Agent 6 Summary & Study Guide

Tom Rob Smith
This Study Guide consists of approximately 73 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Agent 6.
This section contains 728 words
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Agent 6 Summary & Study Guide Description

Agent 6 Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

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“Agent 6” is a historical mystery novel by Tom Rob Smith, and serves as the third installment in his Leo Demidov trilogy, beginning with “Child 44” and “The Secret Speech”. Spanning a 31-year period between 1950 and 1981, “Agent 6” involves the 16-year-long efforts of former MGB operative Leo Demidov to find his wife, Raisa’s, killer. When the novel begins in Moscow in 1950, Leo and Raisa have just met, and Jesse Austin, a famous black American singer notorious for his love of Communism, visits the Soviet Union. Leo, along with other MGB agents and government officials, give Jesse a sham tour in order to hide the harsh reality of the Soviet system. In 1965, long-married to Raisa and with two adopted daughters, Elena and Zoya, Leo is worried that his own family will be going on a student good will tour of the United States. Now an obscure factory manager, Leo knows that the Soviets will try to use the trip to their advantage, somehow. As it turns out, Mikael Ivanov, the propaganda expert sent along on the trip, is also working for SERVICE.A, and he has played on Elena’s emotions to seduce and manipulate her into getting Jesse Austin to appear in public and speak outside after the first student good will concert at the UN. During this time, Austin is shot and killed, Raisa is arrested for the murder due to her proximity to Austin, and Raisa is then killed by Austin’s wife, Anna. Leo knows there is more to the story, and vows to find the truth of things, including who actually killed his wife.

Once Leo’s daughters are married and independent, Leo attempts to cross the border into Finland to travel to the United States, but is caught and sent to Afghanistan as a Soviet advisor in exchange for his life. In Afghanistan, Leo falls into despair as the Soviet invasion and occupation of Afghanistan heats up. In addition to serving as an advisor, he begins training Communist Afghans to serve in Afghanistan’s secret police, including beautiful 23-year-old Nara, who develops a romantic attachment to Leo. Leo, realizing he has failed his wife, becomes an opium addict to forget himself and his pains. When the Soviets raze a village in response for a terrorist attack, Leo and Nara are sent along with a military contingent to soothe things over with the locals. There, they discover a young girl has survived the attack, and Leo and Nara turn against the Soviets to save the girl, Zabi. Leo and Nara are then taken hostage by the Afghan rebels, who agree to spare Nara’s life and grant her, Leo, and Zabi freedom in exchange for Leo seeking asylum in America, and offering to garner American support to fight the Soviets. During this time, Leo manages to break his addiction to opium, and decides once more to commit to finding out the truth behind his wife’s death. Leo, Nara, and Zabi are granted their asylum request, and in exchange for Soviet intelligence, are set up in New York.

In New York, Leo and Nara continue the investigation into Raisa’s death. There, they come into contact with former FBI Agent Jim Yates, who reveals that the killing of Austin was a Soviet plot meant to bring about a racially-motivated Communist revolution in America, a plot which failed miserably. While Raisa was indeed shot by Anna, Raisa’s injury was not mortal. Yates, knowing he had to cover up the Soviet plot, allowed Raisa to die in order to make it seem like the three deaths were part of a lovers’ tryst gone wrong. Leo shoots Yates in the same fashion as his wife was shot, but rather than leaving Yates to die, Leo calls an ambulance to save Yates’s life. Against the wishes of Nara and Zabi, Leo decides to return to the Soviet Union upon learning that his daughters have been questioned over his defection. Knowing that Zabi and Nara are safe in America, but that his daughters are in danger in Russia, Leo returns to Russia. There, Leo is arrested as a traitor and imprisoned, and awaits trial at the end of the novel. He is given a brief meeting with Elena and Zoya, who hug their father, for they know the sacrifice he has just made for them.

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