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The Darkening Field (Captain Alexei Dimitrevich Korolev #2)

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3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  575 Ratings  ·  96 Reviews

A dedicated policeman caught in terrifying circumstances, Captain Alexei Korolev of Criminal Investigation Division of the Moscow Militia may be unwavering in his outward party loyalty but he is forever conflicted about what he must do to maintain that good standing.

It is 1937, and Korolev finds himself on an airplane bound for Odessa after the suspicious suicide of Maria

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Hardcover, 336 pages
Published January 3rd 2012 by Minotaur Books (first published September 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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kostas  vamvoukakis
αρκετά καλό βιβλίο με μυστήριο στην σοβιετικη ένωση κάτι που για μένα αποδεικνύεται που ενδιαφέρον. όλη η ατμόσφαιρα φόβου για όλους τους ήρωες είναι ένα από τα σημαντικά χαρακτηριστικα.... Αν εξαιρέσουμε ένα χαοτικό τελείωμα, διαβάζεται που εύκολα και έχει πολύ καλό ρυθμό... οι τελευταίες στιγμές του επιθεώρηση κορολεφ με τον ανώτερο του είναι όλα τα λεφτά
Raven
May 31, 2012 Raven rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Once again we are immersed in the claustrophobic and paranoid atmosphere of Stalinist Russia, in this the follow up to Ryan's remarkable debut `The Holy Thief'. Our erstwhile hero and investigator Captain Korolev becomes embroiled in the suspected suicide of a beautiful young woman working as a film production assistant, and is uprooted from the relative safety of Moscow to the wilds to investigate. A seemingly straightforward case one would think, but as Korolev gets drawn in deeper to her ...more
Lindsay (Little Reader Library)
'The Bloody Meadow will be a dagger into the hearts of the Revolution's enemies.'

This is the second novel to feature Captain Alexei Korolev, the first being The Holy Thief. Set in 1937, The Bloody Meadow of the title is the name of a film being shot in the Ukraine. When Maria Lenskaya, a beautiful young woman working as a production assistant on the film, is found dead, Korolev is dispatched from Moscow to discover the truth about her apparent suicide. After his involvement in a serious investig
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Sarah
Jun 21, 2012 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Bloody Meadow is the second book in the series set in 1930s Stalinist Russia featuring Militia Captain Alexei Dmitriyevich Korolev, who we first met in the excellent The Holy Thief.

In The Bloody Meadow, the purges of Stalin continue unabated. When one night Korolev is summoned by Colonel Rodinov of the NKVD, the Soviet secret police, Korolev assumes he is under arrest and picks up the bag he has already packed in anticipation of the fateful ‘knock on the door’. In fact, Korolev is ordered to
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Jodi
Jul 03, 2012 Jodi rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
With ‘The Bloody Meadow’ William Ryan brings Alexei Korolev back into action with a case that will have the detective turning in several directions to unravel the mysterious death of a woman with a hidden past. Ryan’s readers will be happy to note that some of the most interesting characters from his previous novel ‘The Holy Thief’ have found their way into the storyline.

Set in 1937 Ukraine, at the time of Stalin’s purge of the Communist Party and Government officials, where people live with the
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Aleksandar Obradović
Jako dobar triler, čvrsto vođen. Jedini nedostaci su što nema puno prostora da čitalac zablista i donekle prenaglašena atmosfera Staljinove Rusije.
Speesh
Mar 20, 2016 Speesh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After his heroics in solving the hot-potato of a case in the first of William Ryan’s series set in 1930’s Russia, The Holy Thief, Captain Alexei Korolev is now a model Soviet Citizen. Officially. Medal and fame and everything that goes with it in Stalin’s Soviet Union. That ‘everything' is mostly suspicion. From the people who put him there and from those who aren’t there, but think they might like to be. And especially from those who, quit rightly, would just about anything to avoid doing ...more
Marleen
Mar 05, 2012 Marleen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Received from Mantle

After having survived the dangerous investigation in The Holy Thief, Captain Alexei Korolev is relieved to be investigating straight forward crimes again. He knows that if those in power ever find out the exact nature of his activities during the politically very sensitive earlier investigation, he will be deported at best. At the moment he finds himself decorated and hailed as a perfect Soviet citizen, but he knows that this perception can change at any moment and anybody’s
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Miles
Aug 28, 2011 Miles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviews
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 Ko
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Roger Pettit
Oct 15, 2012 Roger Pettit rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The Bloody Meadow" is the second and most recent story in what is apparently intended to be a series of thrillers by William Ryan set in the Stalinist Soviet Union of the 1930s. I have not read its predecessor, "The Holy Thief". But, given that "The Bloody Meadow" is a very good novel, I am keen to do so.

The story takes place in 1937, a time when persecution and a sense of paranoia under Stalin's rule are rife. Alexei Korolev, a Moscow police detective, is sent to Odessa to investigate the sus
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Ian Young
Oct 30, 2011 Ian Young rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Bloody Meadow is the second novel by William Ryan to feature Aleksei Korolev, a detective Working for the Moscow Criminal Investigation Division in 1930s Russia. It follows on from The Holy Thief which was very well reviewed and shortlisted for a number of crime fiction awards. The Bloody Meadow could be read as a stand-alone novel, but I would recommend that a reader starts with The Holy Thief, as it provided some of Korolev's background; he continues to grow as a character through the ...more
ZaBeth  Marsh
From the opening paragraph of William Ryan’s second novel, The Darkening Field, readers will feel the tension that builds throughout the novel until a climactic ending. Set in 1937 Russia, lead detective Alexei Korolev must navigate his way through a minefield of clues that could solve a murder mystery but also spark political revolution.
It is clear that Ryan is a master not only of plotting a well crafted mystery but also at describing settings and locations so smoothly that the reader will fin
...more
Sara
Feb 23, 2012 Sara rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads, mystery, 2012
I won this book from Goodreads ages ago, and I've finally had the time to get back into reading. Better late than never, right? I have to say I liked the writing in this book, its a part of a series, but I didn't feel like I was missing anything by not having read the first in the series. Also, I don't read a lot of books about Russia, and I'm usually a bit lost when it comes to the political aspect of that country, not to mention the confusing names (multiple last names,nicknames, etc--I never ...more
Nigel
Oct 31, 2014 Nigel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Captain Alexei Korolev returns for a second round of murder, mystery and political complications in Stalinist Russia, where political complications can be murderous. Unnervingly rousted from sleep by a knock on his door in the early morning hours, Korlev expects a one-way ticket to the Gulag for the revelations involved in his previous adventure. Instead, he is despatched to the Ukraine, where a young woman working with a film crew has apparently committed suicide. The young woman is a lover of ...more
Melanie Trevelyan
Apr 06, 2012 Melanie Trevelyan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Bloody Meadow is well written, well paced and will keep you guessing to the end about who is responsible for the events chronicled and who is on which side. It is written when everyone is Russia could be under suspicion for saying or doing the wrong thing. Korolev, the main character and detective in the novel is himself worried about this, indeed he fears the worst when he hears a car pull up at an unexpected time and immediately you are immersed in the menacing world at the time of the all ...more
Jessica Howard
Nov 28, 2011 Jessica Howard rated it it was amazing
It's 1937, and Captain Alexei Korolev of Moscow's Criminal Investigation Division is involved in a complicated case. Korolev is sent by Communist bigwigs to the Ukraine to investigate the death of Maria Lenskaya, a young film production assistant who was found hanging from a sconce. Her death is worrisome for the Party because she was romantically involved with Ezhov, the Commissar of State Security.

Forensics quickly prove it was murder, not suicide, and Korolev, with the help of tough female se
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Susan
Jan 19, 2012 Susan rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I was lucky enough to win a copy of The Darkening Field through Goodreads, and I am so glad that I did. I find that I am really enjoying historical mysteries something that I haven't read much of, and combined with my love of Russia history this book was a perfect fit. Ryan does a wonderful job at creating a 1937 Soviet Russia with enough historical detail to make the reader feel like they were there. Captain Korolev, a Moscow detective that happens not to be a member of the Party, finds himself ...more
Rob Kitchin
May 07, 2012 Rob Kitchin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thoroughly enjoyed Ryan debut novel, The Holy Thief, so I had high expectations for The Bloody Meadow. It's a good read, but doesn't quite match the quality of the first book in the series. The Holy Thief had a claustrophobic and tense atmosphere, with a very tight plot. The Bloody Meadow is more expansive, felt a little looser in the plotting, and Korolov as a character is little developed in terms of backstory and personal life. And because there is a lot going on and there is a big cast, ...more
Amy S.
Mar 06, 2012 Amy S. rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012-challenge
I received a copy of this book from Goodreads. I really loved the setting of this book. I have always been interested in Russian history and the Soviet Union. This book took place in The Soviet Union in the late 1930s. Wow, what a scary time and place to live. A person could not trust anyone for fear of denunciation by friends or even family. William Ryan did an excellent job of portraying the fear and uncertainty of this time period and location. I loved that whole aspect of this novel. I felt ...more
Karen Blinn
Feb 18, 2012 Karen Blinn rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book for its setting as much as anything. Ukraine in 1937 is not a place where one frequently finds a novel set. Ryan does a good job capturing the feel of the place back then when no one could trust anyone else. The main character, Alexei Korolev, is a Moscow detective who is sent to the Odessa area to investigate a death, specifically to determine whether it was a murder. A major movie was being filmed at an agricultural college, and one of the film's production workers, a ...more
Jackie Molloy
May 29, 2012 Jackie Molloy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story is set in a time and place that was both repressive and threatening. Russian history is a savage, unforgiving story, filled with tyrants, treachery, and suffering. For me, this framed a story that was a real page turner, maybe requiring an entry level of knowledge of Russian history to follow the politics which are pertinent to the plot. I felt I learnt a lot about Police/Politics of the time.
There were great flashes of a certain wry humour now and then, I would have loved more! There
...more
Billie
Feb 29, 2012 Billie rated it really liked it
This review is based on an Advance Readers Edition version of the book which I received free from the Publisher through the Goodreads First Reads program.

This is a detective novel with a twist. Everything and everybody is in Russia. How cool is that.

This is great, because it puts a different lens on the process, the politics and the culture of a murder drama.

Our hero in this drama is Alexei Korolev with the Moscow Criminal Investigation Department. As Alexei goes through his investigation the ba
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Ber
Jan 10, 2014 Ber rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: irish-writer
Overall. a lack lustre read. By the end of the novel, I actually didn't care who had done it. I had absolutely no connection tthe victim, so much so, that I can't remember her name. Ryan's first book, I really enjoyed- Moscow was so intrinsic to the story that it was another chracter. Unfortunately this does not carry over into the Ukraine and I just kept wishing that the tale would end so i could start a new book. Why three stars then i hear you ask? Well I really like Korolev and were he not ...more
Jennifer
Jul 29, 2012 Jennifer rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, library
I don't think this second mystery was quite as compelling as the first one, however, I did enjoy it. Korolev is embroiled in another investigation by Party leaders. It is dangerous and away from Moscow, out of his comfort zone. He has to balance between Party leaders, "enemies of the State", the thieves organization and his own concerns and doubts. I would have liked better development of many of the characters. Unfortunately, the sheer number of new characters in this book made it difficult. ...more
Les Gehman
Dec 04, 2011 Les Gehman rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, book-browse
The Darkening Field by William Ryan is a wonderful murder mystery set in 1937 Soviet Russia. When Captain Alexi Korolev of Moscow's Criminal Investigation Division is sent to Odessa to investigate the murder of a young actress, he uncovers a plot much more twisted than he could have imagined. This is a first-rate mystery that perfectly captures the overriding fog of terror in Stalin's Russia, where even an innocent mistake or mishap is enough to doom you, your coworkers, and your entire family.

T
...more
Mike Whalley
Jul 26, 2012 Mike Whalley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's not always the case that the follow up book to a debut success can enjoy similar acclaim, but with The Bloody Meadow William Ryan has achieved just that.
This is another absorbing story about a police investigator operating under the harsh Stalinist regime just before the Second World War.
Ryan's description of life in the Ukraine, where he attempts to solve the murder of a film production assistant, is vivid and brutal. Makes our current austerity here in Britain look like a piece of cake!
Th
...more
Ann
May 16, 2012 Ann rated it really liked it
A Stalinist Russia's police procedural featuring Captain Alexei Korolev. This is the 2nd in the series and is as interesting and intriguing as the first book, The Holy Field. Set in 1937, Korolev is sent from Moscow to Odessa to investigate the murder of a young woman, a loyal party member with friends in high places. Enter actresses, film makers, writers, gunrunners, thieves,terrorists and the militia---all with secrets, demands and fears and Korolev is placed in the difficult position of ...more
Abbie Ennis
May 31, 2012 Abbie Ennis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: five-star
Another excellent book by William Ryan, i have been left wanting more.

In this book the power of the soviet union is seen outside the borders of Russia in the Ukraine and how power relations are continued and yet seen as nothing at the same time. The introduction of Slivka as Korolev's new parnter creates the image of how gender has been made redundant and that the main focus is the Party abd its power and how everything else has become obsolite.

For anyone who likes to read crime thrillers set i
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Randy Daugherty
Dec 19, 2011 Randy Daugherty rated it it was amazing
First off this was a Advance reader copy given through Goodreads.
Captain Alexi Korolev of the Moscow Criminal Investigation Division is awakened early in the morning.He answers the door expecting to be arrested or worse.These are hard times in Stalinist Russia.
he is not arrested but is told of a young actress who committed suicide, or did she? This is what he is to determine and because of her lover's(one of many) status, it must be handled with the utmost care.
This was truly a good murder mys
...more
Natalie Carvajal
May 18, 2012 Natalie Carvajal rated it did not like it
Shelves: stopped-reading
I got a paperback copy of this book from Goodreads First Reads and thought it would be an awesome read judging by the 4-star reviews. I was pretty disappointed. I don't know what it is about the book that I don't enjoy exactly - maybe a ton of Russian references that I would understand better if I had more knowledge of Russia? Maybe I just wasn't in the mood for this particular book? The so far uncaptivating protagonist? For me the first chapter or so couldn't get me hooked in any way and trying ...more
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Goodreads Librari...: Stumped on how to merge 2 versions of book 6 31 Dec 03, 2012 02:39PM  
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William Ryan is an Irish writer living in London. He was educated at Trinity College, Dublin and the University of St Andrews and worked as a lawyer before taking up writing full-time. His first novel, THE HOLY THIEF, was shortlisted for the Theakstons Crime Novel of the Year, The Kerry Group Irish Fiction Award, The CWA John Creasy New Blood Dagger and a Barry Award. His second novel, THE BLOODY ...more
More about William Ryan...

Other Books in the Series

Captain Alexei Dimitrevich Korolev (3 books)
  • The Holy Thief (Captain Alexei Dimitrevich Korolev, #1)
  • The Twelfth Department (Captain Alexei Dimitrevich Korolev, #3)

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