Jason Matthews (novelist)

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Jason Matthews (1951 – April 28, 2021) was an American author of espionage novels and former CIA officer, best known for the Red Sparrow spy novel trilogy.

Personal life[edit]

Jason was married to Suzanne, also a former officer. [1] He died April 28, 2021 at the age of 69 from corticobasal degeneration.[2]


Prior to becoming a novelist, Matthews spent 33 years working for the CIA.[3] While in the CIA he was officially a diplomat, in Europe, Asia, and the Caribbean, but his real job was recruiting and then managing foreign agents.[4]

In 2014, his first novel, Red Sparrow (2013), won an Edgar Award for Best First Novel by an American Author.[5] Writer and critic Art Taylor praised it in The Washington Post, writing that it "isn't just a fast-paced thriller—it's a first-rate novel as noteworthy for its superior style as for its gripping depiction of a secretive world."[6] It was adapted into a movie of the same name starring Jennifer Lawrence.[7]

In 2015 and 2018, he published Palace of Treason and The Kremlin’s Candidate which are the sequels to Red Sparrow.



Red Sparrow trilogy:

  1. Red Sparrow (2013)
  2. Palace of Treason (2015)
  3. The Kremlin's Candidate (2018)




  1. ^ My Mom Was A Spy For The CIA, And This Is What She Wore To Work
  2. ^ "Author of 'Red Sparrow' thrillers, Jason Matthews, dies at 69". USA Today. Associated Press. April 29, 2021. Retrieved April 29, 2021.
  3. ^ McGrath, Charles (May 27, 2015). "Shadowing Jason Matthews, an Ex-Spy Whose Cover Identity Is Author". The New York Times. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
  4. ^ Shadowing Jason Matthews, New York Times.
  5. ^ "Category List – Best First Novel | Edgars Database". The Edgars. Retrieved August 5, 2018.
  6. ^ Art Taylor (October 15, 2013). "'Red Sparrow,' a fantastic new spy thriller by former CIA operative Jason Matthews". The Washington Post.
  7. ^ Kelly, Mary Lousie (March 5, 2018). "'Red Sparrow' Author And Ex-CIA Agent Says New Movie Gets Spy Life Right". NPR. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  8. ^ "International Thriller Writers – Past Nominees and Winners". thrillerwriters.org. Retrieved February 27, 2017.
  9. ^ "Category List – Best First Novel | Edgars Database". theedgars.com. Retrieved February 27, 2017.

External links[edit]