Category Archives: Craig Page Thriller

Review: The Italian Divide by Allan Topol

Title: The Italian Divide by Allan Topol
Craig Page Thriller Series Book Five
Genre: Contemporary, Mystery, Thriller
Length: 320 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publicist


When prominent Italian banker Frederico Castiglione is murdered in an apparent jewelry robbery gone wrong, things are not what they seem. Former CIA Director Craig Page is enjoying his new life as Italian race car driver Enrico Marino―but when he hears that his friend and sponsor has been found dead, he suspects foul play. Shortly after Castiglione’s death, Italian banker Alberto Goldoni is asked to sell―or else. When he refuses, his daughter goes missing.

Craig embarks on an investigation to solve the riddles underlying Castiglione’s murder and rescue Goldoni’s daughter, but the pieces don’t quite fit. The murderers are Russian, but the takeovers are based in China, and somehow Roberto Parelli, the Italian separatist candidate for President, is involved.

With the help of Elizabeth Crowder, CIA director Betty Richards, and director of EU Counter Terrorism Giuseppe, Craig discovers a complicated web of mysterious political and financial takeovers across Italy, all linked back to Craig’s sworn enemy, Zhou Yun, and Roberto Parelli.

In The Italian Divide loyalties lie deep, dangerous alliances are made to be broken, and organized crime is omnipotent. Allan Topol’s latest Craig Page thriller is an electrifying foray into the world of international intrigue. Against blackmail, extortion, and treason, can Craig Page still prevail?


In Allan Topol’s The Italian Divide, ex-CIA agent turned race car driver Craig Page is back in action following the murder of his friend and bank CEO  Frederico Castiglione.

In this fifth outing in the Craig Page Thriller series, the upcoming election in Italy provides an interesting backdrop for Craig’s (aka Enrico Marino) investigation into Frederico’s death.  Front runner Roberto Parelli is in desperate need of funds to continue his campaign but his long time friend and bank owner Alberto Goldoni refuses to extend him more credit or grant an him an extension on his current loans which are in default.  So when Parelli is approached by Craig’s old nemesis China’s Finance Minister Zhou Yun, he reluctantly agrees to Yun’s offer to finance his campaign.  With his plan to become a financial super power within his grasp, Yun tries to force Goldoni to sell him his controlling shares in his bank, but Goldoni refuses and turns to Guiseppe Mercurio for help.

Guiseppe and Page have already teamed up to try to uncover the truth about Castiglione’s murder.  They have traced the murder to the Russians and further digging links the plot back to the Chinese.  With the help of reporter (and ex-flame) Elizabeth Crowder, Craig learns that Parelli also has ties to the Chinese, but it is not until Crowder covertly meets with China’s President Mei Ling that they learn Yun is surreptitiously buying controlling interests in Italian banks without her knowledge.  With these purchases having a possible global impact, Page approaches CIA director Betty Richard for assistance.  With the full support of the President, Craig devises a plan to bring Zhou Yun to justice for Castiglone’s murder but can he outmaneuver the wily Finance Minister?

The Italian Divide is another pulse-pounding addition to the Craig Page Thriller series.  Allan Topol once again keeps the series fresh by moving the action to Italy and providing yet another credible storyline about political corruption and abuse of power as Zhou Yun once again tries to wheel and deal his way into achieving his goals.  The novel thunders to a dramatic and jaw-dropping conclusion as Craig Page tries to stop Yun once and for all.

1 Comment

Filed under Allan Topol, Contemporary, Craig Page Thriller, Mystery, Rated B, Review, The Italian Divide, Thriller

Review: The Argentine Triangle by Allan Topol

argentineTitle: The Argentine Triangle by Allan Topol
A Craig Page Thriller (#4)
Publisher: SelectBooks
Genre: Contemporary, Political, Thriller
Length: 320 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publicist


After a fall from grace and drastic cosmetic surgery in Switzerland, former CIA director Craig Page is enjoying a new, exhilarating life racing cars across Europe. But when new dangers threaten America and an old friend goes missing during a covert mission in Argentina, will Craig be ready to step up to the plate? Undercover in the glamorous world of Buenos Aires’ wealthy elite, Page finds himself on the brink of a terrible discovery. General Estrada and Colonel Schiller have plans for Argentina, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg. A world of brutality hidden in the classified secrets of Argentina’s Dirty War comes to light, painting an image of the cataclysmic future awaiting Estrada’s South America. To expose Estrada and put an end to his plot, Page is forced to implement every instinct, skill, and tool in his arsenal. But when it comes time to close in for the kill, Page meets with unexpected complications-love, lust, and a lethal game of cat and mouse. Hard on the heels of The Russian Endgame comes Allan Topol’s next great thriller. Rife with the exotic backdrops and hairpin plot turns that put Topol on the best-seller list, The Argentine Triangle is a heart-stopping foray into human vice coupled with power accelerating towards catastrophe. In a world fraught with global conspiracy, Craig Page is king.

The Review:

The Argentine Triangle is another exciting political thriller by Allan Topol starring Craig Page.

Craig’s new career as CIA Director comes to an abrupt end when he becomes a political scapegoat for President Treadwell and his closest advisor, Edward Bryce. Fearing for his safety, Craig undergoes dramatic plastic surgery to conceal his identity and amid concerns for his longtime girlfriend Elizabeth, they mutually agree to (temporarily) end their relationship. Now pursuing his longtime dream of racing cars , he agrees to his old friend and current CIA Director Betty Richards request to uncover the truth behind the disappearance of an undercover agent (and friend) in Argentina.

Page’s investigation leads directly to General Alfredo Estrada and his sidekick Colonel Schiller. Estrada’s career began during Argentina’s Dirty War and he is once again poised to stage a coup and put Argentina’s leadership back in the hands of the military. Following an important discovery that could lead to a substantial financial windfall for Argentina, Estrada begins to implement his diabolical plan. Manipulating a young journalist into helping him carry out his nefarious plot, Estrada has ensured Edward Bryce’s co-operation with procuring arms for Argentina.

With the operation completely off the books, Page relies heavily on his instincts and a few contacts as he delves into Estrada and Schiller’s scheme. Unsure who to trust, Craig is forced to make risky decisions that could have devastating results. He is, at first, primarily concerned with Ted’s whereabouts but once he uncovers the truth about Estrada, he is compelled to stop him from carrying out a devious plan that could have catastrophic consequences.

While The Argentine Triangle shares a few similarities to other novels starring Craig Page, Allan Topol keeps the storylines fresh with his ingenious use of factual historical events. He does a credible job combining bits of history with intriguing suppositions of what could happen if the wrong person assumes power and the end result is a thought-provoking and action-filled adventure. The political element raises questions about power, influence and corruption in the US government that are troubling and well within the realm of possibilities.

Overall, another fast-paced and compelling novel old and new fans of the genre do not want to miss.


Filed under Allan Topol, Contemporary, Craig Page Thriller, Political Thriller, Rated B, Review, SelectBooks Publishing, The Argentine Triangle

Review: The Russian Endgame by Allan Topol

Title: The Russian Endgame by Allan Topol
Craig Page Thriller Book Three
Publisher: SelectBooks
Genre: Contemporary, Political Thriller
Length: 320 pages
Book Rating: B

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publicist


When former KGB agent Dimitri Orlov orchestrates an alliance between two world powers bent on domination, he unleashes a powerful chain of events that will rock the Western World. The agenda? Eliminate the President of the United States and seize classified military weaponry capable of shifting the balance of world power. But before this nefarious scheme can reach fruition, Craig Page is on the scene, joined by companion Elizabeth Crowder, ready to confront a painful past and the enemies that helped create it. But can the indomitable Director of Counterterrorism emerge victorious? Finding himself facing an old enemy unexpectedly catapulted into a lethal position of power, Craig is pushed to the limit in an effort to foil his enemy’s deadly plans and keep potentially devastating military technology out of the hands of those prepared to destroy the world as he knows it.

Filled with thrills, twists, and danger, The Russian Endgame showcases best-selling author Allan Topol’s talent for delivering electrifying, gripping expeditions into the world of international intrigue.

The Review:

In Allan Topol’s The Russian Endgame, the quest for power leads to an unholy alliance between China and Russia and once again, Craig Page is locked in a fierce battle with his longtime nemesis, General Zhou. Coming full circle in this third installment, Craig and his girlfriend, Elizabeth Crowder, return to Washington, DC as they fight to keep critical weaponry plans out of the hands of Zhou and Russian President, Fyodor Kyznov.

The Russian Endgame begins just days after Craig successfully foils an attack on the Pope and the Vatican-a plot that Page remains convinced General Zhou masterminded. Determined to bring him to justice and exact revenge for his daughter’s death, Page spearheads a campaign to capture Zhou but, once again, Zhou slips through Craig’s fingers. When Zhou finally achieves his long coveted position of power, he joins forces with ex-KGB agent, Dimitri Orlov, and together they set in motion a diabolical plan to catapult both China and Russia to super power status.

For much of The Russian Endgame, Craig and Elizabeth are a few steps behind Dimitri and Zhou. Shocking events leave them scrambling to uncover not only the perpetrators but the reasons behind the devastating acts of aggression against the United States. Unintentional revelations to a former foe of Craig’s also hamper their efforts and in fact, put the entire operation in jeopardy.

Not as action oriented as the previous novels in the series, The Russian Endgame is nonetheless a fast paced and compelling read. Allan Topol once again engages his readers with a thought-provoking and realistic storyline that is full of surprising twists and turns. The novel’s conclusion is unexpected, but upon reflection, it is an appropriate ending to Craig Page’s adversarial relationship with Zhou.

Read my review of the other Craig Page novels HERE.

1 Comment

Filed under Allan Topol, Contemporary, Craig Page Thriller, Political Thriller, Rated B, Review, SelectBooks Publishing, The Russian Endgame

Review: The Spanish Revenge: A Craig Page Thriller by Allan Topol

Title: The Spanish Revenge: A Craig Page Thriller by Allan Topol
Craig Page Thriller Book Two
Publisher: Vantage Point Books
Genre: Contemporary, Political Thriller
Length: 418 pages
Book Rating: B+

Review Copy Obtained from Publicist


Craig Page, the bold and daring EU Director of Counterterrorism, becomes the focal point of an effort to stop the feared terrorist Ahmed Sadi, whose goal is to provoke a Muslim uprising in Western Europe. Ahmed, a Muslim fanatic born in Paris to parents who emigrated from Algeria, calls himself Musa Ben Abdil, after a Muslim hero from the Fifteenth Century War with Spain. Page teams up once again the resourceful Elizabeth Crowder, a newspaper reporter who has also become his lover.

Ahmed’s plans become far more menacing when he is joined by Chinese General Zhou, who had been exiled to France for his devious actions in The China Gambit. With Zhou’s assistance, Ahmed’s plan is to launch a horrific attack on the heart of Christianity. At the same time, Ahmed wants to retake militarily for Islam a portion of Southern Spain. He relies upon a medieval parchment he claims to have uncovered, in which Queen Isabella on her death bed in 1504 ceded a portion of Southern Spain to the Muslims in perpetuity. His one main obstacle: Page himself is hot on his trail, determined as ever to save the world from a master criminal. From Spain to Morocco, and beyond to Italy, Page and General Zhou renew their battle, even as Ahmed plots his deadly revenge.

The Review:

Allan Topol’s The Spanish Revenge is an elaborately plotted intellectual game of cat and mouse as Craig Page and Elizabeth Crowder search for the terrorist responsible for a train bombing in Spain. As their investigation unfolds, Craig suspects Musa Ben Abdil has joined forces with his personal nemesis, General Zhou. With Musa and Zhou one step ahead of them, Craig is in a race against time to stop Musa from executing his nefarious scheme to exact revenge and seek justice for a centuries old act of violence against Muslims.

The Spanish Revenge finds lead protagonists Craig Page and Elizabeth Crowder settled into their lives in Paris. Craig is the director of the European Counterterrorism Agency and Elizabeth is a foreign reporter with the International Herald. Elizabeth is also on verge of signing a lucrative book deal about the growing problem Europe is facing with the influx of displaced Muslims. Craig has reached a somewhat uneasy truce with the members of Counterterrorism Agency and he sometimes fights an uphill battle as he tries to effectively thwart the various threats that are exposed.

Ahmed Sadi is an intriguing character. He is not motivated by religious ideology. Instead he is pursing justice and equality for all Muslims. Ahmed adopts of the persona and doctrine of 15th century Musa Ben Abdil and carefully sets his plan in motion.

General Zhou’s exile from China finds him in France, living well beneath everyone’s radar. He is biding his time, waiting for the opportunity to gain power and continue his plan to make China a superpower. Aided by his wealthy brother who is still in China and some loyal military contacts, Zhou finds himself in position to aid Musa as he carries out his plan to regain control of Spain.

The Spanish Revenge is fascinating mix of past and present and fiction and non-fiction. Mr. Topol provides readers with a valuable history lesson that details how Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand expelled Muslims from Spain if they did not convert to Christianity. He also describes the impact the ever growing Muslim population and the disparity facing them is having on Europe today.

Not as action filled as The China Gambit, The Spanish Revenge is more cerebral as Craig and Elizabeth outthink and outmaneuver Musa and Zhou as they carry out their diabolical plans. Craig and Elizabeth find themselves in peril on a few different occasions when they underestimate their enemy. The suspense climbs to an all time high as the story winds its way to its spectacular conclusion.

Allan Topol fully captivates his audience with plots that resonate with timely and relevant political issues. Engaging protagonists, realistic storylines and worthy opponents keep The Spanish Revenge moving at a brisk pace. I am eagerly anticipating what promises to be an ultimate showdown between Craig Page and General Zhou in the final novel of this compelling trilogy.

Read my review of The China Gambit HERE.

Author Bio:

Allan Topol is the national bestselling author of seven novels of international intrigue. He is a graduate of Carnegie Institute of Technology who majored in chemistry, abandoned science, and obtained a law degree from Yale University. A partner in a major Washington law firm, and an avid wine collector, Topol has traveled extensively, researching dramatic locations for his novels. He is a contributor to the Yale Law Report, Glenn Beck’s online magazine, and You can visit him at for more information.

1 Comment

Filed under Allan Topol, Contemporary, Craig Page Thriller, Political Thriller, Rated B+, Review, The Spanish Revenge, Vantage Point

The China Gambit: A Craig Page Thriller by Allan Topol

Title: The China Gambit: A Craig Page Thriller by Allan Topol
Publisher: Vantage Point
Genre: Contemporary, Political Thriller
Length: 352 pages
Book Rating: B+


In Canada, Francesca, a young American reporter, is brutally murdered to stop her from publishing an explosive story. She has learned that Chinese General Zhou has orchestrated a conspiracy with Iran to stop the flow of imported oil to the United States. General Zhou’s goal: To leapfrog China over the United States for world economic and military supremacy. And the ruthless General will do anything to accomplish that goal.

Craig Page – a daring and resourceful former CIA agent, now fighting terrorism in Europe – is determined to find out who killed his daughter, Francesca. Joined by the gutsy Elizabeth Crowder, Francesca’s editor, Craig peels back the conspiracy layer by layer, ultimately learning that General Zhou has a partner in the scheming CIA director, Kirby, who forced Craig out of the Agency.

The action moves from Canada to Tehran, Beijing and Washington, and finally to Aspen, with Craig and Elizabeth narrowly escaping repeated attacks in their attempt to prevent a catastrophe for the United States. It’s exciting and exceedingly timely, with attention focused now on China’s growing strength and power in the world. At the same time, Craig must bury his personal loss, as he confronts his adversaries trying to kill him.

The Review:

Alan Topol’s The China Gambit is a pulse pounding action packed political thriller. While searching for his daughter’s killer, Craig Page and Elizabeth Crowder uncover an international conspiracy that has far-reaching and potentially catastrophic global implications.

A grieving man’s determination to bring his daughter’s killers to justice quickly becomes a race against time to stop a diabolical plot that could bring down a nation. Using resources from his CIA days, Craig Page quickly begins his investigation into the circumstances surrounding his daughter Francesca’s death.

Aiding him in his investigation is newspaper editor Elizabeth Crowder. Her experience as an investigative reporter in wartime situations proves invaluable as she and Craig narrowly escape death and kidnapping attempts as they inventively travel from country to country while seeking information on Francesca’s death.

The China Gambit is an intricately plotted novel that is fast paced and compelling. Allan Topol’s writing style is engaging and his character development is superb. His storyline is chillingly realistic and flawlessly executed. A jaw-dropping and completely unexpected revelation brings The China Gambit to a stunning yet thoroughly satisfying conclusion.

I am definitely looking forward to the next installment in this fabulous trilogy starring Craig Page.


Filed under Allan Topol, Contemporary, Craig Page Thriller, Political Thriller, Rated B+, The China Gambit, Vantage Point