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The Romanov Cross: A Novel Hardcover – March 5, 2013

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Editorial Reviews


“In this fascinating, funny, and frightening supernatural thriller, [Robert] Masello skillfully weaves together the story of the deaths of the Russian royal family with the possibility of a new worldwide influenza pandemic. . . . Toss in a pack of slavering wolves, the undead, and a chilling ending, and the result is a terrific, can’t-put-it-down read. Fine prose and plotting help solidify Masello’s position at the top of this crowded subgenre.”—Publishers Weekly
“A former Army epidemiologist contends with greedy locals and the harsh Alaskan terrain in order to prevent the recurrence of a deadly pandemic. . . . Masello weaves several disparate genres—medical thriller, historical novel, ghost story—into a coherent whole. A delicious sense of creeping dread permeates the first act, greatly enhanced by its setting in the stark but beautiful landscape of northwestern Alaska. . . . Tense, taut and impossible to put down.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“The love story between Anastasia and the soldier tears at the heartstrings. The mixture of their love story, the history of what happened to the Romanov family and the depth of Anastasia’s despair during her escape would make a terrific stand-alone novel. Add Slater’s story and a modern-day flu epidemic possibly killing millions of people and the stories come together. There are even elements of a ghost story and outright horror. All these elements shouldn’t work together, but they do. The Romanov Cross holds readers’ attention from the beginning to the very end.”—Associated Press
The Romanov Cross is a rare book where the story will have you thinking long after you have finished reading. Masello has combined the history and mythic lore of the Romanov dynasty with the greatest health scourge of the twentieth century, coupled with a story that could have been taken out of today’s headlines. He weaved these elements into an edge-of-your-seat, nail-biting, suspense thriller.”—Suspense Magazine (5 stars)
“Compelling . . . The book grabbed me from the start and never really let go. . . . If you are looking for a good thriller with overtones of the end of the world then this one certainly has enough to keep you glued to your seat.”—The Big Thrill
“The perfect story to keep you turning pages through the end of winter . . . Russian political myth, modern epidemiology and the enduring human traits of heroism, greed, devotion to cause and sincere affection come together to make a terrifically intriguing and quickly evolving thriller. . . . Scene by scene, chapter by chapter, this book rushes along.”—The Dallas Morning News

About the Author

Robert Masello is an award-winning journalist, a television writer, and the author of many books, including the supernatural thrillers The Medusa Amulet, Blood and Ice, Vigil (a USA Today bestseller), and Bestiary. His articles and essays have appeared in such publications as the Los Angeles Times, New York magazine, People, and Parade, and his nonfiction book Robert’s Rules of Writing has become a staple in many college classrooms. His television credits include such popular shows as Charmed, Sliders, and Early Edition. A long-standing member of the Writers Guild of America, Masello lives in Santa Monica, California.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; First Edition edition (March 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553807803
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553807806
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.7 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #203,087 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Robert Masello is an award-winning journalist, television writer, and the bestselling author of many books, including the historical thrillers "The Romanov Cross," "The Medusa Amulet," and "Blood and Ice," all published by Bantam/Random House in both hardcover and mass market editions.

His new novel of supernatural suspense, "The Einstein Prophecy," is coming out in the summer of 2015.

Published in as many as fifteen languages, his work has been acclaimed by literary critics from such prominent publications as the Chicago Tribune and the San Francisco Chronicle to The Times of London and The Guardian. Of his epic adventure, "Blood and Ice," the reviewer in USA Today proclaimed, "It's what would happen if H.G. Wells, Stephenie Meyer and Michael Crichton co-wrote a suspense novel!"

Earlier works, first published by Simon and Schuster and Penguin, have recently been reissued as e-books by Open Road. These include the novels entitled "The Spirit Wood," "Black Horizon," and "Private Demons," and two nonfiction studies of the occult, "Fallen Angels and Spirits of the Dark," and its companion volume "Raising Hell: A Concise History of the Black Arts and Those Who Dared to Practice Them."

His novel "Vigil," a Berkley book which appeared on the USA Today bestseller list in 2005, and its sequel, "Bestiary" (2006), are also now available in digital format.

His articles, essays and reviews have appeared often in such publications as New York Magazine, The Los Angeles Times, Town and Country, Travel and Leisure, The Washington Post, Elle, People, Parade, and The Wilson Quarterly. His nonfiction book, "Robert's Rules of Writing" (a Los Angeles Times bestseller) has been adopted in many high school and college classrooms, and his guide to the television industry -- "A Friend in the Business: Honest Advice for Anyone Trying to Break Into Television Writing" -- continues to explain the intricacies of the TV field to newcomers. "Writer Tells All: Insider Secrets to Getting Your Book Published" (Owl/Holt) performs the same function for aspiring authors everywhere.

Born and raised in Evanston, Illinois, Masello studied writing at Princeton under the noted authors Geoffrey Wolff and the late Robert Stone, whose passing was a loss to all who knew him, or his work. After graduation, Masello moved to New York City, where he worked on staff at Esquire and GQ before embarking on his solo writing career. In 1991, he relocated to California where he wrote for television programs airing on the CBS, FOX, Showtime and Syfy channels. His produced credits include such popular shows as "Charmed," "Sliders," "Poltergeist," and "Early Edition." For six years, he also served as the Visiting Lecturer in Literature at Claremont McKenna College. A longstanding member of the Writers Guild of America West, he now lives and works a few blocks from the beach in Santa Monica, California.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Teritree001971 on March 17, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
THE ROMANOV CROSS is the first book I've read by this author I'm sorry to say. Taking place against fictional Alaska settings and involving Russian history, the author takes his readers on a journey through time and along the way introduces us to some Native American beliefs, romance, the Spanish flu and it's devastation, not to mention poses a solution to where the royal Romanov family ended up. One of the best things about the story, is that it introduces a little of US history, by telling how Alaska and parts of the west were acquired from Russia.
When you finish the story, you look up and are surprised to find that time has passed without you realising it, leaving you wanting more. Thanks to the little mouse and eagle at the end, it gives the reader hope of seeing more of what happens in the modern day when the world is faced with a pandemic in this authors mind.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Bookreporter on April 2, 2013
Format: Hardcover
One of the greatest mysteries of the 20th century involves the Russian Grand Duchess Anastasia Romanov. In 1917, at the height of the Bolshevik Revolution, Anastasia and her entire family --- including the Tsar, Tsarina and all her sisters --- were murdered by Bolshevik secret police.

Legend continues to surround this piece of Russian history that Anastasia may have escaped execution. Her body was placed in a mass grave with many others; years later, upon exhumation, it was proven that at least one of the Romanov girls was not among these bodies. Rumors included a pact between the Romanov family and the infamous "Mad Monk," Grigori Rasputin, who was reviled by all of Russia but beloved by the Romanovs. Another legend claims that Rasputin may have been immortal as several attempts were made on his life and he apparently escaped unscathed each time.

Robert Masello now steps in as one in a long line of authors who are attempting to fictionalize another "what if" scenario surrounding Anastasia and her relationship with Rasputin. Even though DNA tests in 2009 verified that all four of the Romanov children were murdered with none escaping, it still makes the basis for interesting speculative fiction to create a more exciting end to the Romanov saga.

THE ROMANOV CROSS poses the scenario that Anastasia escaped from Russia and traveled by boat to the fictional St. Peter's Island off the coast of Alaska. On this island she comes upon a hidden colony led by a Catholic priest. There is a church as well as several abodes where the residents live. What makes these citizens unique is that they are living in the year 1918 and all victims of the Spanish influenza that wiped out millions across the globe.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Lyn Meadows on April 9, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Ever since the DaVinci Code came out, and I saw the movie National Treasure, I have been fascinated by stories that blend action/suspense with a strong historical base. The Romanov Cross by Robert Masello takes this even a bit further and actually tells two distinct stories. The first is the story of government epidemiologist Frank Slater, who has been tasked through out his career with doing research in the worst places that the U.S. Government can send him. His current assignment is no different as he is sent to a small, isolated island off the coast of Alaska to research a colony that was completely annihilated by the Spanish flu. I found this story to be an adventure tale of the best kind, complete with treasure hunters, colorful local characters, a bit of local Inuit lore, and a race against an enemy buried for over 100 years in the frozen turf.

The characters in this first story were engaging from Frank Slater and his team, all the way to the treasure hunters and their families. I actually felt quite a bit of empathy for Harley, mostly due to the huge impact his decision to pull up the coffin from the sea had on his life. I wondered if he would have done things differently if he could do a "do over". My favorite characters, though, were the members of Frank Slater's team, especially Frank, Nika, and Professor Kozak. I would love to read more about them, or see them together again.

The first story would have kept me turning pages and gotten high reviews, even if it was presented by itself, but this book had a bonus. That bonus was a second story centered around the end of the Romanov Dynasty, and the age old controversy of whether Anastasia Romanov was killed with her family or escaped.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By The Thriller Guy on March 6, 2013
Format: Hardcover
I like all of Masello's books but this is the best since Blood and Ice. No need to go back to ancient times to dig up a possible horror that may kill a good chunk of the world's population, there's one lurking right here not very far away or very deep in the ground. Solid, original characters and first-class writing skills make the most of a very scary scenario.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Dan Lubecki on July 30, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The best parts of this book were the sections where the author went to the past and delved into the Romanov's. I simply skipped forward to the main story and saved myself from having to plow through it.

I spent 24 years in the U.S. Coast Guard (aviation/helicopters) and significant time in Polar Operations including Alaska. I saw too many blatant errors in this book to recommend it for anything more than a door stop. But then, perhaps my perspective is tainted by my experience.

If you are a history buff, you may like the parts I skipped.
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