11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
thrilling historical plot AND compelling love story!, 15 Aug 2010
Williams brilliantly evokes this chapter of Russian history which, for me, was completely unknown. The backdrop is 1880s Moscow and a deeply divided society which harbors a group of terrorists desperately trying to overthrow an increasingly unpopular and tyrannical regime. Williams expertly conveys the danger, the excitement and the hope of these people as they fight against an ever more determined and violent secret police. By following the lives of characters from both sides Williams conjures a tense and desperate game of cat and mouse which draws to a dramatic - and historically unprecedented - conclusion.
At the centre of it all is a romance between two people irresistibly drawn together but whose vastly different backgrounds seem destined to keep them apart. Their characters and circumstances are believably and sympathetically conveyed making this not just an historical thriller but a poignant look at the futility and self destructiveness of a certain kind of love.
For anyone who loves Robert Harris and historical fiction, 'To Kill a Tsar' is the next one to put on your reading list. Like Williams' first novel, it's unputdownable. Highly recommended.