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The Romanov Cross Paperback – 27 Mar 2014


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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (27 Mar 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099587831
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099587835
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 187,431 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"Fascinating, funny, and frightening...Masello skilfully weaves together the story of the death of the Russian royal family with the possibility of a new worldwide influenza pandemic... Toss in a pack of slavering wolves, the undead, and a chilling ending, and the result is a terrific, can't-put-it-down read'" (Publishers Weekly)

"A delicious sense of creeping dread permeates the first act, greatly enhanced by its setting in the stark but beautiful landscape of northwestern Alaska... Tense, taut and impossible to put down" (Kirkus (starred review))

Book Description

From the author of Blood and Ice, a spellbinding new take on one of history's most profound mysteries, and a thrilling race against time.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Parm TOP 500 REVIEWER on 26 Feb 2013
Format: Hardcover
Review

This is a tough review to write, I liked this book and at times hated this book. But i think the story wins out in the end. (I hated the use of one word in particular. Lighted... its Lit man Lit... he lit a fire, not lighted it...Ok rant over)

The book is not totally what I was expecting, but I don't often read supernatural thrillers. When you get away from the use of certain words (grr) then you have a story that builds slowly and carefully, gradually drawing the reader in.

I liked the regular time slip elements back to the time of Rasputin and the Romanov's. They have been an enduring mystery of the modern age, and really do grab the interest (or they did with me). The book also triggers a need to know more, I know I have looked more at how things suddenly went so bad for the royal family. (I bet the Germans regretted sending Lenin there in the end though).

In the current time period, the book probably could have lived without the love story and centred more on the spanish flu, and the mystery of the wolves etc.

And ultimately I thought the end for poor Anastasia was a cop-out, I get the keep it all hidden for the best angle, but its a cop-out. it would be better having it hit the headlines and a world scandal but with the Dr and Mayor leaving it all behind in the wider world because up in the wilds of Alaska no one cares about the politics.

Would I recommend?

It's worth a read, I spent a couple of days with it, and at night wanted to keep going not sleep. So despite the draw backs noted, yes a 4 out of 5 thriller, good characters and a nice idea for the plot.

My Wife had a hacking cough while i was reading this, so that added an extra dimension to the story... dont read it when you have a cold, im not sure i would have finished it if i had one.... the spanish flu is a scary SOB.

(Parm)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lenny TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 3 Sep 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'll skip the synopsis, as other reviewers have already done the heavy lifting there.

Masello has written a wonderfully involving and original yarn that has all the best qualities of a thriller - determined hero, sassy heroine, seedy manipulative villains, lurking menace and a dash of the supernatural that adds a fine creepy edge to the story without overwhelming it or taking away from the realism. His portrait of a remote Alaskan communtiy ultimately redeemed by its close shave with disaster is vivid and convincing, again deftly treading that fine line between small town neighbourliness and small town paranoia. The flashbacks to the birth of Soviet Russia and the grim end of the Romanovs were also vivid and utterly engrossing.

What I enjoyed the most, I think, was the way we kept rooting for the hero even when everything was going wrong for him and his crew. I don't want to give away the ultimate ending, but he doesn't conquer the world or end up getting a medal, it's smaller and truer and more enjoyable that that.

I'm writing this review in late summer and wish I'd come across this book earlier because it is a superb thriller to take on holiday, one that merits re-reading and which you'd happily pass on to your friends to read (though I'm sure the author would prefer them to buy their own copy). Masello can really spin a yarn - I'm going to catch up on his earlier works and keep an eye out for his next.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've read most of Masello's novels and enjoyed them. I'd had this one on my bookshelf for months and once I started it, I regretted my long delay. It is a gripping, well paced yarn. It sucks you in with an exciting, unexpected opening, sets up the main characters well (goodies, baddies and historical ones) and keeps you hooked. I personally love time-slip supernatural stories, so this was right up my alley. The Romanovs and their executions remain a gripping topic 100 years on, so this aspect of the story held my attention. Yes the ending did feel a bit weak and an opt out. Endings are tricky anyway, and it's hard to satisfy every reader. But lots of fun to be had reading this, a popcorn big time thriller with great action sequences. I could visualise it as a film no problem
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By cookie h on 10 July 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really enjoy Robert Masello books though there not my usual genre of reading.
The romanov cross is great, the two stories running side by side was not off putting at all. The story was easy to read and kept me entertained. Was happy when a certain character died after all her suffering, was afraid she would be left wandering and alone. It did end on the possiblity of another book-hope so.
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By Clare O'Beara TOP 500 REVIEWER on 20 April 2013
Format: Hardcover
This action novel begins in Afghanistan, where a US soldier is court-martialled for ordering a medevac for a child bitten by a deadly snake, and moves to Alaska, where a crab fishing boat hauls up a coffin-sized carved box. Neither case goes well.... Slater is dismissed from the army while Harley's ship strikes a rock near an island and sinks. But Slater is a doctor and can work as an epidemiologist - and Harley's managed secretly to salvage a Russian cross with emeralds from the coffin.

THE ROMANOV CROSS was buried in a graveyard on a now abandoned island, but climate change is melting permafrost and land is loosening and slipping into the sea. The bodies buried there died in the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918 and 50 million people died worldwide. Possibly the flu strain could persist in the frozen bodies and cause disaster if disturbed. St. Peter's Island now lures Harley to sail back out there with friends and search for more coffins and jewels despite a pack of hungry black wolves, while Dr. Slater is assembling a team, including a Russian, to treat the island as a biohazard.

Robert Masello has given us a easily convincing plot as well as characters so real we can almost feel them breathing. Interspersed we see the lives of some wealthy Russians in 1916, where Rasputin talks to Anastasia at a ball, handing the Romanov princess the cross. The past story continues but can be skipped if the reader does not want to get involved in it. Slater receives Inuit hospitality and lessons in handling tribal burial grounds from Nika, an anthropologist in Port Orlov, who is the mayor and tribal elder. She can delay issuing permits to trespass on tribal grounds - or he can let her tag along to supervise.
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