“A first-rate crime novel: a genuinely memorable detective, powerful story and a seamlessly convincing setting. William Ryan is the real thing”
NO MAJOR SPOILERS
William Ryan’s The Holy Thief is his first novel, and the first in a series set in Soviet Russia and featuring Captain Korolev, a militia investigator.
It’s 1936, preparations for the coming war are well under way and a revolution that feels under threat from all sides is doing everything and anything to survive. Even office politics can be deadly, particularly in the Moscow Militia, where an out-of-place joke can see you carted off to the Siberian camps of the Zone.
In this world we find Captain Korolev, a war veteran and a criminal investigator with the militia. And into Korolev’s in-tray comes the case of a brutal (and brutally described) torture/murder of an initially unidentified young woman.