The Darkening Field

The Darkening Field

Book - 2012
Average Rating:
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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 Alexandrovna Lenskaya, a loyal young party member who supposedly had an illicit intimate relationship with the party director. His instructions are to determine if her suicide was actually a cover-up for murder, and if so, to find her killer, but under no circumstances reveal her close ties to the director.

Maria was working on the set of a movie subsidized by the state, and between everyone involved in the production, her journalist boyfriend, and countless nosy locals, the pool of possible suspects is large and daunting. Korolev finds help from several quarters that are every bit as ominous as they are useful, but none of them can make up for the one important fact of his case which he cannot discuss.

Moral, loyal, and also committed to justice, Captain Alexei Korolev is trapped between the demands of the party and those of the truth. As a result he is one of the most intriguing figures in crime fiction, and he makes The Darkening Field another shocking and devastatingly true-to-history thriller from William Ryan.

Publisher: New York : Minotaur Books, 2012, c2011.
ISBN: 9780312586515
0312586515
Characteristics: viii, 322 p. ;,25 cm.

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LibraryManDan
May 31, 2017

I love Martin Cruz Smith and have just discovered William Ryan who is an equally engaging and competent writer. The twists and turns in "The Darkening Field" keep the plot moving along and full of excitement. With the plot taking place in Soviet Russia during Stalin's time, there's always the possibility of a skunk in the woodpile emerging and reanimating the scene.

s
stormy1960
May 04, 2017

I enjoyed this book but no where near as much as "The Twelfth Department". The plot twists seemed a bit contrived, like the hollywood movie the plot revolved around. But overall the (so far) series of 3 presents an interesting twist on the police procedural in the context of ideology trumping reason.

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Entlover
Jan 03, 2015

Very well written mystery set in Stalin's Russia. The protagonist elicited my sympathy from the start by his hidden Christianity in an era when to be a believer was to be a suspected enemy of the state.
I look forward to reading the rest in the series.

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alex59
Feb 05, 2014

Excellent series! Main character is a Russian detective in the Soviet Union, just before WWII. He is complex but likeable - perhaps a Russian Dalgliesh. Historically accurate and well-researched, vividly describes life in Stalin's Russia. Grim! Great story - the author has a Master's degree in creative writing and it shows. Hope there are many more in the series coming down the pipe. Best to start with the first one.

a
athena14
Mar 17, 2012

Too many cigarettes; too few meals. An onslaught of names and loyalties. No one is who we are told they are. And in the end, who cares?

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