The Fabergé Secret

Charles Belfoure. Severn, $28.99 (256p) ISBN 978-0-7278-9086-3
Set in 1903 Russia, this disappointing thriller from Belfoure (The Fallen Architect) focuses largely on the troubles facing Nicholas II. Nicholas’s autocratic rule is increasingly challenged by revolutionaries who plot numerous attempts on his life and the lives of his family members. Despite increasing violence across Russia, including attacks targeting Jews, the czar remains tone-deaf, even falsely claiming responsibility, post facto, for an army massacre of unarmed protesters to show his support of the military. Nicholas also refuses to believe photographic evidence of his people’s suffering. Meanwhile, the authorities suspect that someone close to the czar is part of an effort to topple him, and take extreme measures to identify the traitor. Inaccuracies, such as a Jewish character inviting a friend to his home for Passover with the offer of challah instead of matzah, undermine the realism. Having a main character named Lara and another one a physician will only invite unfavorable comparisons with Doctor Zhivago. Belfoure has done better. Agent: Susan Ginsburg, Writers House. (Jan.)
Reviewed on : 10/15/2020
Release date: 01/01/2021
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
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