They live a life of danger, sacrifice, and bravery. They die saving others but get no fame, no medals, and no solemn ceremonies. They are…
Nikolai, a bodyguard in the prestigious Centurion Personal Protection agency, is injured in the line of duty. While recovering from his injuries, he is assigned to a new client. An easy case, his boss tells him.
Nikolai travels to a small quiet town north of Siberia to provide protection for a young woman, on her dad’s request. At first, both Nikolai and his boss see the assignment as a whim of a rich overprotective father. But the more Nikolai learns about the town, the oil company that the young woman is working for, and the people involved, the more he encounters secrets, suspicious behaviors, lies, and threats. In an unexpected and frightening course of events, Nikolai’s easy assignment becomes one of the toughest and the most dangerous.
©2014 Julia Gousseva (P)2014 Julia Gousseva
action/adventure, suspense, murder, assassins, Russia, Siberia, relationships, thriller
Fast paced suspense with lots of twists and turns. Written by a Russian expat now living in the US. The protagonist is former military living in Moscow and working as a bodyguard. He is good at detection and investigation,and has a healthy sense of paranoia. This does not endear him to his girlfriend, however. The publisher's blurb gives hints and there is no need for spoilers. I really enjoyed this small view into life in post cold war Russia.
Jack De Golia does a great job of approximating a Russian accent without making it too difficult for most to understand. Excellent work!
I requested and received a free review copy from the publisher, author, or narrator courtesy of AudioBookBOOM.
This is the first book by the author that I read and I can say that I truly enjoyed it as the well-written crime novel that it is.
“I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.
Absolutely! Listening to this novel was like riding a Roller Coaster of Suspense, full of thrills and chills! Just as you're catching your breath from a twist, another one comes at you out of nowhere and takes you careening into the next turn! Hold On Tight!
I really enjoyed the way the flow, movement, vivid characters and imagery reminded me of listening to a Graphic Novel. The narrator, Jack de Golia, handled the pacing and feel of this intriguingly nuanced writing perfectly. He was dynamic yet easy to listen to, and his timing and interpretation was spot on throughout.
I loved his performance of Vanya, an older gentleman who was head of security, but found he had more than a few lessons to learn from the younger body guard. Jack de Golia's Vanya was so full of depth that I pictured him perfectly and felt all of his mixed emotions.
I did want to, and certainly I could have if life had allowed! Instead, I had to force myself to stop listening several times, and was so happy to get back to Gousseva's skillfully crafted world, wrapped up in the tones of de Golia's wonderful narration. This was a Great Listen!
YES! the narrator, Jack de Golia really brought the story to life with his interpretation of the characters. pronunciation of the names, dialects and story telling skills.
With there being several, I think without giving it away, one of the best is the ending.
Theater of the mind. You can picture the scenes in your minds eye with Jacks' narration, voice over and theatrical skills.
Jack keep me interested the whole time. I listened to the whole book in one sitting with just 2 short breaks.
Can't wait to listen to another one of Jack de Galia's narrations; What an excellent story teller!
It's honestly the first audiobook I've ever listened to, but I still have to say I was very impressed.
Yes, there were plenty of twists and unexpected outcomes!
Nikolai was definitely my favorite.
It kept me enthralled as I wanted to know what was going to happen next.
Overall, this was a really well-written and intriguing thriller. The narrator did a great job conveying the story, and I enjoyed how he spoke with a Russian accent when reading the dialogue. It made the book come to life.
Unexpected, thrilling twists
I loved the deceptive calm with which the story opened, which hinted at once that things are not as they may seem: “Everything was exactly like it was supposed to be. So far, the only unusual thing that winter morning was the bright sun that enveloped Moscow with a surreal warm glow.”
Also, I love the sense of ‘Russian soul’ in the writing, which sustains the story in every twist and turn from beginning to end.
Jack de Golia has an engaging, warm voice with lovely variations in mood and flow, and a great handle on producing different accents, Russian in particular, all of which make him a perfect choice to narrate Gray Shadows. He brings to life each and every character, and during the dialog he steps in and out of the skins (and voices) of the characters at the drop of a hat.
Not only did I want to listen to it in a single setting, but that it what I actually did!
Like her previous books, this book is imbued by Russian culture. Author Jullia Gousseva carries the landscapes of her Russian motherland. They are lit with the memory of many historical events, and in Gray Shadows she uses this heritage as a vivid backdrop for a new and exciting action-filled suspense thriller, with cinematic scenes and fast-paced dialogue.
Twenty-eight year-old Nikolai is a “tall, fit, muscular, and with prior military experience” bodyguard. In spite of the affection between him and Olga, the difference between them is subtly drawn: “He felt out of place with these wealthy people… Over the last few years, she had grown accustomed to this lifestyle. Nikolai had not.”
He is assigned to watch over a rebellious twenty-two year-old Natalya, who has accepted a position as a translator in Siberia. Recovering from an injury from his previous assignment, Nikolai assumes that protecting a spoiled rich girl will be a simple task. But in the oil refinery plant in the northern region of Siberia, nothing is as it seems, and Nikilai hast to sort out fact from falsehood in this strange, frigid world. “He watched the bleak landscape roll by: the tall mounds of snow, the dwarf trees, and the low darkening sky.”
Indeed, with such a banal assignment, and a seemingly innocent client, what’s the worst that can happen? No spoilers here, except to say this: find out.
five stars for the story, and for the narration.
As the name implies, I love reading anything sinful.
Nokolai has been assigned to guard twenty-two year old, spoiled socialite, Natalya. Of course, when he arrives on the scene, nothing is as it seems. With the rich Russian culture we've come to expect from this author, Gray Shadows is proof of her maturity as an author. Each book gets better and deeper. 5 stars.
It makes me happy to wake up everyday and look forward to listening. Many times I listen while doing artwork. I find it very relaxing.
I like the way this story is set in Russia. Nikolai is a good guy and works as a bodyguard for Anatoli, the owner of the Centurion Personal Protection Agency. After catching a bullet for a client, he gets lighter duty and a job protecting Natalia, the daughter of a new client. She's an interpreter at the oil fields. There's more to this job than meets the eye. Natalia is a spoiled rich girl who always gets her way. When they first arrive at the oil fields, there had just been a security guard murdered.
This story has some really good unexpected twists and is completely unpredictable. There's good character development and I can see where there's room for more as the series continues. I want to know more about Nikolai and Olga. Nikolai, the gray shadow is a really likeable character. This was a good beginning to a series and I look forward to seeing where this one goes next.
About the narrator: Jack de Golia is a fantastic voice actor. I think he did an outstanding job with the characters and the Russian dialect. I don't know how he does what he does with his voice. He made them all sound like different people were speaking. Great character distinction. I hope he continues with the series. Very enjoyable.
A book with so much to offer
Firstly, it is impeccably character based, the atmospheric locations also feeding into the personality. Nicholai is a bodyguard, Russian, living in Moscow, recently wounded and impatient to get back to work. Not yet fully fit for his regular duties, he is given a choice - office work and training new bodyguards or escorting a young woman who's father says he wants someone to protect her, mostly from herself, as she leaves for her first job away from home, interpreting for an oil company in a town in the Arctic circle. He chooses to accompany the spirited young woman.
The apparently leisurely pace of the novel belies how much the reader is given and is never, for one moment, dull as the ethos of the bodyguards unfold - not the usual strong man shoot to kill and be willing to take a bullet for the client, but instead a far more thoughtful approach, to be a "grey shadow, unseen, unheard, unnoticed" and always, always vigillent, stopping trouble before it can start.
Secondly, the writing style and mix of text and dialogue is beautifully honed as the reader is immersed in the locations, the people, the nation and the slowly evolving plot. And hand in hand with the writing goes the superb narration of Jack de Golia, whose pleasant sounding performance paces perfectly with the text. Each character is different and convincingly voiced, whether male or female, with authentic sounding accents but not so much that they cannot easily be understood. And he becomes the bodyguard who's so central to the story.
And finally the story itself, a tale of detection, to prevent - well, you will have to hear it for yourself to find out.
My thanks to the rights holder for gifting me Gray Shadows, via Audiobook Boom. Unexpected, it was a leisurely paced thriller but full of tension and I didn't want it to end. This is the start of what looks like becoming an unforgettable series.
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