Bloody Meadow (The Korolev Series)

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9780330508421: Bloody Meadow (The Korolev Series)

Korolev nodded, thinking of the dead girl, and wondering whether, these days, it was such a good thing to be Commissar Ezhov's friend . . . Russia, 1937. In Moscow, Stalin's purges are reaching their darkest hour. Meanwhile Korolev, a police investigator, must travel to the bleak, battle-scarred Ukraine - scene of some of Stalin's bloodiest crimes - to look into the mysterious death of a young woman. The victim, a beautiful film production assistant, had made both powerful friends and terrible enemies . . . 'The Holy Thief, set in Stalin's Russia, was one of last year's most impressive crime fiction debuts. The Bloody Meadow, William Ryan's follow-up, does not disappoint . . . Ryan has obviously done much research into that sinister period of Russian history and manages to convey its claustrophobic atmosphere brilliantly' Marcel Berlins, The Times 'Every bit as darkly compelling as its predecessor' Daily Express 'An outstanding thriller' Independent IrelandFollowing his investigations in The Holy Thief, which implicated those at the very top of authority in Soviet Russia, Captain Alexei Korolev finds himself decorated and hailed as an example to all Soviet workers. But Korolev lives in an uneasy peace - his new-found knowledge is dangerous, and if it is discovered what his real actions were during the case, he will face deportation to the frozen camps of the far north. But when the knock on the door comes, in the dead of night, it is not Siberia Korolev is destined for. Instead, Colonel Rodinov of the NKVD security service asks the detective to look into the suspected suicide of a young woman: Maria Alexandovna Lenskaya, a model citizen. Korolev is unnerved to learn that Lenskaya had been of interest to Ezhov, the feared Commissar for State Security. Ezhov himself wants to matter looked into. And when the detective arrives on the set for Bloody Meadow, in the bleak, battle-scarred Ukraine, he soon discovers that there is more to Lenskaya's death than meets the eye . . .Published in the USA as The Darkening Field.

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About the Author:

William Ryan was called to the English bar after university in Dublin, then worked as a lawyer in the City. His novels THE HOLY THIEF, THE BLOODY MEADOW and THE TWELFTH DEPARTMENT set in 1930s Stalinist Russia, have been shortlisted for the Theakston's Crime Novel of the Year Award, the CWA New Blood Dagger, the Irish Fiction Award and twice for the Ireland AM Irish Crime Novel of the Year Award. William is married and lives in West London.

Review:

'The Holy Thief, set in Stalin's Russia, was one of last year's most impressive crime fiction debuts. The Bloody Meadow, William Ryan's follow-up, does not disappoint ... Ryan has obviously done much research into that sinister period of Russian history and manages to convey its claustrophobic atmosphere brilliantly' Marcel Berlins, The Times 'An outstanding thriller ... could be the set-up for an exotic Agatha Christie mystery, except that Ryan is so alert to the psychology of his characters and so persuasive in suggesting ominous political forces that the book transcends its mechanistic limitations -- the process of "putting facts together and producing possibilities from them", as Korolev sums up his job' Independent Ireland 'Thrilling. 4 stars' Daily Express 'A novel that confirms Ryan's talent' Sunday Times 'Every bit as darkly compelling as its predecessor with all the elements that made The Holy Thief so successful: razor-sharp plotting, an evocative sense of location in a vividly realised Ukraine and most winning of all the vulnerably human Alexei Korolev making a nuisance of himself' Daily Express 'Last year, with William Ryan's The Holy Thief, detective-fiction aficionados welcomed the thrillingly horrific first instalment in a new series set in 1930s Moscow ... in this second instalment Ryan has produced a film-noir-ish rewrite of the old-fashioned locked-room mystery, complete with creepily gripping, and ultimately gruesome, cops and robbers chase through the great catacombs on which Odessa sits, while Stalin's man-made terror-famine, which scorched through the Ukraine half a decade before the book opens, is only gestured at, in elliptical speech and ultimately in the characters' motivations. Yet what remains constant is Ryan's ability to display a foreign mindset while appearing to be entirely at home in the vernacular. His ear for dialogue is acute ... But Ryan's primary purpose remains the serious depiction of the hellish hall of mirrors that was Stalinist Russia ... Ryan's unrolling of the mental gymnastics required to survive this upside-down world where the morning's hero is the evening's victim is both thrillerishly pacey while also allowing his characters to grow in moral stature' Spectator 'Ryan is very knowledgeable about a dreadful place during a terrible period of history, and creates an atmosphere of claustrophobia and terror ... This is very neatly plotted and well written, and amounts to a convincing recreation of paranoia in Stalinist Russia' Jessica Mann, Literary Review 'William Ryan convincingly pitched us into the Kafkaesque labyrinth of 1930s Stalinist Russia with last year's The Holy Thief -- his troubled Moscow militia detective risking the gulag as he uncovered crimes at high levels. In The Bloody Meadow Korolev is dispatched to film set in the Ukraine to dig into the supposed suicide of a young, pretty 'model citizen' with powerful connections ... Korolev's struggle to stay sane in a world gone mad is intriguing' Metro

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Book Description Pan. 1 Paperback(s), 2011. soft. Book Condition: New. Moscow 1937: As Stalin's purges are reaching fever pitch, police investigator Korolev must travel to Ukraine to investigate the alleged suicide of a young woman, in his second outing after the CWA New Blood Dagger–nominated The Holy Thief. Korolev discovers that this beautiful film production assistant had made powerful friends and vicious enemies; it remains to be seen which one is worse. Alongside his female colleague Nadezhda Slivka, the inspector contends with unreliable journalists, violent subversives, and even the writer Isaac Babel, looking for the truth but also for answers that will be acceptable to the nation's highest authorities."Ryan has obviously done much research into that sinister period of Russian history and manages to convey its claustrophobic atmosphere brilliantly."—The Times (London) 308. Bookseller Inventory # 64501

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