Tuesday, 27 September 2011

HISTORICAL THRILLER REVIEW: To Kill a Tsar - Andrew Williams

Release Date: 29/09/11


2 April 1879, St Petersburg. A shot rings out in Palace Square. The Tsar is unhurt, but badly shaken. Cossack guards tackle the would-be assassin to the ground. And in the melee no one notices a pretty, dark-haired young woman in a heavy coat walk purposefully away from the scene.

Russia is alive with revolutionaries and this is just one of many assassination attempts on the unpopular Tsar Alexander II. For Dr Frederick Hadfield, part of the Anglo-Russian establishment with a medical practice dependent on the patronage of the nobility, politics is a distraction. But when he meets the passionate idealist Anna Petrovna, he finds himself drawn into a dangerous double life.
Set in a world of stark contrasts, from glittering ballrooms to the cruel cells of the House of Preliminary Detention, from the grandeur of the British Embassy to the underground presses of the young revolutionaries, To Kill a Tsar is both a gripping thriller and a passionate love story.


To be honest whilst I do enjoy a thriller, this one was a little too political for me, yes the author did a good job of presenting the themes within the book but when you start getting a little too deep it detracts from the other events within that I was more interested in.

That said, the characters within were interesting, the pace was decent and the prose fit the title to a T. Finally add to the mix an author who is just as enthusiastic about the subject matter kept me going through the harder parts. I may look into Andrew again in the future, but for the moment I need a book that doesn’t require any real thinking.

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