Hunting The Assassin

Review of The Man From St Petersburg; Ken Follett; PAN Book (Hamilton 1982;) Rs 299; pp 456
– Shana Susan Ninan

Having read Ken’s Fall Of Giants before this book, I had an idea of his writing style for the pre-WWI years. But there’s no slack in action or a second where I thought I read a similar portion elsewhere in the author’s other works. The Man From St Petersburg is a fictional novel set just before the outbreak of WWI, narrating the lives of the Waldens and how one man’s determination changed their lives forever.

Feliks Kschessinsky is a Russian anarchist. Walden wanted to kill Feliks. Walden’s wife, Lydia wanted to keep Feliks alive. Walden’s daughter, Charlotte was bewitched by Felik’s charm and outright nature. His mission was to assassinate a Russian prince, thereby stopping the Ruso-Anglo alliance in the war.

On one side, Walden had to assure Britain’s supremacy in the upcoming war. But he had a bigger job of keeping his family together. Torn between the pressures of the two tasks at hand, he is at the end of nerves. Prince Aleksei, the Russian Czar’s nephew is visiting London for naval talks. And he becomes the target of Feliks.

Lydia’s past unfolds towards the middle of the book and then the pace picks up every paragraph on. Ken’s research for the book and the story is impeccable – old British customs, mores, language and lifestyle is captured well in the plot. Lemme not kill your enthusiasm for reading the book – it’s fabulously drawn: the history, the relationships, the characters and the setting.

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Rating: 8.7/10 (3 votes cast)
Hunting The Assassin , 8.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings

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This entry was posted on Thursday, February 9th, 2012 at 10:46 am and is filed under Edwardian Thriller, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

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