My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is the second Captain Korolev novel, this time he has been sent to the Ukraine to solve the murder of a young woman. She has connections to a powerful man in the ruling party. What follows is an interesting foray into the world of communism. The influence of the powerful and the privileges that they hold.
The ensemble cast is a film crew working in a remote location with almost everyone in contact with the victim at some level. The local militia are cut out by the presence of Captain Korolev. The fear of failure and very real repercussions are ever present. Being the child of a denounced citizen harks to the sins of the fathers and therefore denies access to the benefits of the state seem absurd in the context of a workers utopia. The climate of suspicion and not drawing attention to oneself for whatever reason casts a long shadow over this story.
Korolev is an honest hardworking detective who struggles in a climate where the truth is that which is confidently asserted.
Ryan certainly creates the mood of fear and repression that seems to be the legacy of Stalin’s USSR. Looking forward to the next one!