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Publisher's Summary

Captain Alexei Dimitrevich Korolev returns...

Moscow, 1937. Captain Korolev, a police investigator, is enjoying a long-overdue visit from his young son Yuri when an eminent scientist is shot dead within sight of the Kremlin and Korolev is ordered to find the killer. It soon emerges that the victim, a man who it appears would stop at nothing to fulfil his ambitions, was engaged in research of great interest to those at the very top ranks of Soviet power.

When another scientist is brutally murdered, and evidence of the professors' dark experiments is hastily removed, Korolev begins to realise that, along with having a difficult case to solve, he's caught in a dangerous battle between two warring factions of the NKVD. And then his son Yuri goes missing...

A desperate race against time, set against a city gripped by Stalin's Great Terror and teeming with spies, street children and Thieves, The Twelfth Department confirms William Ryan as one of the most compelling historical crime novelists at work today.

©2013 William Ryan (P)2014 Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd

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  • Rollin
  • Cholula, Mexico
  • 09-22-16

One bullet wreaked havok

Outstanding and original whodunit set in Stalin's Russia. A regular police inspector is caught up in the paranoid
politics of Stalinism. Wonderfujjy narrated by Sean Barrett.

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  • Timi
  • 05-16-17

The most interesting one in the series

The Twelfth Department is definitely the most interesting book in the Captain Korolev series.

Korolev's personal and professional lives cross each other's paths and it's a very uncertain, most stressful period for everyone involved. With Stalin's rise to power came the terror and expanded powers of the secret police: citizens spying on one another, everyone could be investigated, arrested and sent to the Gulag often by using only extrajudicial punishment without further explanation. With that in mind, when Korolev finds out that he and his family are under investigation/surveillance it makes him cautious, willing to have the outcome of his current investigation influenced and fearful for his loved ones. He is trying to solve a double murder, figure out why his ex-wife might be in trouble and spend some quality time with is son, Yuri all at once. His most trustworthy comrades (some of whom would even qualify as friends?) come to his aid and they start the difficult task of finding the culprits responsible for the killings and his personal troubles.

I'd love it if there were more than just 3 books in the series. I came to like Korolev, the other returning characters and the insight into life in the late 1930s Soviet Union. I would recommend these books to anyone interested in this era and location.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • R
  • 03-24-17

Great struggle in the Politics of the Communists

A truly good old story of right and wrong and the abuse of position and power. The story is well written and the characters run true through the intricate storyline.
Sean Barratt provides the icing on the cake, voice and the craft give the story a meaning that draws you into the pre-war world of the Soviet Union.
I would recommend this book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Steven
  • 01-27-17

Cracking thriller

Some earlier reviews were quite harsh on this third installment. If you enjoyed the previous 2 books, then don't hesitate to listen to this. Exactly as expected, the series just keeps getting better! Enjoy.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Walter
  • 03-13-16

Another fabulous book in this series

This book might be the weakest of the three so far but it's still a GREAT listen. I actually pick books based on Sean Barret's narration because his reading/acting style and timbre of his voice make listening a joy.

I'm eagerly awaiting the next if these books.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • dinamit
  • 07-09-15

The least interesting of the series

Any additional comments?

This is the last (so far) instalment of Ryan's series about Capitan Korolev from Moscow CID. Like the two previous instalments this one is also set in the 1930s Moscow. While the previous two books were an excellent read, this one shows that perhaps it's time to retire the captain. <br/><br/>The mystery could have been crafted much much better. You can spot most of the plot turns from a mile, and barely surprised when they're actually coming. There are barely any twists or big revelations that the reader hasn't foreseen. <br/><br/>What distinguished Ryan's previous novels is that they did not deteriorate into cliches about the USSR in the 1930s. In the previous instalments the Soviet characters were a mixed bunch: some good, some evil, some true believers in the Soviet system, others suspicious, yet others outright against it. Another bonus were rather lively descriptions of Moscow and Soviet life in the 1930s. <br/><br/>This book repeatedly recycles the all-time worst cliches: evil security services, state indoctrination, omnipresent surveillance and intimidation. The Russian people appear as a faceless mass drawn into apathy by fear and depravation. The authorities are equally faceless, trying to turn the population into a homogenous Stalinists.<br/>Accordingly, the representations of Moscow are also reduced to the most iconic "ominous" sites: the Lubyanka, the Kremlin, and the infamous "Leadership House" (better known as "the house on the embankment"). <br/><br/>All this is not only boring, but historically inaccurate. And while Ryan's previous work was very much attuned to historical nuances, it seems that in this one he has abandoned all his previous methods. In short, if you never tried Ryan's books or really enjoyed the previous adventures of Korolev, you can give this one a miss.

0 of 3 people found this review helpful