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(Natalya Ivanova Thriller #1)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  326 ratings  ·  69 reviews
MOTHERLAND is the first in a gripping series of crime novels set in contemporary St Petersburg, featuring sharp and intriguing policewoman, Captain Natalya Ivanova.

When the daughter of a Swedish billionaire goes missing in St Petersburg after a night out with a friend, Captain Natalya Ivanova is assigned the case but nothing is as straightforward as it seems.

Dark, violent
Paperback, 360 pages
Published April 26th 2018 by MIRROR BOOKS
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Average rating 3.83  · 
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Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is an absolute corker of a crime fiction thriller debut from the gifted Abson set in Putin's contemporary Russia, a fearsome kleptocratic, scary and lawless nation. It is the first in the Captain Natalya Ivanova series located in beautiful and historic St Petersburg. Ivanova works in the thankless area of domestic abuse at the Criminal Investigations Directorate. She is married to cop, Mikhail, a Major, and loves her stepson, Anton, irrespective of how troublesome he can be. She finds ...more
This is a very assured debut thriller set in modern day St Petersburg. Zena Dahl, a Swedish student studying at the University has disappeared during a night out with a friend during the start of the White Nights. Police Captain Natalya Ivanova is assigned the case and thinks Zena is probably just staying with friends and will resurface in a day or two but when she doesn't and Natalya learns that Zena is the adopted daughter of a Swedish billionaire, kidnapping appears to be more likely.

Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley

I requested this book because it takes place in St. Petersburg, Russia and I always like to read mysteries that take place somewhere different. Abson perfectly captures the feel of Putins Russia, the bribes, the chauvinism, the drinking, not to mention St. Petersburg during the White Nights. It drew me in from the very beginning. I mean, imagine a police force that requires its officers to take a breathalyzer test before giving them a set of car keys.

Natalya Ivanova is a captain in the Criminal
Louise Wilson
Apr 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Natalya Ivanova Thriller #1.

Set in contemporary St Petersburg. When the daughter of Swedish billionaire goes missing after a night out with a friend, Captain Natayla Ivanova is assigned the case. But nothing is straightforward as it seems.

Captain Natalya Ivanova has been taken off the domestic abuse case she was investigating to investigate the disappearance of a missing teenager. As it's not yet been 48 hours since the teenager has been missing, Natalya does not think that she's been kidnapped,
Mar 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4-5 stars rounded up.

First of all, the St Petersburg setting (Piter) absolutely grabbed me as did the insight into Russian policing and crime. Fascinating.

The book starts with a mysterious escape in 1999 and a car crash which coincides with the resignation of Yeltsin and close to the beginning of the Putin era. It then fast forwards to June 2017 and we see a nation that runs on bribes, questioning who its possible to trust in the police and then theres the shadowy FSB. Senior Detective Natalia
May 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Thomas by: NetGalley
A solid 4 stars.
This book is depressing in that it takes place in present day St. Petersburg, Russia. Everything bad about corruption that you have read about in Russia comes to life in this dark story of murder and corruption. It is book 1 in the Natalya Ivanova series. Natalya is a police captain in the St. Petersburg Police. She takes the case of a Swedish billionaire's daughter, reported missing. She is also dealing with personal problems in her family. Her husband, Mikhail, another police
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Motherland what a fabulous read! I predict this will be a hit. This is the debut thriller from G D Abson, set in present day St Petersburg, Russia.

Abson takes us on a dark journey, as we follow the investigation into the disappearance of a missing teenage girl. We get to know Captain Natalya Ivanova and her world. She works in the Criminal Investigations Directorate, on the domestic abuse cases, in St Petersburg. Her husband Mikhail is a higher rank in the police and best friends with her
Bam cooks the books ;-)
Motherland, a debut thriller, is a police procedural set in St Petersburg in modern-day Russia. The main character is Senior Detective Natalya Ivanova, working for the Criminal Investigations Directorate which deals with serious crimes. She strives to do her job well, to be an honorable mentthe local slang for policeand even though she knows that the police have a bad reputation, she believes most of the time it is undeserved.

In this first book, Natalya is assigned to a missing persons case.
Meh. This just didn't do it for me. I can't point to anything specifically wrong with it, I just didn't click with it and didn't care about the characters or the crime. I wouldn't have finished if it wasn't both a NetGalley book and checked off a box for Read Harder. This will teach me not to request books from NetGalley unless I'm *really* interested in them, and would put them on my TBR even if they weren't free!

*I received a free copy of this ebook from NetGalley in exchange for an honest
"Motherland" is a fast-paced, police procedural crime novel set in the beautiful, yet corrupt, St. Petersburg, Russia.  The protagonist is Natalya Ivanova, a Russian police detective with the Criminal Investigations Directorate. (Russian C.I.D.)

On a personal note, Natalya is in her late thirties, married to a fellow police officer, and is as yet childless, though she has come to care for her teenage step-son.  Thanks to an inheritance from her husband's mother, they live in a luxury apartment
Thank you NetGalley for this book.

The main reason I wanted to read this book was because the setting is St. Petersburg. Ive visited this beautiful city last July (although not exactly during the White Nights). I always wanted to visit the Hermitage (since I was 14) and I wasnt disappointed.
It is so much more fun to read a book where the setting is a little familiair. I know how it feels to sit on the small beach next to the Peter and Paul Fortress. Ive walked the mighty bridges and had lunch at
Linda Strong
3.5 Stars

This is an International Crime Thriller set in St. Petersburg in Russia, featuring Captain Natalya Ivanova.

The Captain is an intriguing character, she is very dedicated, willing to do whatever it takes to bring justice to the victims of crime. Her normal work area is in domestic violence, but because a prominent family has reported the disappearance of their daughter, Natalya is called in to investigate.

The powers that be want a quick result and the family wants their daughter back,
Jun 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Pining for the heady excitement of Tom Rob Smiths Child 44 trilogy? Wishing that Martin Cruz Smith would recapture the magic of Gorky Park over and over again? Well fret no more gentle reader, as we may be onto a bit of a winner with Motherland, the first instalment of a new series featuring Captain Natalya Ivanova of the St Petersburg Criminal Investigations Directorate

From the air of breathless danger that Abson introduces in the prologue, through to an extremely tense conclusion, real heart
Bill Lynas
May 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
It's been quite a few years since Martin Cruz Smith last wrote one of his excellent thrillers featuring Russian investigator Arkady Renko & I needed something to fill that gap. Could this debut novel from G D Abson do the job ? Unfortunately not.
Set in present day St Petersburg Motherland sees Captain Natalya Ivanova investigating the case of a missing girl. There's some good background on Ivanova & her family, including her husband who also happens to be in the police. Other characters
Apr 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My endless fascination with Russia continues... This is a superb debut thriller from Abson.

Full review to come.
I really have to stop reading books about Russia written by people who think they know how Russia functions based on their knowledge from the books written by people who have no idea at all.

However, one benefit star from me for Piter and for all research G.D. Abson did for his book. I know for sure he walked along these streets and driven along these roads and bridges himself and didn't just follow the descriptions of this beautiful city from Google Maps. But...still there are so MANY cliches in
Roman Clodia
Jan 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
A classy police procedural set in present-day St. Petersburg. Captain Natalya Ivanova is an attractive protagonist, tough without being over-feisty, with a sense of humour and an interesting relationship with her husband Mikhail, a Major in the same police department. The story is paced though slightly goes overboard in the last 20-25% as the FSB get involved and everything gets a bit frantic.

Despite that, there's a sense of realism about this, and a naturalness in the dialogue that keeps the
2.5 rounded up to 3

I seem to be in the minority about this book. I found I just couldn't fully engage in the story. I can see how it pulls others in, it's set in an interesting time in Russian history (present day) and has a lot of thrill aspects to it but it just didn't grab me enough to want to continue on in the series. I completely appreciate the fact that this thriller does not involve any love stories on the side between the cops, usually with a leading lady there is usually a love
Elaine Tomasso
Jan 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
I would like to thank Netgalley and Mirror Books for a review copy of Motherland, the first in a projected series of thrillers set in present day St Petersburg.

Captain Natalya Ivanova is redirected from the domestic assault case she is handling to investigate the disappearance of a missing teenager. With no evidence of a crime, the girl being missing for less than 48 hours and over 18 she is puzzled until she learns that the girl is Swedish and seriously rich. Zena Dahl's disappearance requires
Abby Slater- Fairbrother
Jun 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Modern day Russia is an unusual setting and era for a crime fiction novel. Yet it really works, it adds to the mystery and intrigue of organised crime and citizens being silenced.

The novel opens in St Petersburg 1999, new years eve night. With Sasha, Kristina, Vova and 2yr old Ksenia. It is a vague prologue and we are given snippets of information. We become aware a character named Yuri left 3 months ago to serve on in a prison colony. But we are left wondering how these characters fit into the
Sep 28, 2019 rated it liked it
3.25 stars. Motherland by G.D. Abson takes place in current times in beautiful St. Petersburg, Russia. In spite of the beauty of that region, the novel manages to showcase the darker and seedier side where corruption is rampant and women are both exploited and not always respected. Captain Natalya Ivanova works domestic violence cases in which the man involved usually receive a slap on the wrist and where the woman is told that nothing will happen to their husband/boyfriend unless she is nearly ...more
Apr 20, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
This was not a smooth exciting read for me. Weather it was the Russian mix, slow plot or the "I did not care about these Characters". This is usually the type of book I like with the crime mystery "Who done it" narrative. "A copy of this book was provided by Mirror Books via Netgalley with no requirements for a review. Comments here are my honest opinion."
Nov 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Having read a few crime novels set in Russia when I saw this one the shelf I had to pick it up to find out what it was all about. Most of the books I have come across set in Russia tend to be set either in the Stalin era or just after, the cold war would seem to be a very common backdrop. But with this one we get a glimpse into very modern Russia, all be it some of the worst it has to offer. This is a world drenched in crime and corruption. For me at least when I go for a book set in another ...more
Frau Sorge (Yuki)
Apr 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery, read-2018
Piter is a demonic city, we know it since Dostoyevsky.
Yet it not so demonic in Motherland.
I enjoyed the book, but it was lacking a depth somehow.
3 stars
Dec 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
5 stars

This is a first rate debut thriller/mystery. It is very well written and plotted. It was both atmospheric and describes todays Russia very well. I am attracted to all things Russian, so it was a delight for me to read this wonderful novel. I liked the relationship between policewoman Captain Natalya Ivanova and her husband, as well as with her step son Anton. It seems the problems with politics and rank are endemic to all police forces, not just our own. I truly enjoyed it. I predict
Kate~Bibliophile Book Club
Review on June 9th!
Paul Trembling
Jun 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Back in 1981, Martin Cruz Smith broke new ground with 'Gorky Park', a detective novel set in Soviet Russia. It was fresh, exciting and gave me and other readers a view into a world that we knew nothing off.

With this new series, G. D. Abson looks likely to do the same for a new Russian era, and one of the strongest elements of his writing is his gritty depiction of life in modern Russia - which is mostly harsh, gloomy and corrupt.

Against this background, his detective, Natalya Ivanova, stands out
Up All Night With Books
Apr 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
***ARC provided by author for honest review***

Motherland by GD Abson is a gripping mystery/thriller set in Piter (as St Petersburg is known colloquially). Natalya Ivanova is a Senior Detective, who mostly deals with "social crimes", when she is called away from yet another domestic violence call that is unlikely to be prosecuted to check on the welfare of a rich, foreign university student who hasn't been heard from in a few days.

Right away Natalya believes there is more to Zena Dahl's
Kate Simants
Jan 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Perfect for fans of Tom Rob Smith, this is a breathtaking debut from Abson, shortlisted for the Crime Writers' Association Debut Dagger. The author combines pitch-perfect characterisation with meticulously-researched Putin-era world-building, and the result is an absolute delight. Natalya is an immediate friend, the kind of character you feel you know inside out within a few chapters, but who keeps surprising you with her depth and stamina. The twists are brilliant articulated and while Abson is ...more
Philomena Callan Cheekypee
May 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: loved-it
Motherland is a brilliantly written debut novel.

Natalya Ivanovo is a Captain in the Criminal Investigations Directorate in St Petersburg, Russia.

When a daughter of a Swedish billionaire goes missing Natalya is assigned to the case but all is not as it seems.

This is a great read. I liked Natalya. She came across as a relatable character. The storyline was fast paced and interesting.
Im really looking forward to reading more from this author in the future.
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G.D. Abson is the author of Motherland, the first in his Senior Investigator Natalya Ivanova series set in Vladimir Putin's Russia.

Motherland is a Times/ Sunday Times Crime Club Star Pick and has been shortlisted for a Crime Writers' Association Debut Dagger.

G.D. (alias Garry David) was born in County Durham, England, and brought up on army bases in Germany and Singapore before returning to the

Other books in the series

Natalya Ivanova Thriller (2 books)
  • Black Wolf (Natalya Ivanova Thriller #2)

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