Following 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 – Masha, a model citizen. Korolev is unnerved to learn that Masha 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 Masha’s death than meets the eye …Incidentally, I particularly enjoyed the New York Times review of THE HOLY THIEF in which the reviewer criticised Ryan’s work on the basis that Korolev, a red-blooded Russian, doesn’t scoff enough vodka, even though said Korolev was half-mangled for the duration. Hopefully Korolev will be downing pints of the stuff in THE BLOODY MEADOW, to the point where he’s so bladdered even a reviewer can’t fail to notice. It’s the little things, hic, that matter, see …
“Burke shows again that he’s not just a comic genius, but also a fine dramatic writer and storyteller.” – Booklist. “Prose both scabrous and poetic.” – Publishers Weekly. “Proust meets Chandler over a pint of Guinness.” – Spectator. “Among the most memorable books of the year, of any genre.” – Sunday Times. “A hardboiled delight.” – Guardian. “Imagine Donald Westlake and Richard Stark collaborating on a screwball noir.” – Kirkus Reviews. “A cross between Raymond Chandler and Flann O’Brien.” – John Banville.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
There Will Be MEADOW
William Ryan’s debut, THE HOLY THIEF, was very well received indeed, and was nominated for a CWA gong. Those who enjoyed Ryan’s exploration of Stalinist Russia won’t have long to wait for the follow-up: Captain Alexei Korolev returns in September, in THE BLOODY MEADOW. Quoth the blurb elves: