Pete's Reviews > The Holy Thief

The Holy Thief by William   Ryan
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May 12, 2011

it was amazing
Read in May, 2011

As a former student of all things Soviet and "Eastern Bloc" I found this a very good read in the sense that Ryan chose the time and place that he did. Reading between the lines one gets a very good indication of the confusion surrounding the time - would this relatively new Communist system thrive, especially as many of the characters had the 'foresight' to see bad times coming. And as we know they did - in spades!
The characters were well developed for the most part, even those who only appeared briefly in the story. The plot flowed well, with not too many breaks for side-tracking personal biographies like I see in many historical fictions out there. Some parts were predictable, but then it is difficult to be surprised around every corner and still fir it in a manageable storyline. I especially liked the use of the patronymics, as Russians have always done. Some reviews have complained about the names of people and places, but then they are probably too used to "Bob" and "Joe" characters. Tough beans i say.
In all a decent novel set in a time and place out of the ordinary, but which seems to be its own growing genre.
I heartily recommend this book to anyone interested in historical fiction and certainly look forward to the next Korolev installment, "The Bloody Meadow", which I understand is due out in September
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