About this book: On a cold, bleak day in 1916, all hell breaks loose in a mining pit in the Ural Mountains. Overcome by a strange paranoia, the miners attack one another, savagely and ferociously. Minutes later, two men—a horrified scientist and Grigory Rasputin, trusted confidant of the tsar—hit a detonator, blowing up the mine to conceal all evidence of the carnage.
In the present day, FBI agent Sean Reilly’s search for Reed Corrigan, the CIA mindcontrol spook who brainwashed Reilly’s son, takes a backseat to a new, disturbing case. A Russian embassy attaché seems to have committed suicide by jumping out of a fourth-floor window in Queens. The apartment’s owners, a retired physics teacher from Russia and his wife, have gone missing, and further investigation reveals that the former may not be who the FBI believe him to be.
Joined by Russian Federal Security Service agent Larisa Tchoumitcheva, Reilly’s investigation of the old man’s identity will uncover a desperate search for a small, mysterious device, with consequences that reach back in time and which, in the wrong hands, could have a devastating impact on the modern world.
Judge this book by its cover? Shadowy and red and featuring the hammer and sickle? Yep, that pretty well sums it.
Reminds me of…Steve Berry, Tom Clancy.
Buy or borrow? Do you love the genre or books about Russia? Buy.
Why did I read this book? As a part of the BookTrib blog tour, for review.
Would I read another by this author? Yes.
My take: Rasputin’s Shadow delivers what its cover (and the author’s reputation) promises: plot twists too innumerable to count, and layer upon layer of international intrigue. It also features so many characters that it challenged me at first to keep them all straight. I liked the gradual unveiling of the meaning of the title, which was not what I expected. In fiction form, this book contains impeccable research about an eternally fascinating, if repulsive, historical figure. All in all, a relatively clean, fast-paced thriller that’s sure to please fans of both the genre and Russian history alike.
Thanks to BookTrib and Dutton for providing me a free copy to review. All opinions are mine.
For another take on Rasputin’s Shadow, I suggest you check out Jaime Boler’s review and author interview at Bookmagnet.wordpress.com, where she astutely observes, “If the late, great Tom Clancy was the master of the Twentieth-Century thriller, Raymond Khoury is his Twenty-First Century successor.” You can also stop by BookTrib on Tuesday, October 15, 3pm ET, for a live chat with Raymond Khoury and your chance to win a free copy of his book.