Atlanta lawyer Miles Lord, fluent in Russian and well versed in the country’s history, is thrilled to be in Moscow on the eve of such a momentous event. After the fall of Communism and a succession of weak governments, the Russian people have voted to bring back the monarchy. The new tsar will be chosen from the distant relatives of Nicholas II by a specially appointed commission, and Miles’ job is to perform a background check on the Tsarist candidate favored by a powerful group of Western businessmen. But research quickly becomes the least of Miles’ concerns when he is nearly killed by gunmen on a city plaza.I heard author Steve Berry talk in Dallas in January and decided that I wanted to read some of his backlog. I decided to focus on the two novels that weren't part of his Cotton Malone series. I found this book a good refresher on Romanov history.
Suddenly Miles is racing across continents, shadowed by nefarious henchmen. At first, his only question is why people are pursuing him. But after a strange conversation with a mysterious Russian, who steers Miles toward the writings of Rasputin, he becomes desperate to know more–most important, what really happened to the family of Russia’s last tsar?
His only companion is Akilina Petrov, a Russian circus performer sympathetic to his struggle, and his only guide is a cryptic message from Rasputin that implies that the bloody night of so long ago is not the last chapter in the Romanovs’ story . . . and that someone might even have survived the massacre. The prophecy’s implications are earth-shattering–not only for the future of the tsar and mother Russia, but also for Miles himself.
I had a hard time believing that Miles Lord, a very resourceful lawyer, just trusted everyone. Often times during the book being that trusting got him into trouble. I can see how Steve Berry was influenced by Dan Brown throughout the book. Miles and Akilina fulfilling Rasputin's prophecy was just a little too convenient. I do give Steve credit for bringing some of the action to the US and how the pieces of the puzzle had to stand up to the technical enhancements from the late 1800s. I also appreciated that Steve explained what was real based on history versus his imagination at the end of the book.
Overall this book is great read and Steve Berry is a very engaging author to hear speak in person.