This riveting suspense debut introduces both a stellar new voice and a remarkable detective, an outsider who must use his extraordinary talents to solve the one case that may redeem him.
Shortly after midnight on July 17, 1918, the imprisoned family of Tsar Nicholas Romanov was awakened and led down to the basement of the Ipatiev house. There they were summarily executed. Their bodies were hidden away, the location a secret of the Soviet state.
A decade later, one man lives in purgatory, banished to a forest on the outskirts of humanity. Pekkala was once the most trusted secret agent of the Romanovs, the right-hand man of the Tsar himself. Now he is Prisoner 4745-P, living a harsh existence in which even the strongest vanish into the merciless Soviet winter.
But the state needs Pekkala one last time. The man who knew the Romanovs best is given a final mission: catch their killers, locate the royal child rumored to be alive, and give Stalin the international coup he craves. Find the bodies, Pekkala is told, and you will find your freedom. Find the survivor of that bloody night and you will change history.
In a land of uneasy alliances and deadly treachery, pursuing clues that have eluded everyone, Pekkala is thrust into the past where he once reigned. There he will meet the man who betrayed him and the woman he loved and lost in the fires of rebellion—and uncover a secret so shocking that it will shake to its core the land he loves.
With stunning period detail and crackling suspense, Eye of the Red Tsar introduces a complex and compelling investigator in a fiercely intelligent thriller perfect for readers of Gorky Park, Child 44, and City of Thieves.
©2010 Sam Eastland (P)2010 Random House
“A triumph! With a canny eye for detail, Eastland re-creates the tragedy of the Romanov dynasty in this intelligent and relentless thriller.” (David Hewson)
A man's got to do what a man's got to do..
I had high expectations for this book and am really disappointed. Both the story plot and the writing style are trivial and bland ; the description of the historical setting (early 20th century in the early Soviet Union) is not credible (no more than the reproduction of Venice in a Las Vegas hotel...). Phony , weak and a bit boring ....
I am writing this review after listening to all 3 in the series.
I would recommend taking them in order. I am surprised this book and the sequels did not get more hype. It is one of the best historical fiction stories around. In the spirit of Bernard Cornwell, who masterfully weaves actual history and historical events around a good fictional story of characters, Sam Eastland hits a home run.
I can't wait for the 4th book, which is out in the U.K. I wrote the author and he responded, which is always nice. There is no news on a U.S. release as of yet.
I will wait impatiently. Paul Michael does a great job with the series.
I liked this book a lot. I found it because I'm a fan of the narrator, Paul Michael, and as usual his accents and pacing were great. The story is interesting and the main character, Pekkala, is compelling. I think I was a little disappointed in Pekkala's decision at the end, but intrigued to find out what he does next. I hope Sam Eastland writes a sequel so I can find out!
Overall I enjoyed this story. The characters are believable, and the main character - Piccoula - is likeable. The story kept me in suspense and Piccoula's investigative skills were great to follow. I enjoyed the backdrop of communist Russia. The only thing that I found difficult was how this book took and actual event - the murder of the Romanov's - and twisted in the fictionalized events. I kept wanting to refer to what I had read in historical accounts, which varied in many ways. If I had no knowledge of the Romanov story prior to reading, I would have rated Eye of the Red Tsar a 5. If you are a history buff, you may not find it quite as enjoyable.
I nearly gave this book back, but somehow stayed with it. Having said that, I was almost constantly annoyed. Some people said that they think this is historically very well researched - well, I think the opposite. The portrayal of the Tsar as a loving, doting if slightly confused monarch who pours over the personnel files of the cadets and is worried that any of the revolutionaries might get hurt seems more than far fetched. And from what I heard Stalin wasn't exactly a stern but forgiving person either. Aside from the character of the Tsar, the person that annoyed me almost as much was Kirov. No political commissar in Stalin's days would have been that naive. I understand what his function in the book is: he is asking the stupid questions so that the author can explain things to the reader. But during that time, nobody would survived to rise to political commissar without political awareness.
For a better, and more realistic, crime story set in the same time I recommend Tom Rob Smith's "Child 44" that is also available on Audible.
I'm not certain how it would rank, but it's an excellent listen.
Just as good as Steve Berry's The Romanov Prophecy.
He's quite good with different accents.
I feel soory for the inspector. All the hells Pekkala went through.
Any mystery fans should give this book a try.
Audio junkie, caffiene addict, anglophile & a bit of a wino.
Yes. Good historical detail. Plot kept moving - good momentum. Killer ending. Great naration.
Stallin I think.
A mystery, inside a riddle wrapped up in an enigma.
An interesting, intriguing suspense novel (a mystery novel, too, actually). Kept me in suspense until the end! Entertaining historical fiction. Paul Michael did a good job reading.
I enjoyed this book but found it a little slow in places, and sometimes predictable. Narration was good. Not great, but not bad either.
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