Sasha's Trick

David Rosenbaum, Author Mysterious Press $21.95 (387p) ISBN 978-0-89296-591-5
Rosenbaum's second novel (after the 1993 Edgar nominee Zaddik) is a quirky and intriguing thriller with a lot of modern embroidery. Appropriately enough for a novel with running meditations on the meaning of personal and national identity, at the heart of the story is a confusion between Jewish petty thief Aleksandr Volkavitch Eugenev (the Sasha of the title) and KGB agent Aleksandr Volkov, who could be Sasha's twin. In a Siberian work camp in 1977, Sasha is mistaken for Volkov and beaten; 16 years later, both men are in New York. The plot that joins them is the stuff of B movies-Sasha becomes part of a botched smuggling operation in Coney Island and ends up with the goods that Volkov wants. For help, Sasha turns to Maddy Molloy, a beautiful reporter with an interest in Russian immigrant culture. At this point, Rosenbaum sends the plot skittering off in surprising directions; the obligatory romance between Sasha and Maddy develops and consummates offpage, for example, and his handling of minor characters is consistently unpredictable. Offering perceptive observations of American culture, the new Russia and immigrant Russian culture in America, bringing new twists to old story lines and creating interesting and surprising characters, Rosenbaum proves here that he's a novelist of considerable ingenuity with a compelling manner all his own. Author tour. (July)
Reviewed on: 07/03/1995
Release date: 07/01/1995
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 384 pages - 978-0-446-40441-9
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