My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Holy Thief by William Ryan is the first in series with the central character Captain Korolev. I bought the book from a discount bookstore on a recent interstate trip only $8 and I got my monies worth. The story is set in the Soviet Union in 1936, with the backdrop of the Stalinist regime. The story is peppered with references to denunciations and betrayal. Students of the period will be well aware of the purges and repressions that occurred during the bloody reign of Stalin.
Captain Korolev is an ordinary policeman if there is such a thing in a totalitarian state. However after a particularly brutal murder in an old church the case becomes political. Korolev is caught between his own department and the NKVD, the precursor to the infamous KGB.
The author has managed to create a sense of the suspicion that must have permeated muscovite population during the period. I am encouraged to read more ion this series.