Red Icon

Sam Eastland. Opus (opusbookpublishers.com), $28.59 (352p) ISBN 978-1-62316-086-9
Early in Eastland’s excellent sixth Inspector Pekkala novel (after 2014’s The Beast in the Red Forest), Nicholas II gives the Finnish inspector (who’s the czar’s personal investigator) an assignment at the outbreak of WWI that involves a small painting known as The Shepherd, a religious icon believed to have mystical properties. In 1915, the czarina entrusts the painting to her spiritual adviser, Grigori Rasputin, and soon it’s lost, possibly destroyed. In 1945, Pekkala’s new boss, Joseph Stalin, orders him to find the missing icon. Pekkala uncovers a trail of infamy that involves the Soviet secret police, an unauthorized peace delegation, a deadly poison that ends up in the hands of Adolf Hitler, and a religious sect that practices ritual castration. Eastland (the pseudonym of Paul Watkins) ties the complicated plot neatly together, working in fascinating historical details. Newcomers curious to know what Pekkala was up to in the 30 years in between will want to read the earlier entries in this fine historical suspense series. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 10/05/2015
Release date: 12/15/2015
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 380 pages - 978-0-571-31229-0
Paperback - 352 pages - 978-0-571-31228-3
Open Ebook - 380 pages - 978-0-571-31231-3
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