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Sam Eastland investigates Stalinist Russia in several novels featuring Inspector Pekkala, a Finnish soldier chosen by Tsar Nicholas Romanov to become his personal detective. However, with the overthrow of the old regime, Pekkala finds himself dispatched to the Siberian gulag, there to barely survive until Stalin brings him back to duty, eager to discover the truth about what really happened to the Romanav clan, in the first installment in the series, The Eye of the Red Tsar. “The stoic Pekkala is a bit enigmatic but is shown to be intelligent, courageous, and dogged; Eastland will no doubt reveal more about him in future books,” wrote a Booklist critic of this series opener. A reviewer for the London Independent had similar praise for The Eye of the Red Tsar, noting, “The see-saw narrative is a perfect ploy for a thriller, taking in both the dying embers of the Romanov era and the wake-up call that would follow with the purges and the famines, the assassinations and torture chambers.” (more…)

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Sam Eastland investigates Stalinist Russia in The Eye of the Red Tsar, the first of a new series featuring Inspector Pekkala. According to Eastland’s British publisher, Faber and Faber, Eastland is the pseudonym of a British writer who lives in the United States , while his American publishers say Eastland is the grandson of a London police detective who served in Scotland Yard’s famous “Ghost Squad” during the 1940s.

Eastland’s Pekkala is a Finnish soldier chosen by Tsar Nicholas Romanov to become his personal detective. However, with the overthrow of the old regime, Pekkala finds himself dispatched to the Siberian gulag, there to barely survive until Stalin brings him back to duty, eager to discover the truth about what really happened to the Romanav clan. “The stoic Pekkala is a bit enigmatic but is shown to be intelligent, courageous, and dogged; Eastland will no doubt reveal more about him in future books,” wrote a Booklist critic of this series opener. A reviewer for the London Independent had similar praise for The Eye of the Red Tsar, noting, “The see-saw narrative is a perfect ploy for a thriller, taking in both the dying embers of the Romanov era and the wake-up call that would follow with the purges and the famines, the assassinations and torture chambers.” The second book in the series, The Red Coffin, will be published in 2011. (more…)

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