian-Jewish immigrant - grew up with Dmitri in a Russian home for boys. Once friends in childhood, they have drifted apart, following different paths that culminated in Dmitri being put behind bars, thanks to Kolya Petrov. It has been ten years since Kolya took away the leadership of a Russian gang from his childhood friend by putting him in prison. Now, a nerve agent is being smuggled into the US, a terrorist weapon that can claim many lives, and the only person who can lead to the smuggler is Dmitri, who refuses to work with anyone but Kolya. Even if his conditions are met, including his freedom, can Kolya trust Dmitri? Follow this fascinating tale filled with unexpected twists and explosive moments.

S. Lee Manning infuses the story with suspense and readers will be kept guessing from one gripping page to the next. The characters are sophisticated, each imagined and written with a strong background. While the key characters have had significant differences in the past and a broken bond, each of them has internal hurts that are deftly explored. For instance, Kolya has suffered the nightmare of being kidnapped. Both characters have endured childhood abuse. They are tautly developed and believable, and it is this richness of character that provides depth to the story. Apart from Dmitri and Kolya, readers will encounter other compelling characters, including top government officials. The plot is brilliantly executed, the prose excellently composed, and the pacing fast enough to keep readers turning the pages. Nerve Attack is a highly recommended read.