This riveting suspense debut introduces both a stellar new voice and a remarkable detective, an outsider who must use his extraordinary talents to solve the one case that may redeem him. Shortly after midnight on July 17, 1918, the imprisoned family of Tsar Nicholas Romanov was awakened and led down to the basement of the Ipatiev house. There they were summarily executed. Their bodies were hidden away, the location a secret of the Soviet state. A decade later, one man lives in purgatory, banished to a forest on the outskirts of humanity. Pekkala was once the most trusted secret agent of the Romanovs, the right-hand man of the Tsar himself. Now he is Prisoner 4745-P, living a harsh existence in which even the strongest vanish into the merciless Soviet winter. But the state needs Pekkala one last time. The man who knew the Romanovs best is given a final mission: catch their killers, locate the royal child rumored to be alive, and give Stalin the international coup he craves. Find the bodies, Pekkala is told, and you will find your freedom. Find the survivor of that bloody night and you will change history. In a land of uneasy alliances and deadly treachery, pursuing clues that have eluded everyone, Pekkala is thrust into the past where he once reigned. There he will meet the man who betrayed him and the woman he loved and lost in the fires of rebellion--and uncover a secret so shocking that it will shake to its core the land he loves. With stunning period detail and crackling suspense, Eye of the Red Tsar introduces a complex and compelling investigator in a fiercely intelligent thriller perfect for readers of "Gorky Park, Child 44," and "City of Thieves."
Sam Eastlandlives in the United States and the United Kingdom. He is the grandson of a London police detective who served in Scotland Yard's famous "Ghost Squad" during the 1940s. He is currently at work on his next Pekkala novel, which Bantam will publish in 2011.