Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Book Review - Rasputin's Shadow by Raymond Khoury

I've read a lot of Mr Khoury's books in the past.  My favourite of his is The Sign - which is a really good book, with some thought provoking themes.

This one follows on from the two Templar Novels and the Devil's Elixir.  However again there is a small level of linkage - firstly Sean Reilly is the main hero but his partner Tess Chaykin that has featured as a co-hero in the previous novels is not even a bit player... she is totally reduced to "the lady at home looking after the kids" - feminists might not be best pleased with this character "development" :-/

Anyway... the story has an interesting idea at its heart.  How was Rasputin so successful in his life?  How did a penniless pretty much illiterate peasant come to be the trusted confident and advisor to the Tzar and Tzarina of Russia?  History tells us that his ability to help control their sons haemophilia was the key.  This book proposes an interesting theory as to exactly how that worked.

Fast forward to the present day and a descendant of Rasputin's faithful helper in his exploits is a fugitive exile in New York.  Through his knowledge of Rasputin's secret and his own genius he has developed an unbelievably powerful weapon.  He exposes himself in a moment of anger and then start a trail of death and destruction as the bad guys attempt to get to him and his invention and the good guys led by Sean try to stop it all when they are mostly in the dark!

Good page turning thriller and some of the underlying theories about it are interesting if a little fanciful and the link to Rasputin is entirely bogus but adds some mystery to it all.  There is a link with the previous novel that runs through the novel as a sub-plot and really only provides the reader with an incentive to clearly buy the next book in the series.  Although like the previous novel there is little linking these other than the main character - which to be honest many other series do just I do feel the stories stand on their own anyway.  A one thumb up on the FTUBRS*


* Furtheron Thumbs Up Book Review Scale - 
lowest is both thumbs down with a frown
two thumbs down, 
one thumb horizontal,
two thumbs horizontal, 
one thumb up, 
two thumbs up 
two thumbs up with a grin - I believe only yet awarded once!

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