The Darkening Field

The Darkening Field

Book - 2012
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Baker & Taylor
In 1937, Captain Korolev of Moscow's Criminal Investigation Division looks into the suicide of a young loyal party member who was intimately involved with a party director, a case that is unexpectedly linked to a treasonous plot.

McMillan Palgrave

A dedicated policeman caught in terrifying circumstances, Captain Alexei Korolev of Criminal Investigation Division of the Moscow Militia may be unwavering in his outward party loyalty but he is forever conflicted about what he must do to maintain that good standing.

It is 1937, and Korolev finds himself on an airplane bound for Odessa after the suspicious suicide of Maria Alexandrovna Lenskaya, a loyal young party member who supposedly had an illicit intimate relationship with the party director. His instructions are to determine if her suicide was actually a cover-up for murder, and if so, to find her killer, but under no circumstances reveal her close ties to the director.

Maria was working on the set of a movie subsidized by the state, and between everyone involved in the production, her journalist boyfriend, and countless nosy locals, the pool of possible suspects is large and daunting. Korolev finds help from several quarters that are every bit as ominous as they are useful, but none of them can make up for the one important fact of his case which he cannot discuss.

Moral, loyal, and also committed to justice, Captain Alexei Korolev is trapped between the demands of the party and those of the truth. As a result he is one of the most intriguing figures in crime fiction, and he makesThe Darkening Field another shocking and devastatingly true-to-history thriller from William Ryan.

& Taylor

A follow-up to The Holy Thief finds Captain Korolev of 1937 Moscow's Criminal Investigation Division quietly looking into the suspicious suicide of a young loyal party member who was intimately involved with a party director, a case that is unexpectedly linked to a treasonous plot.

Publisher: New York : Minotaur Books, 2012
Edition: 1st U.S. ed
ISBN: 9780312586515
Branch Call Number: Mystery Ryan
Characteristics: viii, 322 p. ; 25 cm


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May 31, 2017

I love Martin Cruz Smith and have just discovered William Ryan who is an equally engaging and competent writer. The twists and turns in "The Darkening Field" keep the plot moving along and full of excitement. With the plot taking place in Soviet Russia during Stalin's time, there's always the possibility of a skunk in the woodpile emerging and reanimating the scene.

May 04, 2017

I enjoyed this book but no where near as much as "The Twelfth Department". The plot twists seemed a bit contrived, like the hollywood movie the plot revolved around. But overall the (so far) series of 3 presents an interesting twist on the police procedural in the context of ideology trumping reason.

Jan 03, 2015

Very well written mystery set in Stalin's Russia. The protagonist elicited my sympathy from the start by his hidden Christianity in an era when to be a believer was to be a suspected enemy of the state.
I look forward to reading the rest in the series.

Feb 05, 2014

Excellent series! Main character is a Russian detective in the Soviet Union, just before WWII. He is complex but likeable - perhaps a Russian Dalgliesh. Historically accurate and well-researched, vividly describes life in Stalin's Russia. Grim! Great story - the author has a Master's degree in creative writing and it shows. Hope there are many more in the series coming down the pipe. Best to start with the first one.

Mar 17, 2012

Too many cigarettes; too few meals. An onslaught of names and loyalties. No one is who we are told they are. And in the end, who cares?


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