smirnov_alexsi_bk_tda smirnov_alexsi_bk_ass
Full Name: Alexsi Smirnov
Nationality: Russian
Organization: NKVD
Occupation Agent

Creator: William Christie
Time Span: 2017 - 2018


Alexsi Ivanovich Smirnov is an agent with the NKVD.

Well, he is for a while. He is not one when we first meet him, understandable since he is just 16 at the time but he will find himself being forced to volunteer to join so he does because Smirnov is above all things a survivor and when it is put to him that he can enlist or get killed, he makes his mind up pretty fast. Which is why I put it that he is with the NKVD.

Now, as time goes along, he will change employers. This will again be because he is not given much of a choice. In this case he is told he has to go to work for the Germans. This being now as the Second World War is starting (the Great Patriotic War to the Soviets). This forced recruitment will come by way of orders from the NKVD and it will land him in the Abwehr, or German Military Intelligence, so I could have written that he is an agent with German Intelligence.

Then there will be the time that the Gestapo decides his rightful place is in their ranks working for them.

And later British Intelligence in the form of MI6 will throw in their two pence. 

So who does Smirnov actually work for? Himself. First and foremost if not only. 

Our initial contact with Smirnov is as he has teamed up with nomadic raiders living in the area of Iran touching the Soviet Union's republic of Azerbaijan. He is an orphan who fled the Soviet's care to live on his own as a thief and then, with those raiders, a smuggler. His skills with languages (Russian and Farsi, and, surprisingly, German) as well as his lock-picking and other larcenous abilities made him valuable to them and they in turn taught him tricks at stalking, hunting, and survival. How to kill enemies out to hurt him, he already knew but they improved that as well.

What Smirnov did not know was that he was being hunted by the Soviets for reasons other than his criminal activities. They had a special need and their records indicated he was just person for the job.


Number of Books:2
First Appearance:2017
Last Appearance:2018

1 A Single Spy A Single Spy
Written by William Christie
Copyright: 2017

Forced by the NKVD to go undercover as a long lost nephew of a high Nazi official and living that role for seven years, Alexsi Smirnov is surprised to be chosen by the Gestapo in 1943 "to infiltrate the site of the upcoming Tehran conference between Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin, and set them up to be assassinated".
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2 The Double Agent The Double Agent
Written by William Christie
Copyright: 2018

Alexsi Smirnov had tried to disappear from both the Soviets and the Nazis. He failed as he is snatched by the British. "Recruited by the SIS, and by "C" himself, Alexsi is once again a double agent. Initially betrayed by a Soviet agent inside the SIS (Kim Philby), Alexsi is sent beyond the reach of the Soviets, into Italy with a new identity as a sergeant in the German army. Settled into the headquarters of Field Marshall Albert Kesselring, Alexsi finds himself at the nexus at a critical point in World War II, balancing between the various forces vying for control in the Vatican, the Italian resistance, and the brutal German Army determined to maintain control of Northern Italy. And Alexsi, finally forced to choose sides over his own survival."
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The author of this two-book series, William Christie, got my attention when he penned another two-book series about Ed Storey which I really liked. Then under a pseudonym a handful of years later, he came out with another two-book series about Peter Avakian which I really, really liked. So I was excited to find a new character to check out, this fellow, with his very unusual pedegree and backstory and let me tell you, Mr. Christie's skills at crafting some terrific situations and filling the cast with fascinating people has not diminished at all. This is another winner and I am thrilled to be able to add Alexsi Smirnov to the compendium.

All my years growing up and then serving in the Intelligence field, the Soviets were the bad guys. The books I read with them in it had them almost always the villains, whether they be KGB or GRU or, as in this case, NKVD. I like to root for the protagonists and that meant I never rooted for anyone from those groups. Not so with this series. Quite a switch.


My Grade: A-


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