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The White Russian Signed By Author

Bradby, Tom

483 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0593050886 / ISBN 13: 9780593050880
Published by Bantam Press, 2003
Condition: Very Good Hardcover
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9.29 X 6.22 X 1.57 inches; 389 pages; Signed by Author. Bookseller Inventory # 91502

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The White Russian Signed By Author

Publisher: Bantam Press

Publication Date: 2003

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: First Edition.

About this title

Synopsis:

January 1917—With St. Petersburg on the brink of revolution, Sandro Ruzsky, the city’s chief police investigator, returns from exile in Siberia only to be assigned a grisly case: the bodies of a young couple found on the ice of the frozen River Neva, just outside the Tsar’s Winter Palace. Ruzsky’s investigation leads him dangerously close to the royal family and to the woman he loves, and he finds himself confronting both a ruthless killer and the ghosts of his past as he fights desperately to save all that he cares for.

With meticulous research and narrative skill Tom Bradby brilliantly re-creates the gilded salons and squalid tenements of St. Petersburg in the last days of the tsars. Evocative and thrilling, The White Russian is a tumultuous story of murder and betrayal in a city at the crossroads of history.

Review:

With Russia on the brink of a populist revolution, the least important thing to most residents of St. Petersburg in January 1917 might have been who stabbed to death an unidentified couple on the frozen Neva River. Yet solving that mystery is pretty much all that keeps Alexander "Sandro" Ruzsky, chief investigator of the city police, from despairing over his medley of personal torments, in Tom Bradby's doleful yet evocative novel, The White Russian.

It turns out that the dead woman on the ice used to work as a nanny to Tsar Nicholas II's children, until she was dismissed for stealing unspecified property. Her male companion, a Chicago criminal and labor agitator, was knifed 17 times and had in his coat pocket a roll of banknotes marked with tiny ink dots. A code of some sort? If so, who was he communicating with secretly, and to what end? Although Ruzsky, the black sheep son of an aristocratic family, just returned from a three-year Siberian banishment, finds his investigation hampered by the tsar's secret police, he slowly unpeels the layers of a conspiracy that involves not merely homicide, but also avarice, politics, and long-sought vengeance. The stability of Russia's monarchy may depend on Ruzsky's success in this case, as may the investigator's hesitant relationship with a star ballerina, whose cloaked past makes her a far more intriguing, and more deadly, companion than Ruzsky realizes.

While The White Russian introduces readers to St. Petersburg's exotic and economic extremes--tenements of Dostoevskian squalidness, gilded ballet theaters full of garrulous royalty--it is a rather less ambitiously atmospheric story than Bradby's previous novel, 2002's The Master of Rain. Yet it boasts a similarly tumbling pace, emotionally torn and credible characters (including a "neurotic and hysterical" Tsarina Alexandra), and twists and dubious allegiances enough to leave readers wondering at Ruzsky's solution until the closing pages. At once a chilling crime yarn and a cautionary tale about the sometimes painful exigencies of love, The White Russian is a literary cocktail with a decided kick. --J. Kingston Pierce

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