This taut drama captivates from page one. Khoury is likely to add to his list of bestsellers with Rasputin’s Shadow’s complex plot and action-packed story. The historically accurate Russian setting adds to the strong character development.
By 1916, Grigory Rasputin has the tsar and tsarina in thrall. They are unaware he and an appalled scientist cohort have blown up a mine where men savagely attacked each other as though they were hypnotized. However, Rasputin himself is unaware that the scientist kept a journal.
In the present day, FBI agent Sean Reilly is called to the scene when a Russian embassy attaché’s suicide begins to look like a murder. Sokolov, a Russian émigré and owner of the apartment building where the murder took place, is missing. Reilly not only has the FBI and Larisa Tchoumitcheva from the Russian consulate on his tail, but a Russian assassin has joined the hunt. Sokolov’s wife is kidnapped by the killer who bargains for an invention of mass destruction to which only Sokolov holds the key. (DUTTON, Oct., 416 pp., $27.95)