From Publishers Weekly
Palpably contrived although rich in ambience and marvelously entertaining, Bull's new erotic swashbuckler revisits Count Alexander Karlov, the dashing and sensual young Russian hero from Shanghai Station. Picking up the action four years later in the Paris of 1922, we find Alexander, now 22, searching for his twin sister, Katia, who at age 17 was raped and kidnapped from the Trans-Siberian train by the Karlovs' bitter enemy, Soviet Commissar Viktor Polyak—the same assassin who murdered their mother and later killed their father in Shanghai. Alexander doesn't know that Polyak is already in Paris and awaiting the arrival of Katia, who—now the mother of Polyak's son and thoroughly brainwashed by the best Party training schools adept in the art of assassination—is carrying out a mission to kill a Party enemy in Poland. Miraculously, the siblings reunite and flee for Shanghai on the steamer China Star while Polyak relentlessly chases them through Cairo, Bombay, Ceylon and to Shanghai. At times more travelogue and tour guide (with some romance) than cliffhanger, Bull has delivered another light, lithe read. (June)
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In this sequel to Shanghai Station (2004), the young White Russian count, Alexander Karlov, travels across three continents in his dangerous quest for vengeance and romance. The adventure begins in 1920s Paris, where Karlov is hunted by the brutish Bolshevik agent Viktor Polyak--the man who murdered his parents and forced his twin sister, Katerina, into sexual servitude. Katerina, brainwashed by her Soviet captors and now trained as an assassin, meets up with her brother and flees with him to Shanghai aboard the China Star. All the while, the twins are pursued by the sadistic Polyak and his vicious thugs, which barely leaves the dashing count time to engage in a passionate dalliance with the exotic wife of an insane English tea planter. Once in Shanghai, Karlov reunites with his business partner, the sinister Chinese gangster Hak Lee, to exact revenge for the murder of his parents. Exotic locales, swashbuckling action, well-researched historical details, and juicy intrigue should make this appealing to readers who like their historical fiction fast and furious. Michael Gannon
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