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Welcome to the Hotel Yalta: Six Stories of Cold War Noir Paperback – July 5, 2016
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About the Author
Victoria Dougherty is the author of Th e Bone Church. She writes fi ction, drama and essays that revolve around lovers, killers, curses and destinies. Her work has been published or profi led in the New York Times, USA Today, Th e International Herald Tribune and elsewhere. Her blog – COLD – features her short essays on faith, family, love and writing. WordPress, the blogging platform that hosts some 72 million blogs worldwide has singled out COLD as one of the top 50 Recommended Blogs on writers and writing. Currently, Ms. Dougherty lives with her family in Charlottesville, VA and has recently completed Th e Hungarian, her second in a series of Cold War themed historical thrillers. Follow COLD at www.victoriadougherty.wordpress.com
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Top customer reviews
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In ‘Welcome to the Hotel Yalta’ we are introduced to good old fashioned spying, intrigue and espionage – and as a result the body count begins to grow.
In the mix we find ruthless Russian spies, a vicious Hungarian assassin, vengeful Greek gangsters, a Moscow police detective with a talent for extracting information from his unfortunate victims, and at the centre is a sexy heiress to her father’s arms dealer fortune.
Dougherty’s style is easy, engaging and descriptive; her stories cleverly interwoven around the young heiress initially caught in a CIA intelligence trap and compelled to carry out certain tasks for the spy agency.
Also at the centre of the six stories is a small metal card containing mysterious symbols. The reader is drawn in to speculate that there is an important space race secret up for grabs, and it is a secret big enough to result in murder. And the death toll continues to mount.
The violence is at times quite stark, but being described in such ways is a clearly recognised necessity as we see behind the eyes of the perpetrators, and their reasons for carrying out these acts. These spies are not licensed to kill in any Fleming-esque sense, but that certainly doesn’t stop them.
The stories are more in the style of early Le Carre than Fleming’s high table secret agents. Like Le Carre, Dougherty introduces us to the black and white, grubby world of spying, deceit and exploitation. And as in the 1960s and 1970s, when the Cold War was at its height and spy stories were at their peak of popularity, it is still a recipe for success to this day. As such I would highly recommend ‘Welcome to the Hotel Yalta’ – a very clever title - to anyone who gets a kick out of Cold War noir.
THE ROYLE DECEPTION: A Colonel Thomas Royle adventure (Tom Royle Book 1)
It is a collection of interesting character pieces set in Cold War Europe, each a well written and interesting slice of writing and character examination (varying from lush to sparse depending on the style the author slips on for the story, all a neat fit) that just so happens to intersect with some of the tropes of the genre (casual violence, tradecraft, femme fatales). But the casual sex (present or past) is filled with longing and the spy-bits just happen to be the jobs the characters are playing at as we visit their thoughts during this moment of their lives.
While I'm interested in some level to see how all the intersections play out and if the MacGuffin means anything, it really is besides the point. I'm perfectly pleased with these little character pieces on a standalone basis.