St Petersburg. 1870. A child factory worker is mysteriously abducted. A society beauty is sensationally murdered. Two very different crimes show up the deep fissures in Russian society of the late tsarist period.
The first is barely noticed by the authorities. The latter draws the full investigative might of St Petersburg's finest, led by magistrate Porfiry Petrovich.
The dead woman had powerful friends - including at least one member of the Romanov family - so when the tsar's notorious secret police becomes involved, it seems that both crimes may have a political - not to say revolutionary - aspect.
A trail of missing children leads to a shocking discovery that takes Porfiry inside the Winter Palace for a confrontation with the Tsar himself.
The usually incisive magistrate grows increasingly unsure what to believe, who to trust and how to proceed.
His very life appears to be in danger, though from whom he can't be sure...
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 480 pages
- Publisher: Faber & Faber
- Publication Date: 01/04/2010
- Category: Crime & mystery
- ISBN: 9780571241156
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Review by polarbear123
Third in the series and this is definitely not as captivating as the frist two. Unfortunately it takes a while to get going with the background to civil unrest at the turn of the century in Russia getting mot of the author's attention. Fair enough but add in the mix the confusion of two main suspects with the same name and at times i felt a little bit underwhelmed. It does deliver in the end but definitely not Morris's strongest.