15 May 2010

The Holy Thief

by William Ryan

Pan MacMillan Australia. Crime, Mystery, History. Paperback rrp $32.99

A woman’s mutilated body is found displayed on an altar in a Christian church in Moscow in 1936. An ear, eye and her tongue have been placed in such a way to spell a warning. Is it the work of a deranged madman or is it something more sinister? Captain Alexei Korolev is asked to investigate. Korolev soon discovers the woman was an American citizen tortured to death. It appears she never told her captive the secrets he wanted to hear. Can Korolev discover them?
Then a second body is discovered. The body of a Russian Thief. He also had been tortured but it seems his secrets passed his lips. He was lucky and died quickly with a bullet. What do a thief and a young American woman have in common?

When the theft of a rare religious icon is brought to Korolev’s attention, he realises that the murder investigation has uncovered a criminal mastermind at work. More and more bodies start to pile up and Korolev may need a miracle to save himself.

In the harsh reality of a Stalin run Russia, everybody fears something. What does Korolev fear and should someone higher up fear Korolev?

A wonderful tale of murder, deceit and 1930’s Russia. The Holy Thief is the first in a series of cases and adventures for Alexei Korolev. Once you read this book you will be queuing for the next instalment.

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