Our heroine, Liesl Bower, is a gifted concert pianist who has studied with the famous and who has given concerts on the stages across the globe. But she seems targeted by international agents who are after something she possesses but that she doesn't realize she has.
Having studied under the superb tutorage of Schell Devoe, an internationally acclaimed Harvard music professor, she was able to travel for study in Russia. After her beloved mentor's murder, she learns he was a double agent - betraying both his own country, America, and Russia.
Sound of Red Rising is set primarily in Charleston, South Carolina but you will flit in and out of Washington as well. The characters in this book are Cade and his grandfather, Ian, who live in the basement apartment of Liesl's grandmother's home. There is a bit of beginning romance between Liesl and Cade, and the grandfather, Ian, is a "real character." Ian and Chad "cowboy" in on the adventure with the CIA and FBI.
There is a good measure of sound spiritual wisdom without sounding preachy. A good book and I'm glad I went back and read book one, Sound of Red Returning. Can't wait for the third book to come out.
Experience footnote of my own: Having lived during the "Cold War" and knowing the very real tension between the US and Russia during this period, I found this story especially interesting. The underlying theme of Red Returning is daunting.
DISCLOSURE: I was provided a complimentary copy of Sound of Red Returning by Kregel Publishing in exchange for my honest review.