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The Fortune Teller [Hardcover]

Donald James
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 April 1999
Another thriller featuring Inspector Constatin Vadim, back in his Arctic home town after a short and nearly catastrophic appointment in Moscow. But now Vadim is faced with personal tragedy, his wife Natalya, a doctor, answers an emergency medical call and goes missing.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Century; 1st ed 1st printg edition (1 April 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0712679596
  • ISBN-13: 978-0712679596
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.8 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,475,795 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

In northern Russia's Arctic city, Murmansk, Inspector Constantin Vadim is enjoying being back in his hometown after a disastrous time in Moscow. But his pleasure is short-lived: his young wife Natalya, a doctor, answers an emergency medical call from which she doesn't return. And while Vadim is speculating on whether an accident or a lover has detained her, he finds that another woman has gone missing--an American consular official. If readers will not be surprised to learn that the two incidents are linked (we've all read similar narratives before), James is able to tap into the same level of story-telling expertise that made his earlier thriller Monstrum such a dynamically readable piece. Vadim soon finds himself in a queasy partnership with a black FBI woman, encountering the dark underside of Russia's mythical past. It hardly matters that James is synthesising elements inaugurated in Martin Cruz Smith's marvellous Gorky Park, not to mention the familiar ill-matched police duo: what really counts is how well he can utilise the sense of exotic locale and non-Western protagonist. And here, we're in confident hands. Without quite equalling his mentor, James is still a writer of assured and emphatic skills and his plotting is masterful. --Barry Forshaw

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good value for money! 25 Aug 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I've not read this author's previous work, and when I discovered that it was set in the future I feared the worst. I don'like science fiction and would not have bought it if I had realised. However I need not have worried, the setting was not too off the wall. A melancholy Russian policeman finds himself caught up in events from organized crime to local politics, not to mention the standard number of dead bodies. I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It's long, and the author has continued to write, after others would have stopped. There must be at least 3 good books in here, and lesser writers would have put down their pen at what is, in fact, only the half way point. Something similar happens later on at what could have been another ending. Thankfully it wasn't. I enjoyed the story and will definitely look for more of James' work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
As a "sequel" to Monstrum this book delivers the goods. A tense thriller, it provides the right balance of detective novel, horror, and thriller all in one. McDonald paints a bleak picture of 21st Century Russia, hi-tech but still deep in 1917. It'll keep you going until the end.
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By A Customer
Format:Paperback
James again creates a beautifully convincing world. Like Monstrum, there is trememdous enjoyment in immersing yourself in the setting and the story as it rattles along.
Unfortunately, I thought the story telling (and the fortune telling) was getting a little creaky. In a number of occasions I found myself asking why a particular character was acting in a certain unexpected way, only to later find it was a necessary plot device. Some of the action, frankly, required the same suspension of disbelief as is needed for watching a James Bond film.
Nevertheless, this is a tremendously enjoyable book which I was disappointed to finish. If you enjoyed Monstrum, I would recommend The Fortune Teller, but if you are looking to choose your first Donald James, go with Monstrum.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a great read 14 Aug 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
It's not often that a sequel manages as much impact as the original, but The Fortune Teller, Donald James' follow-up to the wonderful Monstrum, has done just that.
Inspector Vadim, with his cold-war hangover, is back. After the bleak poverty and corruption of Moscow, Vadim and Natalya, now his wife, find themselves in Murmansk - even bleaker than Moscow. When Natalya goes missing Vadim finds himself once again battling both internal and external demons - this time, uneasily, with the FBI in tow.
James has done it again - you'll be reading this over your Cornflakes, on the bus, even at work. And if you've already read Monstrum, so much the better. More please, Mr James!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Hard to put down 1 July 2002
Format:Paperback
This is my second Donald James book and he certainly seems to be worth following. Strangely, I have yet to read "Monstrum" which many seem to say is his best effort to date.
This book has it all - it is very well-written, has plenty of pace and a sound plot. And I'm always grateful when I can't pick what's coming, which is pretty much the way it was here!
I have no idea why the plot was set so far into the future, but this didn't affect the quality of the writing or the story.
In short, another good James' novel and I'm off to buy and enjoy my next one!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fast thriller which you won't be able to put down 20 July 2000
Format:Paperback
This Russianset, often brutal thriller set in the mysterious, freezing, dark Murmansk really is a great read. Donald James draws you in with his fine portrayal of the characters and following the many twists and turns, you're willing Constantin Vadim on in his desperate attempt to uncover just what happened to his wife and what she's really been up to. If you've read Monstrum you have an idea of what to expect from the author and you will not be disappointed.....also you'll notice the return of VI Lenin !
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