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3.6 out of 5 stars10
3.6 out of 5 stars
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon 4 August 2014
Katya, a beautiful fourteen-year-old Russian girl, dreams of escaping her dreary life and, encouraged by the sleazy local deputy mayor, she enters a beauty contest, thinking that this her way out. By the age of fifteen Katya is working as a prostitute, and it is in a hotel bar that she meets English girl, Mo, and her best friend Eli, when they are on a school trip to Moscow. Mo, an attractive dark-haired girl, is friendly towards the beautiful Russian blonde, however Mo's main focus is on Pavel Ivanchenko, a good-looking but brutalised young man whose main aim in life is to make money and gain power, but all Mo goes home with is his telephone number. Several years later, Mo, who is now working in Moscow for an American TV company, tracks Pavel down and the two begin seeing each other against the advice of Mo's friend Eli, who is also working in Russia as a lawyer. Since Mo last saw Pavel, she has not greatly altered as a person, but Pavel's life has changed hugely, and he is now a rich, powerful and ruthless man who will let nothing or no one stand in his way. And then Pavel becomes involved with the lovely Katya ... (No spoilers - we know right from the beginning of the book that Pavel becomes involved with both Mo and Katya).

Set mostly in Russia, but also in England, Anna Blundy's novel is full of gritty and brutal scenes and the author, who has lived and worked in Russia, describes her Moscow underworld with enthusiasm. However, I have to say that I felt the characters in this story lacked depth, I unfortunately found none of them particularly likeable and I wasn't really convinced by some of the situations they found themselves in - but I can't really explain further without revealing too much of the plot. From a couple of the reviews I read before ordering this book, I was expecting a fast-paced thriller with a few unexpected plot twists along the way to keep me on my toes, but although the author is very good at portraying certain aspects of Russian life, this story is more twisted romance than thriller, and I am sorry to say that it did not really captivate or entertain me as much as I had hoped.

2.5 Stars.
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on 26 January 2010
I had read Anna Blundy's sharp and witty Times columns and her searing memoir about bereavement, following the death of her father. But they didn't prepare me for the sheer precision and page-turning joy and excitement of her novels. I hadn't read any of her Faith Zanetti international adventure books, but I will do if Faith is anything like Mo and Katia, the heroines of The Oligarch's Wife. At the beginning of the book one is a London teenager, the other a poor but clever, funny and ambitious Russian girl. Both - though I don't want to give the plot away - get mixed up with a section of impoverished Russian society desperate to improve itself and gain wealth but whatever means necessary. This sets the scene of an exploration of friendship, toughness, organised crime and snowy, icy adventure. Ignore the dreadfully chicklitty cover, this is a fast-paced thriller of a book that hits you and wakes you up like a shot of cold, cold prestige vodka. Wrap up warm, snuggle down and enjoy.
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on 15 August 2011
Young girls prepared to do anything and everything to get what they want.

An oligarch who doesn't care what he has to do to stay at the top.

An interesting interplay of characters, not all of them very pleasant. Some pretty brutal scenes made uncomfortable reading at times.

This was certainly a very interesting read, with an unexpected twist at the end.
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on 3 April 2010
Hard to get in to but stick at it and its a really good read
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on 15 March 2015
Not sure what i was expecting from this book but it was ok
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on 19 August 2014
just what I expect from Anna Blundy
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on 9 September 2014
So predictable, so boring.
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on 26 February 2010
The book arrived in very quick time. Although the reviews for this book were very good, I personally found the book to be very predictable and not very exciting. It was not one of those books that you could not put down. Would think twice before buying another book by the same writer.
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on 17 February 2010
I read about this book in a newspaper review and ordered it from Amazon. It's very good and my order was handled very fast. Thanks very much!
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on 15 March 2010
Cannot give a true review as this was a gift for a friend. The review in the paper looked good
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