I love Martin Cruz Smith and have just discovered William Ryan who is an equally engaging and competent writer. The twists and turns in "The Darkening Field" keep the plot moving along and full of excitement. With the plot taking place in Soviet Russia during Stalin's time, there's always the possibility of a skunk in the woodpile emerging and reanimating the scene.
I enjoyed this book but no where near as much as "The Twelfth Department". The plot twists seemed a bit contrived, like the hollywood movie the plot revolved around. But overall the (so far) series of 3 presents an interesting twist on the police procedural in the context of ideology trumping reason.
Very well written mystery set in Stalin's Russia. The protagonist elicited my sympathy from the start by his hidden Christianity in an era when to be a believer was to be a suspected enemy of the state.
I look forward to reading the rest in the series.
Excellent series! Main character is a Russian detective in the Soviet Union, just before WWII. He is complex but likeable - perhaps a Russian Dalgliesh. Historically accurate and well-researched, vividly describes life in Stalin's Russia. Grim! Great story - the author has a Master's degree in creative writing and it shows. Hope there are many more in the series coming down the pipe. Best to start with the first one.
Too many cigarettes; too few meals. An onslaught of names and loyalties. No one is who we are told they are. And in the end, who cares?
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