Eye of the Red Tsar, Paperback
2.5 out of 5 (2 ratings)


It is the time of the Great Terror. Inspector Pekkala - known as the Emerald Eye - was the most famous detective in all Russia.

He was the favourite of the Tsar. Now he is the prisoner of the men he once hunted. Like millions of others, he has been sent to the gulags in Siberia and, as far as the rest of the world is concerned, he is as good as dead.

But a reprieve comes when he is summoned by Stalin himself to investigate a crime.

His mission - to uncover the men who really killed the Tsar and his family, and to locate the Tsar's treasure.

The reward for success will be his freedom and the chance to re-unite with a woman he would have married if the Revolution had not torn them apart.

The price of failure - death. Set against the backdrop of the paranoid and brutal country that Russia became under the rule of Stalin, "Eye of the Red Tsar" introduces a compelling new figure to readers of crime fiction.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Crime & mystery
  • ISBN: 9780571245352



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Showing 1 - 2 of 2 reviews.

Review by

A very uninspiring book. The plot is pretty week, with a poor ending, lacking any sort of suspense or believability. The very last scene in particular is so corny.The best parts are the alternate flashback chapters, here the characterisation is better and you believe more in people (possibly because it's using real people, i.e. Czar, which give the author something to base his writing on).In the end I didn't care what happened, I was only glad it finished. The only shock being there will be more books using the Pekkala character.

Review by

I was rather disappointed by this. As a basic thriller, it was a good page turner. However, the basic premise and plot were just too implausible. Pekkala as a kind of Tsarist version of some untouchable superhero, just because he happens to have a supposedly infallible memory, was in my view a ridiculous concept. How was he fooled about the mistaken identity of Grodek near the end? And just why would he (or anyone) believe that Stalin would really grant an amnesty to a member of the Romanov family who had turned out to have survived? There were also some basic historical errors, ignoring some of the facts about the killing of the Romanovs (no-one disputes that a number of people must have been involved in the murders, yet here one lone killer carries them out) and lesser examples, such as a reference to the Bolsheviks not having yet changed the currency, while at the time in question (the late spring/summer of 1917), they were not even in Government; and a reference to the great famine, mainly in the early 30s, that followed collectivisation, though the main action of the novel is set in 1929. These things jarred, as did, for me at least, the constant flitting back and forth between 1917 and 1929.

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