Boris Akunin is Russia’s top-selling thriller writer. He writes historical mystery novels which are securely placed within a factual context. This one in his in Erast Fandorin series and is loosely in the Sherlock Holmes genre. It has wit, intelligence, a coherent storyline and Flashman type swashbuckling excitement- without the women.
The coronation of Tsar Nicholas II in Moscow in 1896 was a European event attracting dignitaries from every country. Akunin’s plot is based on attempts to extort huge sums of money from the Royal Family following a kidnap with Fandorin emerging triumphant. The side-plot offers us the tragedy of Khodynka Fields where up to a million people turned up for food and drink from the Tsar. It all went tragically wrong with about 2000 being crushed to death and many severe injuries. This event was used as a prophecy of Nicholas’s likely demise, which proved correct in 1918 when the Bolsheviks executed him and his family. You don’t read thriller-mysteries for a history lesson but it is nice when the facts are right.
Why you should buy this book: It’s an exciting quick read suitable for a book club
Why you shouldn’t read this book: You’re put off by foreign names
Akunin’s books in order: https://www.bookseriesinorder.com/erast-fandorin/