This month marks the beginning of my fourth year as the lead crime-fiction blogger for Kirkus Reviews. It’s been a pretty fun ride so far, and though there have been some frustrations along the way (including the recent redesign, which--illogically--shrinks the main book cover image at the top of each page, making it smaller than those that follow), this gig has given me opportunities to speak with authors I might not otherwise have contacted and explore corners of the genre about which I’d previously known little.
My Kirkus column today looks at “eight tales of historical intrigue and high-stakes espionage” set in Russia and elsewhere in the former Soviet Union. President Vladimir Putin’s decision to invade neighboring Ukraine and occupy the Crimean peninsula, followed by this weekend’s bogus vote by Crimean residents to join Russia, have thrown a spotlight on Russia, just when it seemed to be disappearing again from the news, following the end of the winter Olympic Games in Sochi. What better time to recall fine Russia-backdropped works by R.N. Morris, Stuart M. Kaminsky, Boris Akunin, Richard Hoyt, and others?
You’ll find my latest Kirkus contribution here.
READ MORE: “Vladimir Putin’s Many Faces, in Fiction,” by John Dugdale (The Guardian).