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Publisher's Summary

A firefight reverberates through Moscow's dark, rain-soaked streets; shattered glass and screams echo in the air. In the lawless ways of Russia's capital city, the gunmen melt away into the night. Two men are dead, the targets not what they seem. A shadowy figure lopes along the riverbank outside the Kremlin walls. Known to all as Volk, a battle-hardened veteran of Russia's brutal war in Chechnya, he prowls Moscow's grim alleyways, a knife concealed in his prosthetic foot at all times.

As both a major player in the black market and a covert agent for the Russian military, Volk serves two masters: Maxim, a psychotic Azeri mafia kingpin with hordes of loyal informers; and a man known only as the General, to whom Volk is mysteriously indebted. By his side is Valya, an exotic beauty charged with protecting her lover from his unsavory associates. Valya is the most dangerous weapon in Volk's arsenal. Together they are commissioned to steal a long-lost da Vinci painting called Leda and the Swan from St. Petersburg's Hermitage Museum. Leda's ethereal radiance is undeniably captivating and incalculably dangerous. Volk must choose which powerful man he will betray in order to escape with the painting and with his life.

With the high-octane rush and vivid intensity of a feature film, Volk's Game delivers at every turn, announcing Alexei Volkovoy as the boldest hero of a new generation.

©2007 Brent Ghelfi (P)2007 Tantor Media Inc.

Critic Reviews

"The twists and turns accumulate at an almost dizzying pace, building to a satisfactory resolution. Frederick Forysth fans will appreciate the crisp writing. This thriller could mark the start of a successful long-running series." ( Publishers Weekly)

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Joann
  • Scituate, MA, USA
  • 07-24-07

Volk's Game

I don't like being harsh, but I thought this was the most boring book. I didn't even get through the first part, not only because of the lack of dialogue and "action" and way too much descriptive/background information that, quite frankly, I grasped from the first time it was described/explained, but also due to the creepy disturbing voice and drone of the narrator. People don't talk like that. There was no expression and at times it seemed like the book was one run-on sentence. When he did a voice, it sounded ridiculous, especially when he tried to do a woman's voice (although I did like Nigel's) and sometimes it was hard to know who was speaking because at times, not always, they sounded the same. That was frustrating, because had it at least been consistent,it would have been easier to differentiate between characters. I got so bored with the descriptive parts, my mind would wander and I would realize that I had missed relevant parts. I thought the story line was great and had there been more dialogue and action, I know I would have enjoyed it (albeit it with a different narrator); unfortunately, I was too bored to continue.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

give it a chance

The first part is a bit slow, but pacing picks up and the characters develop. This is a somber look at current day Russia, through mob/soldiers eyes.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Mary Ann
  • gainesville, FL, USA
  • 07-11-07

Distasteful

This is a dark,grim,novel unaided by a usually good reader.His reading of this book,makes the book even worse. If you are looking for a depressive book, this is for you.I have not finished it yet, with three trys.I intend to erase it and try to forget it's morbid plot.Pass this one by.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Unbearable narration

This may be a fine book; the opening seemed promising. But after a little more than an hour, I had to quit listening because I just couldn't tolerate the narration. Hoye ends every sentence with an irritating whine. His rendition of dialogue -- particularly of female voices -- is labored and off-putting. And his delivery is altogether too slow for my taste.

I did listen to the sample before pulling the trigger on this book, but I guess I Hoye's quirks were not as apparent to me from that short snippet. Though my reaction to Hoye may well be idiosyncratic, I will avoid him in the future.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Pretty Good

It's true, as other reviewers note, that some of the violence is gratuitous and that the audio narrator has an odd cadence, but I still enjoyed the book. The Moscow ambience is dark and violent, and long shadows from the Chechnyan wars are cast across the characters and events. A fascinating depiction of how organized crime, senior government, and the military intersect in Putin's Russia. A pretty good read.