Where some of Stalin's greatest crimes lie buried…
Following his investigations in The Holy Thief, which implicated those at the very top of authority in Soviet Russia, Captain Alexei Korolev finds himself decorated and hailed as an example to all Soviet workers. But Korolev lives in an uneasy peace - his new-found knowledge is dangerous, and if it is discovered what his real actions were during the case, he will face deportation to the frozen camps of the far north. But when the knock on the door comes, in the dead of night, it is not Siberia Korolev is destined for.
Instead, Colonel Rodinov of the NKVD security service asks the detective to look into the suspected suicide of a young woman: Maria Alexandovna Lenskaya, a model citizen. Korolev is unnerved to learn that Lenskaya had been of interest to Ezhov, the feared Commissar for State Security. Ezhov himself wants the matter looked into. And when the detective arrives on the set for Bloody Meadow, in the bleak, battle-scarred Ukraine, he soon discovers that there is more to Lenskaya's death than meets the eye....
Excellent character development, also the dark shadow of the political dimension is beautifully illustrated. I cared about the main character, Detective Korliov, but (and to my shame) became somewhat confused by the plot ending..not helped by the large number of similar sounding patronymics. But don't be put off. This is a good read (listen).
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Captain Korolev is back and this time he is sent to Ukraine to investigate the death of an influential person's lady friend. The case turns out to be a lot more complex than originally expected and it's up to Korolev to untangle the complicated situation. He is working with a great team he can trust to help him solve the sensitive case. I really enjoyed reading about the low-tech investigative work and learning what forensic science was available in the late 1930s. The descriptions of locations and personalities, the importance of political correctness and anti-religion made this book a very interesting read. I will definitely check out the next book in the series.