Sara's Reviews > The Darkening Field

The Darkening Field by William   Ryan
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's review
Nov 16, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: mystery, 2012, first-reads
Read from February 21 to 23, 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 know who they're talking about). William Ryan, however, does a great job of making everything and everyone understandable.

The Darkening Field is the second in a series about Captain Korolev, a detective in 1937 Moscow, who is sent to investigate an apparent suicide in Odessa, which may or may not have links to the upper eschelon of State Security. Maria Lenskaya, a young party member and lover of the party director, has been found dead at the site of a film she is helping to produce in Odessa. It looks like a suicide, but there may be more to the story. Capain Korolev is sent to look into it, along the way he meets up with several people whose presence seems a bit more than coincidental. He also teams up with young seargent Slivka, his new partner, and we follow them through the ins and outs of a case fraught with political tension. Through this, we learn that while Korolev is to all outward appearances, a loyal Soviet, thought not actually a member of the Party, and we learn of his internal unease with the direction the country is going and his distaste for the consequences of living in such a society. Korolev is a great, complex character. I look forward to reading more in the series, I have no doubt the supporting characters will, in time, become as real as he is, much like the characters in Elizabeth George's Inspector Lynley mysteries (which I love, btw).
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