If you’re looking for a suspenseful crime thriller, this is the book for you.
When we first meet Pekkala in 1929 Siberia, he is a barely human prisoner living in the wilderness, marking trees for the labor camp to chop down.
We soon learn that Pekkala was the Emerald Eye, a special inspector for the Russian Tsar. The Tsar had given Pekkala enormous power.
“You shall have absolute authority in the fulfillment of your duties. No secrets may be withheld from you. There are no documents you cannot see upon request. There is no door you cannot walk through unannounced. You may requisition any mode of transport on the spot if you deem it necessary. You are free to come and go where you please and when you please. You may arrest anyone whom you suspect is guilty of a crime. Even me.”
Pekkala was captured shortly after the October Revolution. He is freed from the gulag because there is a story that the Tsar is not dead. Pekkala, as the most respected detective in the recent history of Russia and most knowledge of the Romanov family, is tasked with the investigation. He takes on the task and reappears in the service of Stalin, as the eye of the Red Tsar.
Since the book is a crime novel based in the Soviet Union/Russia, there are some comparisons to Gorky Park. I remember enjoying Gorky Park 20 year ago when I read it, but I don’t remember much about it. I vaguely remember it being a dark crime novel in Soviet Russia, but not much else.
Eye of the Red Tsar is a classic page turner of a crime novel. And a good one. I devoured it in just a few days.
The publisher was nice enough to send me a pre-release copy. Look for it when it goes on sale April 27th.
For me, that’s 20 books read so far in 2010. I’m still on pace for 52 books for the year.