To Kill a Tsar Paperback – 29 Sep 2011
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'Williams contrives an appealing blend of Doctor Zhivago, Conrad's Under Western Eyes and Boris Akunin's 19th-century crime fiction. His ability to bring a past world to life matches Furst's' (John Dugdale, Sunday Times)
'This is a dense, meaty affair which pulls off the trick of gripping the reader and bringing a complicated, alien world to life' (Guardian)
'He blends historical fact and fiction in a vivid recreation of the world of The Idiot and Crime and Punishment' (The Times)
'Elegantly serpentine plotting and finely etched characters confirm his place in the front rank of the new English thriller writers' (Daily Mail)
'A very accomplished novel which can be enjoyed as a gripping and moving thriller. Yet it is more than that, for it invites us to reflect on questions of morality, and on that age-old question of when, if ever, violent means may be held to justify worthy ends; whether, indeed, such ends can ever be achieved if the means are inescapably criminal' (Allan Massie, Scotsman)
'Exciting . . . an important book for devotees of the spy story' (Shots Magazine)
'A gripping thriller set in a world of treachery' (British Fantasy Society)
'To Kill a Tsar . . . had me biting my fingernails with the suspense' (Andrew Roberts, Daily Telegraph)
'Bravura story-telling... Andrew Williams is the real thing; a writer who can marry popular genres to the sophisticated treatments of political arguments' (Independent)
'Williams has done his homework and each setting rings true . . . a well-constructed period thrilller . . . you will get caught up in conspiracy and counter-plot' (Shots magazine)
'Sheer escapism . . . To Kill a Tsar is a bold portrait of revolutionaries seeking to assassinate Tsar Alexander II in St Petersburg . . . gripping authenticity' (Oxford Mail)
'Authentic, moving, though-provoking, gripping ... as good as historical thrillers get. Don't miss it' (Beverley Guardian)
'I was totally absorbed in this very gripping, sensational historical mystery, with a factual basis and with the nail-biting tension of whether the protagonists will be arrested or not. This is only the author's second novel and yet it was shortlisted for both the Walter Scott Prize and the CWA Ellis Peters Award. The depth of research that the author undertook with this book is to be applauded. I was completely captivated by the very tightly plotted depth of this story which I think is the best historical romantic mystery that I have had the pleasure of reading this year. I hope to include it in my top five books of 2011. If you enjoy a marvellously evocative historical mystery then this is the next one to buy if you have not done so already' (Eurocrime)
This tense, gripping novel set in 19C St Petersburg 'confirms Andrew William's place in the front ranks of English thriller writers' (Daily Mail). Shortlisted for the CWA Ellis Peters and the Walter Scott Awards, To Kill a Tsar will appeal to readers of John le Carre, Robert Harris and Alan Furst.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
It is a story of conflicting passion and principle, as Frederick's love leads him inexorably, if unwillingly, into association with terrorism. Mixing fiction skilfully with accurate treatment of historical facts and people, Andrew Williams also gives a fascinating insight into the merciless but ultimately inefficient corrupt and informer-led government in St Petersburg at a time of autocratic but creaking imperialism, and into the motivation and activities of early resistance leaders. He also throws light on the situation and influence of the small but powerful Anglo-Russian community.
Once you have assimilated the sheer number of characters met in the early chapters, and despite the plethora of complicated Russian names, this novel deserves the accolade of all the best thrillers -it is just hard to put it down!
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.
One point, which I'm sure is unlikely to occur with other readers, that slightly blighted my image of the heroine, Anna, was her initial description meant I was permanently left with a vision of pictures of Queen Victoria
Fortunately I am on holiday so apart from sleeping,read it virtually non-stop,even whilst eating
This is the second novel I have read by Andrew Williams I am looking forward to starting the third tomorrow
A great read
The novel raises questions about the motivation of terrorists and the extent to which violence is justified to remove an authoritarian and repressive regime; questions which resonate with contemporary concerns.
Amongst Williams' strengths is his attention to historical detail, evoking an entirely believable lost world; while never losing the compelling story-telling which makes this thriller unputdownable.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I found this book in my local library. I was intrigued by the title and I enjoy history. Andrew Williams is a British writer and former television journalist who was born on 8 May,... Read morePublished 15 months ago by Valerie Penny
Excellent book; enjoying reading it. It arrived on time and in good condition as promised.Published 16 months ago by Mrs A D
A very good read, though it did take me a little while to get fully into it. Once I was engaged though, I did enjoy it. Read a few other of WIlliams' books, and this is on a par.Published 22 months ago by Michelle A
Fabulous book if you enjoy fictionalized history! You really ought to try it if you enjoy learning pre-communist Russian history.Published on 7 Feb. 2014 by John A. Dalpino
Not come across this author before, but from page 1 you are plunged into a believable account of events surrounding the Tsar Liberator. Read morePublished on 31 Jan. 2014 by Brian Heywood