M.N. Prather
Dale L. Netherton's The Manipulators pulls readers in from the first words of warning about nuclear warfare straight through to the last pages of a bittersweet parting. Although a work of suspense and action, the true heart of Netherton's book lies with the very real humanity and love of two Russian spies. As Ilea and Natalia are thrown together for a mission to America to aid Russia in destroying America's nuclear ability, their paths cross until they find themselves falling for one another. How though can two individuals who live a life based on lies ever grow to trust one another? Netherton is a master manipulator himself making readers fall for the two main chacters and relate to their situation. The Russian spies are mostly just like anyone else, good people who find themselves in unimaginable circumstances. Further complicating their love is the very task of their mission. Nuclear warfare would undoubtedly have serious implications for the world at large. However, for Natalia, who has grown to love America and what it offers, their mission's ultimate task of destroying America is too much. The action and plot of The Manipulators could easily be adapted to the bigscreen. We live in a world very similar to the one in The Manipulators where every day there are new threats against America. Sometimes, however, as Netherton points out, our biggest threat may be our own idealism that can make us prey to others.