cover image Rasputin’s Shadow

Rasputin’s Shadow

Raymond Khoury. Dutton, $27.95 (384p) ISBN 978-0-525-95313-5

In the prologue to bestseller Khoury’s lively, if conventional, fourth Templar thriller (after 2011’s The Devil’s Elixir), some Ural Mountain miners go berserk one day in 1916 and start killing each other until an explosion puts them all out of their misery. At the mine entrance, mystic Grigory Rasputin assures his companion, an unnamed man of science, that “we’ve just ensured the salvation of our people” by blowing up the mine. Flash forward to present-day New York City. FBI special agent Sean Reilly looks into the case of a Russian embassy official who’s been thrown to his death from his high-rise apartment building in Queens. Reilly also investigates the disappearance of high school physics teacher Leo Sokolov, a descendant of a member of Rasputin’s inner circle of advisers, who has developed a device that uses microwaves to alter human behavior. Reilly sometimes lets his enthusiasm get in the way of his better judgment in this predictable tale of a weapon with world-devastating potential. Agent: Jay Mandel, WME. (Oct.)