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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars177
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 18 May 2013
Lovely book and a great protagonist. I will recommend this to my book group. I learnt a lot about the Ukraine.
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on 26 April 2013
Inventive, a very different twist on a who dunnit, chase, family, mafia saga - bet you won't guess the ending
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on 26 April 2013
Yes , very good. Moves at a fast pace , gaining speed on each chapter. once you start reading you can't stop.
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on 2 March 2015
There are more and more twists to the story and some good characters. It's a book you don't want to put down
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on 24 January 2014
An easy to read book - great for bedtime. A different plot than many so an interesting read. I enjoyed this
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on 27 April 2014
I love this author and her stories had me turning the pages to get to the end so far read all her stories.
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on 18 September 2013
A interesting tail with lots of twists and turns in it with a good ending. This was a total page turner.
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Format: PaperbackVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This is a fairly average chase/conspiracy novel with a slightly different setting in Ukraine and especially around the remains of Chernobyl. The setting is well described and the social and economic problems of the country play an important part in the story. Location, however, is not sufficient to make an average book exceptional and it is really the only thing which is out of the ordinary about this novel.

The book starts well with Nadia meeting someone who can fill her in about her father's past only for him to be shot in front of her leaving her with his enigmatic dying words. Nadia then decides that she has to investigate what the man has told her because there is the possibility of money and she is unemployed. Unfortunately, a Ukranian criminal gang think that she owes them something and pursue her in order to get the money for themselves.

The tension between Nadia and Victor and his thuggish colleagues is based on the fact that she was involved in breaking a criminal smuggling gang in conjunction with the FBI. We never get the full story of this event as it happened before the book began but given how gullible Nadia is and how little she appears to understand the criminal mind it seems unrealistic. I also have issues about the idea that some criminals belong to a branch of organised crime that is somehow more noble than others - Victor doesn't act that way in the book and I am not sure if this idea is introduced to make him seem a more sympathetic character - we are definitely meant to prefer him to the other criminals involved in the chase although I am not sure why as his actions are equally abhorrent.

The plot did get very silly, until it ended up being a chase after a secret formula on microfilm. There was very little effort made to make this aspect of the story plausible, which would have been pretty impossible, and the book emphasised the chase element more.

The real weakness of the novel, however, and what meant that you couldn't take the other problems in your stride and enjoy the book irrespective of its lack of realism, was its lack of any emotional depth. We never really got any idea about what Nadia or any of the other characters were thinking. We saw what they did but never fully realised why. At times the narration told us that Nadia was frightened or sad or whatever but we never felt it - there was a real lack of emotional depth in the book which meant that it was difficult to engage with the characters or to care too much about them.

The excellent descriptions of the Ukraine and of life in the country raised this book to three stars. The rest of it was sadly lacking in anything to lift it above mediocre.
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on 1 April 2013
i really enjoyed this book and look forward to his next. it twists and turns and has a great ending.
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on 13 March 2015
I found it well written, gripping with some interesting twists to the story. Enjoyed it
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