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Customer reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
16
He Lover of Death: Erast Fandorin 9 (Erast Fandorin Mysteries)
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on 3 January 2011
The companion volume to the 'She Lover of Death' (whose events are apparently simultaneous), this Fandorin adventure is too clever by half: stylish, for sure, but often overdone in the alternating narrative between an authorial voice and that of Speedy Senka. His rapid rise from Khitrovkan ruffian to Fandorin's assistant is amusing if incredible, and gives ample opportunity for Akunin to show he can do the bourgeoisie as well as the aristocracy and the criminal underclasses. Huge on atmosphere, but the story makes little sense, a central metaphor that doesn't sustain and whatever the satisfying justice of the denoument, it is no match for the demands created by the way tensions are built. However, it is a marked improvement on the last outing, and one still wishes to have both the reserve and the insight of Erast Petrovich!
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on 19 March 2015
Murders, buried treasures, child thieves, charismatic bandits and a literal femme fatale... The ever excelling Erast Petrovich Fandorin returns to Moscow in his most entertaining adventure to date.

The story is told from the point of view of Senka, an orphan who ends up running with the slum kids of Khitrova after brutal mistreatment from his uncle. Although the entire book is full of compassion for these unlucky, exploited children, the only times in this story you hear the phrase "poor orphan child" is when the hero, Senka, is trying to manipulate someone. Unlike Dickens' Oliver, Senka knows what he's doing throughout, enjoys successful stealing, getting drunk and carousing with prostitutes, and only really draws the line at murder (and even then, bitterly approaches himself for his weakness). All this, of course, makes him more human and fun and also, in the end, more worthy of compassion, than the relatively anodyne Twist.
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VINE VOICEon 15 April 2012
Akunin's journey through various styles of detective fiction continues, with this episode drawing heavily for background inspiration on Dickens in general and Oliver Twist in particular. As usual the author (and of course his translator) captures the voice perfectly. The plot is so-so, the conceit of having it run in parallel with events in the previous book in the series is no more than a gimmick, but the whole thing is still very satisfying.
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on 20 July 2013
This is a great 'who dun it' accompanying 'She lover of death', which I'd recommend before reading this one- there's an allusion to it here. Intelligent writing, page turning excitement. Fab holiday read.
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on 13 June 2016
Historical detective fiction at its best. Superb writing, fast paced, a page turner and intricately plotted.
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on 3 April 2017
Good, but not as gripping as some of the earlier novels.
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on 15 July 2013
What Boris Akunin book isn't worth reading? It's ok. I enjoyed it, but couldn't wait to get on to the Diamond Chariot, the best Fandorin book yet.
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on 2 December 2010
This is Boris Akunin at his best - fast paced , complex , credible descriptions of characters and places. The hero is always a joy.
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on 12 June 2015
I do not fail to be amused and engrossed by these stories. Highly recommended! I cannot wait to read the next book.
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on 1 March 2014
I've read all the Erast Fandorin mysteries to date and this one does not disappoint, typically amusing and edge of seat action
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