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Archive 17

(Inspector Pekkala #3)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  1,330 ratings  ·  140 reviews
Stalin’s most trusted secret agent, the legendary Inspector Pekkala, is on his deadliest mission—one that could save his country . . . or plunge it into the abyss.

It is 1939. Russia teeters on the verge of war with Germany. It is also on the brink of bankruptcy. To preserve his regime, Stalin orders a search for the legendary missing gold of Tsar Nicholas II. For this tas
Kindle Edition, 273 pages
Published February 26th 2012 by Random House (first published 2012)
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Terry You can read these as a stand alone .I first read his fifth book
'' The Beast in the Red Forest " as I was not aware it was a series at
the time .He br…more
You can read these as a stand alone .I first read his fifth book
'' The Beast in the Red Forest " as I was not aware it was a series at
the time .He briefly explains at the beginning but I didn't have a
problem.I have read the first two and will try and read them in order now.(less)
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Average rating 3.96  · 
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 ·  1,330 ratings  ·  140 reviews

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Sep 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Also known as Archive 17, have to say I prefer Siberian Red as it follows the theme.

Having jus read about Berlin C 1936 I’m now in Siberia C 1939 reading from the red side with this being my third venture into the life of Inspector Pekkala, he oft referred to as the “Emerald Eye” in the criminal & detective fraternity & with some awe too.

As always, “uncle” Joe Stalin initiates the story with a case for Pekkala, this time having him return to the Siberian Gulag near the Chinese border where he w
Mar 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love Inspector Pekkala, the main character in Eastland's books! ...more
Nov 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great Inspector Pekkala mystery. Masterful storytelling with impeccable (impekkala!) historical details.
Mar 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Eastland does a marvelous job in this unusual crime thriller set in Soviet Russia circa 1939. He incorporates pieces of historical fact surrounding the Soviets' wartime economic dilemma with a plot set in the dehumanized gulag known as Borodok. The hero, Inspector Pekkala, is a former intelligence officer for Tsar Nicholas forced by Stalin to investigate the location of a lost fortune to finance the country's war against Nazi Germany.
The story paints a bleak, and oftentimes horrific existence of
Stephen Miletus
This is a book I greatly wanted to like, but it disappointed me. It read more as if it were a rough draft: characters introduced but not developed, plot lines left unresolved, information presented in a clumsy manner that a rewrite would have fixed.

The title is a prime example of how underbaked this novel is. "Archive 17" refers to a secret archive maintained by the Soviet government. So secret that the archivist who tends to it is murdered because Pekkala's assistant Kirov has learned of its ex
Caitlin Gutilla
Jun 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not big into historical fiction, but this was a great book. It started out a bit slow for me, but things really started moving along about 30% into the book. It's a quick read that will keep you engrossed. I had some trouble keeping all the names straight because I'm not too familiar with Russian and Siberian, but I was able to follow along. The story is interesting, violent, and sometimes shocking. I enjoyed this and would read another of Sam Eastland's books. ...more
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019, 2017
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-soviet-union
Speculate with me if you will, how difficult it must be to write a book like this, a thriller, set in the real world, and featuring real, historical people and places. We know, of course, that Stalin lived on past 1939, past the war and died a good while later, presumably of natural causes. Or as natural as causes got in the Soviet Union of that time. We know that this case didn't decide the future of the Soviet Union. Well, what we know from this side of the Iron Curtain anyway. How their finan ...more
Clem Hamilton
Apr 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My favourite book of the series so far. Great read from beginning to end.
Craig Sisterson
Fans of tales blending mystery and history, particularly readers who like crime novels set against the backdrop the Second World War, will find plenty to like in this intriguing third tale in Eastland's engaging Inspector Pekkala series.

SIBERIAN RED is centred on a simple yet heroic man with a past as complicated as his country's: Finnish-born Pekkala was Tsar Nicholas II's special investigator, then a prisoner in the Siberian gulags, and is now Stalin's hand-picked, if not entirely trusted, inv
Feb 09, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-historical
c2012: FWFTB: gold, caves, inmate, Czechs, railroad. Poor old Pekkala's ego is somewhat shattered in this outing but I found this tale the thinnest so far. I found some of the plot devices a bit difficult to understand but it was still a good read. Looking forward to see where Pekkala takes his new found realisation. Recommended to the normal crew. "Bile spilled into the back of his throat as he realised he had been played by Stalin, just as the Tsar had used him, and both times because of this ...more
Nov 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another fine subject for a sweeping movie set partly in Siberia. Mr. Eastland keeps rolling these stories out with little snippets of flashbacks for clarity. We're finding some repetitive phrases, but that does not take away from the tale.

Stalin kind of comes off as a comic opera character as does his secretary, a dangerous thought. How long can The Eye and the secretary live before facing the firing squad?
Dec 17, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Inspector Pekkala is sent back to Siberia, apparently to investigate a murder. A complex web of mystery is gradually revealed as the plot unwinds in the frozen wasteland.
Jan 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
Rating of 4.5!

For me, this is the best one in the series so far. Great story line, great writing and great character development.
Oct 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sam-eastland
Great read. Love the Russian history, Stalin, Tsars and that sort of thing. Plus Eastland has some great core characters. Definitely recommend this if you're into that era of historical fiction. ...more
Graham Tapper
Dec 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned-to-read
Somehow, I missed out on this one, from much earlier in Pekkala's history. Fortunately, that didn't matter. Nothing it contains depends upon nor relates to others in the series.

We find Pekkala facing the unenviable job of being sent by Stalin back to the very same Gulag where he was imprisoned after the Revolution for his job of being the Tsar's personal detective. This time he is going under cover but in all other respects he must face the horrors that he experienced the first time around.

He is
Nov 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-historical
It's all about the gold that used to be the Tsar's, removed to Siberia guarded by the Czech legion (note to self, further research required) for safe-keeping as the Bolsheviks advanced on St Petersburg, and now coveted by Stalin. To which end poor Inspector Pekkala is sent back to the same gulag where he spent ten years to investigate the murder of a camp inmate with links to a White Russian group connected to the missing Romanov treasure. Which means, sadly, for most of the novel his young assi ...more
Mar 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great series, and I'm so glad I finally managed to get back to it. The character of Pekkala is so unique and interesting, although sometimes a bit too superman-like. This does not lower the reader's enjoyment though. The author not only did his homework and is highly knowledgable of the historical background, but also manages to bring it to life, along with the period's sets of mind, historical figures, values and ideologies. The mix of all of these creates a fascinating read, full of ...more
Nov 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Russia teeters on the brink of bankruptcy as WW11 approaches in 1939. Stalin wants the Tsar's rumored gold and he wants it now. Gold hunting means ghost hunting in this third outing for Inspector Pekkala. On Joseph Stalin's orders, the Inspector must return to Borodok, the notorious Siberian Gulag where he was imprisoned for years, to disinter the memories he thought he had buried forever. As Pekkala tries to trace the path of the gold since it left the Tsar's vaults, he discovers that the man h ...more
Feb 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As always, great fun; action, suspense, intrigue, mystery against the background of Stalin's Russia. Eastland's grasp of history is a little shaky at times, and there are some outright chronological and substantive errors which, if corrected, would mess up the plot. But unless you have a freakishly detailed knowledge of Russian revolutionary history (as I do) you would never notice. Eastland's depiction of Stalin rings true though, and his grasp of the messy details of everyday life in 1930s Rus ...more
Sep 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fast moving and immensely enjoyable thriller set in the Soviet Union during 1939. Plenty of real historical events and characters woven in to this fictional tale revolving around a missing shipment of the Tsar's gold reserves which never made it out of the country. There is also some background on the amazing cross-country ordeal of the "Czech Legion" during the last years of the Russian Revolution which is sure to prompt many to further investigate this real-life tale that echoes Xenophon's Ana ...more
Jul 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stalin sends Inspector Pekkala on an impossible mission in Siberia investigating missing since 1918, Colonel Kolchak and Romanov dynasty's gold bars. He and his assistant, Major Kirov, pull off some miraculous actions. Plot includes some far-fetched coincidences, but still a good story. Author closes the book with several pages summarizing the actual happenings during the Siberian campaigns around 1918 involving Czecks, Austro-Hungarians, Finns, red and white Russians, Siberian natives, France, ...more
Roger Scherping
Jul 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read some of the other Inspector Pekkala books, so I found it hard to believe that Pekkala would volunteer to go back to Borodok, despite his loyalty to Stalin. As a reader, I didn't look forward to the terrible things he was about to be put through. The last section of the book -- the adventure of the escape and the finding of the gold -- was much more enjoyable.

It's a nice piece of historical fiction, although I'm afraid most of it was lost on me because I didn't understand the names, org
May 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great Gulag Descriptions

Outside of the first Pekkala book's storyline describing Pekkala's unusual solitary experience in a Siberian Gulag--or actually outside of one--I had only vague horrors of the Stalinistic prison system. In this novel, Eastman does a wonderful job of describing the Borodok Prison inner workings and couples this with a great illustration of the surrounding natural barriers and the terrifying indigenous Oryak tribesmen. Very interesting and effective.
Aug 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
This third book is more complex, and more gruesome, than the previous two. Flashbacks weave the story together effectively, and the narrative moves right along; Major Kirov becomes a character to root for. The useful afterword shows the tangled post-revolution free-for-all in Siberia to be as wild as Pekkala's story suggests. Overall this is a good read, and I'm eager to move on to the Emerald Eye's next case. ...more
Dianne Landry
Nov 19, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Inspector Pekkala is sent back to the gulag where he was held for years to investigate a murder. Once there he is recognized and this causes some problems. He also encounters some old prisoners who were part of the convoy to hide the Tsar's gold. They are still waiting for their commanding officer to come and rescue them.

I love this series and I think this was my favourite book so far. I can't wait to red the next one.
Jan 27, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2019
Great concept, and investigator Pekkla is obviously a great character with potential "legs" for more stories...but I wouldn't have bothered finishing this unless I was in the circumstances I was in (limited reading options, no internet). Some of the details just didn't sit right - the kind of thing that throws one out of the suspension of disbelief that you need to really get into a story. That being said, I hope Sam Eastland is able to send Pekkla into some of the stories he deserves. ...more
Sep 06, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't think it would be a book I would actually enjoy, but by a third of the way in I was hooked. Unfortunately it was a bit difficult to keep track of the characters: there were too many of them for my liking and I didn't understand one of the end scenes focused on one of them.

Overall I like Pekkala and his side kick Kirov, the typical detective duo. If one is a fan of historical novels, and the political/world war dynamics then I'm sure this would make a 5* read.
There is just something about stories set in Russia or Eastern Europe that makes it hard for me to enjoy them. Maybe it's that too much philosophy and political history are thrown into the mix. Otherwise, this book was a good version of a geopolitical suspense story. The part I appreciated most was the richly textured description of Stalin, his ruling style, and the harsh life of political prisoners during his tenure--which is apparently based on the author's extensive research. ...more
Sep 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful hybrid of murder mystery on an intriguing backdrop of historical geopolitics. The story jumps seamlessly through time between the Imperial and Soviet Russia as well as across land between the bureaucracy of the Kremlin and the brutality of Siberia. Does a great job of introducing obscure history while moving the story forward. Scenes from the prison are especially great, conveying the harshness of the environment and the way men have adapted to survive.
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A pseudonym used by Paul Watkins ...more

Other books in the series

Inspector Pekkala (7 books)
  • Eye of the Red Tsar (Inspector Pekkala, #1)
  • Shadow Pass (Inspector Pekkala, #2)
  • The Red Moth (Inspector Pekkala, #4)
  • The Beast in the Red Forest (Inspector Pekkala, #5)
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“The truth, Pekkala, is that beauty on this earth is set aside for the enjoyment of the few and comes at the cost of the suffering of the many. That is true for many things besides gold and pearls. It is true for the Tsarina, for example, although most of that suffering is” 0 likes
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