BOOK REVIEW: Russian Doll: The Private Journal of Aasha Ivanova Redacted by Jennifer May.

Genre: Espionage and Spy thriller
Publisher: Olympia Publishers
Paperback: 439 pages
Language: English

About Aasha Ivanova Pavlova:

Aasha has kept a private diary for much of her adult life while working for Russian intelligence. She believes that certain evils should be made public and to this end presents some of her experiences, co-written as a novel by herself and her friend, Jennifer May. For reasons of security, names and sensitive locations have been changed.


Aasha Pavlova, half Indian and half Russian, is assigned to SVR for a mission. SVR is tasked with intelligence and espionage activities outside Russian Federation. She is requested to go to England for this mission. There she meets the mysterious and dangerous Anna Nabiullina. They both share a history. Anna has a hold over Aasha and every time they’re on a mission she does something wrong and finally Aasha is left to clean up the mess. Now she is forced to work under the leadership of Anna for this mission. Aasha is also fighting her own battle. Her daughter is somewhere in India and she has been trying to find her for the past years and has been unsuccessful. She now needs to find out the truth her past and also stop a conspiracy that could tip Russia and the West into all out war.


  1. There were lot of things that happen during each mission/task, and some of them made me cringe and I was kind of disgusted. These are just things that generally puts me off; like talking constantly about flatulence, belching are things I don’t enjoy reading about.
  2. Aasha being half Indian loves sari and gold jewelry. She even goes to the airfield in a sari and then removes it before flying(she wears it on top of a legging or something). When people see her they keep asking if she is going to fly with that outfit and EVERY TIME she says “No, I’ll remove it and I’m perfectly decent underneath.” The same dialogue comes like 5-6 times and by the end I was really annoyed. I felt things like this could have been edited better.
  3. There were lot of scenes which I felt were unnecessary. Like describing the things that they shop during a mission or the dinners that they have. This book is 439 pages long and I felt if few details were skipped it would’ve been a quick and fast-paced read.

There are some characters that we hate right from the start, right? One such character is Anna Nabiullina. She is just so annoying and not a delight to read about. I found Aasha and Anna’s relationship toxic.

This is the private journal of Aasha, a Russian Intelligence agent, so I can’t really comment about the story. My review and rating are only based on the writing style and reading experience.

WRITING – ⭐️⭐️⭐️
OVERALL RATING: ⭐️⭐️.75 – ⭐️⭐️⭐️

To add on Goodreads, click here.

** I received a copy of the book from the Olympia Publishers in exchange for an honest and unbiased review**

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