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Russian Roulette Hardcover – January 1, 2006

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
Book 1 of 8 in the Max Rydal Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

After a boozy regimental dinner, British army officer Judith King has a night of passionate, alcohol-fueled sex with charismatic, half-Russian intelligence officer Leo Bekov. Imagine her shock when, very early the next morning, she discovers Bekov's body, blindfolded, tied to a post outside the mess hall, and shot through the heart. MPs Max Rydal and Tom Black are assigned to the case and quickly conclude that since Berkov was only on a brief visit to the base when he died, his killer probably was someone from his past, and since his death was staged to look like an execution by a firing squad, the killer was likely from the military. Their interrogations of several possible suspects reveal that Bekov was not exactly the highly regarded hero his records indicate. An action-packed plot with Byzantine twists, skillful writing, colorful characters, and a surprise ending add up to a page-turner with panache. Emily Melton
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


"'Finely crafted and full of detailed imagery' Booklist on Forget the Glory "A fascinating account of a little-appreciated branch of the armed forces" Booklist on Unsung Heroes "Throughout this engaging tale Darrell accurately and poignantly depicts the daily lives of ordinary people performing extraordinary feats" Booklist on Flight to Anywhere "An action-packed and suspenseful thriller" Booklist on Shadows over the Sun"

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Severn House Publishers; 1st World Ed edition (January 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0727862952
  • ISBN-13: 978-0727862952
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 1 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,674,413 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Elizabeth Darrell goes in a new direction. This is the first of an eight-volume series of what I'd call "Military Police procedurals." "Russian Roulette" is a tough, complex, and fascinating novel, more of a "guy book" than any of her earlier novels.. SPOILERS: the major character, half-English and half-Russian Leo Bekov, Major in the British Army, is murdered by page 5. The hero of the series, Max Rydal of the Special Investigation Branch of the Military, is called in to solve the mystery of his death, and throughout the book we learn a great deal about Bekov, Rydal, Rydal's second in command, Tom Black, and various women. The book is BOTH plot-driven and character-driven. Through excellent back stories we come to know Leo Bekov as well as the living characters, and we plunge into moral issues that Ms. Darrell allows us to decide about.

Like all her books, this one could use a little editing, especially on her love of dangling participles and substitutes for "said," but that is very minor nit-picking. "Russian Roulette" is, for grown-ups only, a sophisticated, often heart-rending story of contemporary folly, sorrow, and heroism.
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