Red Star Falling

A Thriller

Charlie Muffin Thrillers (Volume 16)

Brian Freemantle

Thomas Dunne Books

“If Brian Freemantle isn’t the best writer of spy novels around, he’s certainly, along with John le Carré, in the top two. . . . It doesn’t get much better than this.” ---The Philadelphia Inquirer

In a botched escape from Russia, MI5 spy Charlie Muffin is seized by the FSB, Russia's intelligence-service successor to the infamous KGB. Charlie is Russia’s long-term target in British counter-intelligence, and Moscow is determined to extract, by whatever means necessary, every secret of British---and Western---espionage over Charlie’s thirty-year career.

Charlie’s determined not only to resist the interrogation but to learn from it if his Russian intelligence-officer wife and their daughter escaped the trap that snared him and have reached England. He embarks on a cat-and-mouse battle of deception to convince his interrogators that they’re learning what they want---or think they want---aware that one misspoken word could be fatal.

That’s not Charlie’s only problem. He’s also trying to work out how his escape was foiled. It could not have been only due to the FSB, or his wife and daughter would have been caught as well. His MI5 boss doesn’t think it was, either, and suspects treachery by Britain’s external intelligence organization, MI6. To help discover the truth, Natalia, Charlie’s wife, uses all the Russian tradecraft she’s ever learned to help save her husband.

Red Star Falling---the third in the Red Star trilogy---continues the acclaimed series that has established Brian Freemantle as one of the world’s most ingenious espionage writers.


Read an Excerpt

Instinct kicked in at Charlie Muffin’s first awareness of consciousness, not opening his eyes, not moving. Alive at least. But hurt: he had to be hurt, although there was no pain. Shots. He remembered several shots, and falling but no pain then; no pain now, either. Just numbness. He was numb, no feeling in his left side, and there was a strangely tight thickness on his right that he could feel. Bandaged. He was bandaged, his chest encased. Why? If he’d been shot, why didn’t it hurt? A hospital, he supposed: he was definitely under bedcovering. What sort


Praise for Red Star Falling

Praise for Red Star Falling:

“In Freemantle's latest sophisticated spy thriller, the Muffin man remains a compelling figure, even in convalescent mode.” —Kirkus Reviews

“The author again wickedly portrays the appalling internecine struggles between MI5 and MI6, yet retains a more sober vantage that the cold war is unending.” —Crime Book Beat

Praise for Red Star Burning:

“This is le Carré territory, to be sure—think The Russia House (1989)—and Freemantle hits every note perfectly in dramatizing the fundamental conflict between individual values and institutional machinations. On top of that, he constructs an airtight plot, full of backpedaling twists, that leads to a stunning cliffhanger of a finale.” —Booklist (starred review)

“A terrific story. … At least a double cross is on, if not a triple, and there’s genuine suspense in the unfolding origami.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Freemantle has written a tense and entertaining scramble.” —Library Journal

Praise for Brian Freemantle:

“Freemantle, certainly one of the top espionage writers today, may very well be one of the best of all time.” —Booklist

“Praised as more than a match for John le Carré, Freemantle will not disappoint readers.” —Library Journal

“His thrillers . . . are both sleek and tough, filled with gritty characters and superb plotting.” —Chicago Tribune

“Impossible to put down . . .  marvelous . . . real genius.” —The Washington Post

“Wonderful . . . Freemantle holds the reader in his thrall with masterful, insightful writing.” —Orlando Sentinel

 “If you like to read about a protagonist who, like a master chess player, seems to be thinking three or four moves ahead of everyone, then the Charlie M series is for you. It is deliciously complex.” —Deadly Pleasures

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Brian Freemantle

  • BRIAN FREEMANTLE is the author of more than thirty books, which have sold more than ten million copies worldwide. These include fifteen previous novels in the Charlie Muffin series, most recently Red Star Burning. He has been foreign editor and chief foreign correspondent for the London Daily Mail and foreign correspondent for the London Daily Sketch, among others. He lives in England.
  • Brian Freemantle


Available Formats and Book Details

Red Star Falling

A Thriller

Charlie Muffin Thrillers

Brian Freemantle



Thomas Dunne Books