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The White Russian

by Tom Bradby

Good historical background makes this an interesting read with an unexpected ending. It captures the tension of Russia just before the revolution whilst weaving an intriguing story around mysterious murders and giving an authentic sense of place, cold and hunger.

Extract

'Ruzsky awoke to the peal of church bells across the city. He rolled on his back and listened, his head pounding and his throat dry. It was still dark and he reached for his pocket watch. It was just sfter nine. He fell back and studied the ceiling. He was cold, but reluctant to move. The smell of damp cabbage from the stairwell was pervasive. He could not help recalling spring Sundays in Millionaya street when he had lain in bed with the windows open, listening to the sound of those timeless bells. He thought, too, about Petrovo, where there were no bells, no noonday guns, no shouts, no carriages rattling over cobbles, no horses or soldiers neither opulence nor squalor - just the silence of the immense Russian forests.'

Parallels

Dr. Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
 

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