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Full Name: Kolya Petrov
Nationality: American
Organization: ECA
Occupation Agent

Creator: S. Lee Manning
Time Span: 2020 - 2023


Nikolai 'Kolya' Ivanovich Petrov is an agent with the ECA.

That acronym stands for the Executive Covert Agency, a department in the American Intelligence community that few knew existed, which was exactly as intended. The fewer who knew, the fewer that could ask questions as its operatives followed the mandate set down in an Executive Order of the President of the United States. Those that did know of it knew what it was considered "the elite of the intelligence agencies" and that its Director, Margaret Bradford, answered only to the Chief Executive, hence the name.

Petrov had been with the ECA for the past nine years, coming to the then relatively new agency after working for another few years with the FBI; The ECA noticed him when he and his partner had made a huge bust of the Russian mafiya in Brooklyn. Though no specific age for Petrov was found by me, I estimate him to be at least in his mid-30s based on college, a few years in the Bureau, and then the almost a decade with the ECA.

His significant other is Alexandria - Alex - with whom he has lived for some time and been in love with for much longer. Theirs is a happy relationship though put through some major tests such as his frequent absences due to work. While Petrov is definitely the lead character in these adventures, Alex is nearly so as she plays not only important roles in the adventures, she is also the one tangible anchor Petrov has to hold onto in his mind when things go bad for him - and things go very bad more than once.

We learn on our first meeting him that he really disliked being a handler - or rather he hated the waiting that came with having sent another person into harm's way and then being able to do nothing further; "he preferred the active role, to be the one at risk".

When you take a look at the very unpleasant things about to happen to him when he is able to get his wish and become the actor rather than director, he likely would wish to reconsider things.


Number of Books:3
First Appearance:2020
Last Appearance:2022

1 Trojan Horse Trojan Horse
Written by S. Lee Manning
Copyright: 2020

"American operative Kolya Petrov is tracking Mihai Cuza, a direct descendant of Vlad the Impaler. Kolya suspects him of planning meltdowns of nuclear power plants around the world, but every time Kolya gets close, a member of his team dies in agony. Margaret Bradford, the head of Kolya’s agency, seizes upon a devious plan to place a "Trojan horse" - a digital virus - on Cuza’s computer. But for the plan to succeed, she must betray one of her own agents. Margaret chooses Kolya Petrov for the honor.
Kolya is initially unaware that he’s been set up for kidnapping and torture. When he realizes the truth, he must choose between stopping a plot that could kill thousands, and protecting his own life and the life of the woman he loves."
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2 Nerve Attack Nerve Attack
Written by S. Lee Manning
Copyright: 2021

"Former U.S. intelligence operative Kolya Petrov, struggling with the physical and psychological aftereffects of kidnapping and torture, is drawn back into the game when Dmitri, his childhood best friend, holds the key to stopping an attack by terrorists armed with a deadly nerve agent. Working with Dmitri, however, is complicated. While their friendship had been forged during their years in an abusive Russian boys' home, the two men's lives took very different paths. Dmitri had headed the North American branch of a Russian gang until Kolya, working undercover, put him in prison. Ten years later, Dmitri's cooperation is essential to finding the smuggler of the nerve agent, and he refuses to work with anyone but Kolya."
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3 Bloody Soil Bloody Soil
Written by S. Lee Manning
Copyright: 2022

"Evil is on the rise again in Germany. When a mysterious American calling himself Michael Hall arrives in Berlin to join Germany Now, a far-right group, he must prove himself by shooting a prominent Jewish anti-Nazi activist, or face certain death. Afterwards, Germany Now welcomes him into its ranks, planning to use his weapons expertise to create a dictatorship dedicated to the Nazi ideals of 'Blood and Soil'.
Michael, though, has attracted the deadly attention of an unexpected enemy, Lisette. The girlfriend of a neo-Nazi leader, Lisette has a dark secret. To avenge the assassination of her father years earlier, she infiltrated the group, slowly eliminating the killers among them, and has targeted Michael as her next victim."
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Number of Stories:3
First Appearance:2022
Last Appearance:2023

The author, S. Lee Manning, was kind enough to let me know there were two short stories in the Kolya Petrov series available on her Website

1 Choices Choices
Written by S. Lee Manning
Copyright: 2022

Takes place approximately 10 years before Trojan Horse.
Kolya Petrov is an associate in a law firm in Manhattan, not long out after passing the bar. He is bored to tears with the work and thinking of trying something different with joining the FBI. Taking a short trip to his old neighborhood in Brooklyn, he learns that people he liked back in the day had been killed, collateral damage in a gangland fight. When he learns who was at fault, his decision for his future is made.

2 Making Latkes Making Latkes
short story
Written by S. Lee Manning
Copyright: 2022

Takes place between Trojan Horse and Nerve Attack.
Relates how Alex finds a way to help Kolya feel like part of the family when she invites "the great-aunts, great-uncles, first cousins, second cousins, and cousins once removed" to a small celebration on the last day of Hanukkah.
Note: it also provides instructions for How To Make Latkes.

3 Friendship Friendship
short story
Written by S. Lee Manning
Copyright: 2023

Takes place approximately October 12, 2023 - after the horrific attack on Israel by Hamas. It can be found on author S. Lee Manning's website.
Describes how Kolya Petrov's friend, Tehila Malada, lost a friend when she stood up to that person after hearing the news of the surprise attack by Hamas. Malada also comments on how she was far more ready to tell people she was gay than that she was Jewish.


I want to say first off that I really like Kolya Petrov. A lot. He comes across as someone real and likeable and decent and when the crap that happens to him starts happening, I got annoyed and then mad and then p**sed off. And I kept reading because the author truly knows how to tell one heckuva story. 

She might be a tad too good in that when the painful things happen to Petrov, I felt them. And when things got scary and people started going after him (or Alex) I made sure I sat with my back to a wall while reading. You know, just to be safe.

And yet, when I finished the first adventure, I picked up the second one immediately and then on to third. That's a sign the author knows how to tell a story and has a few to relate. It is also a sign that I will continue to be a fan and I am definitely a fan.

Of course, a fourth adventure would be more danger and more suspense and more sitting against that wall. But, hey! If Kolya can take it, I can endure reading about it.


My Grade: A


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