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Russian Redemption [Paperback]

Andrew J Wilson
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.28
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Book Description

7 Oct 2013
Summarized in reviews as “… a dark, smoky story line … peppered with intriguing twists and memorable characters … journeys from betrayal to revenge, told through the lives of unique characters who will capture your imagination — and most certainly spark your opinions…” This is a good read! An Adults ONLY story that contains some graphic and shocking violence coupled with intrigue and conspiracy. A portrayal of life and death in war-torn Russia, the depths of depravity a human can sink to, and the cruel mind games played by those in power. It is a look inside the Kremlin and the NKVD in the time of Stalin, and into life in a USSR the early “Russian revolutionaries” would never have imagined. This first novel from the author, Andrew J. Wilson, is an elemental, brutal, and powerful story that will keep you turning the pages as it causes you to ask questions of your own humanity. Set in a time when the whole of Russia is actively engaged in a battle for its very existence: the ‘Non-Aggression Pact’ between Stalin and Hitler has been broken by the German aggressor, and Mother Russia has been invaded. To the West, her land is soaked with the blood of her ill-prepared defending armies; to the East, the internal warring factions of days gone by still battle for supremacy; while across all villages and cities in between, the Russian peasants battle for simple survival. In the privacy of her family home, surrounded by the beauty of the Northern Hills, a young girl, Yarna, basks in the safety of her perfect world until one evening, with a knock at the door, the reality of war arrives. Not just the physical reality, but something far worse, the psychopathic reality of Leon Fishneski. The aftermath of this depraved encounter catapults Yarna into a world of revenge. Driven by pure hatred, she searches for a way to silence the screams in her head, to quell the urge to kill, and to try and find normality. Fate delivers that opportunity when she least expects it. But this young girl is only one cog in a constantly turning wheel of events made up of completely unrelated individuals — a kaleidoscope that ranges from Stalin, the Soviet military, and NKVD, on down to the lowliest soldier and prison guard. To complete the cast, add in a psychotic 'doctor' and the assortment of refugees in his 'hospital'. All their lives are about to become entwined as they are thrown together by chance, bad luck, and circumstance. Each is ignorant of the part the other plays until it is too late.

Product details

  • Paperback: 274 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (7 Oct 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1492717045
  • ISBN-13: 978-1492717041
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 15 x 22.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,208,106 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Born at the end of 1962, Andrew J. Wilson is a freelance author of intrigue, mystery, and hard hitting period fiction. With fifteen years military experience within a variety of active theatres the author has a unique insight into, and portrayal of, human behaviour which is reflected in his writing. Although a keen historian, he has other passions away from writing including football/soccer, psychology, German shepherd dogs, and of course, his family. Follow Andrew Wilson on his Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/AJWilsonbooks and website www.ajwilsonbooks.net

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NO LOOSE ENDS 9 Nov 2013
By DAVID BRYSON TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
This is the most enjoyable novel I have read in quite a while. I don't need to repeat what the publisher tells us about its being set in Russia during WWII, and about how tough and uncompromising it is. All that is true, and I suppose it's not for the squeamish; but as it happens the most recent book I had just read was about Auschwitz and there is not much a writer of fiction can do (even if he wants to) to surpass the horror-quotient of that story. What makes Russian Redemption so readable is, first, its clever plot and, secondly, the quality of the writing. The narrative is clear and literate. It is not `literary' in the manner of, say, Julian Barnes or Martin Amis, and I am inclined to quote a sentry from a more established English classic and say `For this relief much thanks.' The chapters are kept very short, which is another plus in terms of holding the reader's attention, and the story keeps switching skilfully from one location and one set of characters to another. The characters themselves are particularly well drawn, again without being complex, and that is all in aid of keeping the plot moving fast.

It is not giving anything away to say that the tag `No loose ends' that I have used in my caption here is at the heart of the plot. That is not to say that absolutely every thread of the story is neatly tied in a bow before the close: there has to be a touch of mystery still, and I found that aspect quite well handled. What I liked best was that the plot of this novel was not just varied and well thought-through but actually intelligible at the same time. There is a lot to it in terms of politics and personalities, but I was never in any danger of getting lost, which is a lot more than I can say for many spy thrillers.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing from start to finish. 5 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
firstly I never would of thought this book would be for me, but I thought try something different for a change and I'm so glad I did, from the first page I knew I was going to finish it, the plot, storyline and characters all make for some interesting reading, you never tire the author has written it in such a way you can't help but plow through it needing to know what is going to happen next, there are characters you will love, others maybe not so much, but they are all essential to the book, I have to admit it is the first book in a long time I have enjoyed from start to finish, so thoroughly recommend.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent tale of intrigue before the Wall came down. 31 Jan 2014
By joe1013 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Unlike the other reviewer, I found that the characters in fact did act in accordance with the historical reality, albeit some characters may be considered to be either engaged in activities or observing events that were a combination of several persons or historical incidents embraced within the confines of a single hybrid fictitious character or occurrence that imaginatively expresses the historical truth.

And, this is my kind of book. The Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 was likely the most sensational and largest all out war to the death in human history.

I think the mindset of those who survived [25 million dead] is accurately expressed as the turbulence experienced when one goes from strict indoctrination to an Iron Fist of authoritarianism and the first tentative steps to enter an unknown world of possibilities that had been prohibited and regarded with disdain since their birth, but now was being proffered as a potential opportunity-- the allure of the potential for new found freedom and individual initiative,-- a glimmer of hope; but always weighed down by the unseen yet very real possibility that this was a tiny flickering candle which at any moment might be extinguished by a roaring black river of tyranny sweeping all these new aspirations to the rock bottom of a once again world of dark anonymity and conformity.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book, worth reading 29 Jan 2014
By M - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
I really enjoyed this novel. Yes, some parts were dark, but I was forewarned of this, and so are you, so no worries.

Any country faces a difficult time after a change in regime - whether it be China, Russia, or anywhere else, especially if the leader of the new regime is a despot. This book follows several characters, and at first the stories are separate. I wondered what would happen at the end of these stories.

The author brings the stories together in a way I did not expect. I was able to piece together several pieces of the puzzle beforehand, but I still managed to be nicely surprised by the way the stories culminated. Overall I found the ending to be satisfactory, and the overall book itself was very good. I would have liked to see a bit more detail here and there, especially for Nimski's background, but overall this is a satisfying book nonetheless, and one I would definitely recommend.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A highly engrossing, though very disturbing tale 19 Feb 2014
By digsblues - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I find it hard to believe that this is a first novel. The action is tense and the intricate plot was woven seamlessly. The characters were interesting, though some were horrifically evil. It was meticulously edited.

This is the story of Hitler's German offensive into Russia in 1941. The winter that year was unusually harsh and there was little resistance. The people were starving, and there were blizzards and snow. The goal was to take Moscow. Stalin needed to find a way to motivate the downtrodden peasants of the Russian motherland. He summoned his top 4 generals and his plan was unveiled.

I loved the two female characters, Yarna and Katya. They both survived very graphic abuse, but had the strength to fight their oppressors.

The author painted a picture of the very bleak lives of the Russian people, the horrors of living under a communist regime, and the atrocities of not only war, but the government's attacks and devaluation of its own citizens.

There are many scenes of very graphic torture, brutality, medical experiments and sexual depravity. Some of them made me physically sick. I finished the book a month ago, and had to read some escapism books to get this one out of my mind.

I appreciate that the author wrote Russian Redemption even though the subject was not pleasant. The dark history of medical experimentation must not be forgotten, no matter in which country it occurred. One reviewer expressed that she doubted certain portrayals of events happened in Russia. A quick Google search revealed that it occurred in Russia, Germany, North Korea, the U.S. and many other countries.

I highly recommend with the caveat that it's not for the faint of heart.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast Moving Crime Novel Set Amidst the Back Drop of Wartime Soviet Union 1 Dec 2013
By Andrew Kushner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Sometimes a novelist will "pull its punches" or include limited descriptions of graphic violence, perhaps to spare the readeror perhaps as a result of the author's own discomfort with such acts. Andrew Wilson has no such compuction in setting the tone of his first break out novel and wants to drag his readers along on the trip. Let me be clear. The violence is neither gratuitous nor overly descriptive but he introduces his readers to some of his characters by utilizing stark, violent acts which leaves no doubt about the individual character's intentions.

Wilson has set his novel in a time and place that may not be intimately familiar to the casual American reader. The Soviet Union's difficulties during the winter of 1941-1942 left that country teetering on the edge of defeat by the rapacious Nazi invaders who laid bare to the world the folly of Staln's purge of his officer corps during the three years prior to the German invasion. These losses, when coupled with the Soviet system's (and Stalin's as well) penchant to place political correctness and loyalty above compentence led to horrendus losses during the first six months of the war and throughout the next four years.

It is against this back drop that Wilson unwinds a perverse plot by Stalin to strengthen Soviet morale in the face of catastrophe. When summary shooting of solldiers and suicidal assaults prove insufficient to stem the German tide, Stalin concocts a ploy to blame unspeakable acts against his own people by using "improved" Soviet psychopaths to be dressed in German uniforms and let loose upon the populace. I will leave the rest of the plot to the reader.

Wilson's book can be read in just a couple of sittings. Don't dismiss what may seem like a fanciful plot from the remove of almost 70 years. Stalin's Russia was a place of unbelievable horror during a good portion of his thirty years reign. Wilson has taken aim at one of the most trying times in recent Russian/Soviet history and tried to give us an insight into an insane society in the midst of an insane war.
5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars NO LOOSE ENDS 9 Nov 2013
By DAVID BRYSON - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
This is the most enjoyable novel I have read in quite a while. I don’t need to repeat what the publisher tells us about its being set in Russia during WWII, and about how tough and uncompromising it is. All that is true, and I suppose it’s not for the squeamish; but as it happens the most recent book I had just read was about Auschwitz and there is not much a writer of fiction can do (even if he wants to) to surpass the horror-quotient of that story. What makes Russian Redemption so readable is, first, its clever plot and, secondly, the quality of the writing. The narrative is clear and literate. It is not ‘literary’ in the manner of, say, Julian Barnes or Martin Amis, and I am inclined to quote a sentry from a more established English classic and say ‘For this relief much thanks.’ The chapters are kept very short, which is another plus in terms of holding the reader’s attention, and the story keeps switching skilfully from one location and one set of characters to another. The characters themselves are particularly well drawn, again without being complex, and that is all in aid of keeping the plot moving fast.

It is not giving anything away to say that the tag ‘No loose ends’ that I have used in my caption here is at the heart of the plot. That is not to say that absolutely every thread of the story is neatly tied in a bow before the close: there has to be a touch of mystery still, and I found that aspect quite well handled. What I liked best was that the plot of this novel was not just varied and well thought-through but actually intelligible at the same time. There is a lot to it in terms of politics and personalities, but I was never in any danger of getting lost, which is a lot more than I can say for many spy thrillers.

Very recommendable altogether, particularly when one bears in mind that this is Andrew Wilson’s first novel. There is also another novelist called Andrew Wilson, and he is perhaps better known as the supercilious A N Wilson. However just in case there is any possibility of confusion between this Andrew Wilson and that Andrew Wilson let me make it unequivocally clear that neither of them is the other.
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