The Holy Thief

The Holy Thief

Book - 2010
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Moscow, 1936, and Stalin's Great Terror is beginning. In a deconsecrated church, a young woman is found dead, her mutilated body displayed on the altar for all to see. Captain Alexei Korolev, finally beginning to enjoy the benefits of his success with the Criminal Investigation Division of the Moscow Militia, is asked to investigate. But when he discovers that the victim is an American citizen, the NKVD--the most feared organization in Russia--becomes involved. Soon, Korolev's every step is under close scrutiny and one false move will mean exile to The Zone, where enemies of the Soviet State, both real and imagined, meet their fate in the frozen camps of the far north. Committed to uncovering the truth behind the gruesome murder, Korolev enters the realm of the Thieves, rulers of Moscow's underworld. As more bodies are discovered and pressure from above builds, Korolev begins to question who he can trust and who, in a Russia where fear, uncertainty and hunger prevail, are the real criminals. Soon, Korolev will find not only his moral and political ideals threatened, but also his life. William Ryan's remarkable debut will storm into ten countries in what is sure to be an international publishing event. With Captain Alexei Korolev, William Ryan has given us one of the most compelling detectives in modern literature, a man dogged and humble, a man who will lead us through a fear-choked Russia to find the only thing that can save him or any of us-- the truth.
Publisher: New York : Minotaur Books, 2010.
Edition: 1st ed.
ISBN: 9780312586454
Characteristics: 345 p. ; 25 cm.

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stormy1960
May 04, 2017

I enjoyed this book but no where near as much as "The Twelfth Department", the most recent of the series of three, so far. An interesting twist on the police procedural in the context of ideology trumping reason.

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Navigator48
Nov 20, 2013

Very interesting book, historical fiction from 1936 Russia. Gives a portrait of life under Communist rule. The sequel is maybe even better. I'm reading that one right now, "The Darkening Field", of 1937 Russia, as collectivization is still in progress. Both books are murder mysteries - fictional. But they do present a picture of what life was like. You will like the Russian policeman, Korolev, who is the main protagonist working his way through the case. Sometimes funny, sometimes sad.

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