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The Bloody Meadow


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About the Author

WILLIAM RYAN is an Irish writer, living in London - having worked as a lawyer in the City for a number of years. In his spare time, he wrote on an occasional basis for television and film before completing a Masters in Creative Writing at St Andrews University in 2005. Also available in the Korolev series: The Holy Thief.


'The Holy Thief, set in Stalin's Russia, was one of last year's most impressive crime fiction debuts. The Bloody Meadow, William Ryan's follow-up, does not disappoint ... Ryan has obviously done much research into that sinister period of Russian history and manages to convey its claustrophobic atmosphere brilliantly' Marcel Berlins, The Times 'An outstanding thriller ... could be the set-up for an exotic Agatha Christie mystery, except that Ryan is so alert to the psychology of his characters and so persuasive in suggesting ominous political forces that the book transcends its mechanistic limitations -- the process of "putting facts together and producing possibilities from them", as Korolev sums up his job' Independent Ireland 'Thrilling. 4 stars' Daily Express 'A novel that confirms Ryan's talent' Sunday Times 'Every bit as darkly compelling as its predecessor with all the elements that made The Holy Thief so successful: razor-sharp plotting, an evocative sense of location in a vividly realised Ukraine and most winning of all the vulnerably human Alexei Korolev making a nuisance of himself' Daily Express 'Last year, with William Ryan's The Holy Thief, detective-fiction aficionados welcomed the thrillingly horrific first instalment in a new series set in 1930s Moscow ... in this second instalment Ryan has produced a film-noir-ish rewrite of the old-fashioned locked-room mystery, complete with creepily gripping, and ultimately gruesome, cops and robbers chase through the great catacombs on which Odessa sits, while Stalin's man-made terror-famine, which scorched through the Ukraine half a decade before the book opens, is only gestured at, in elliptical speech and ultimately in the characters' motivations. Yet what remains constant is Ryan's ability to display a foreign mindset while appearing to be entirely at home in the vernacular. His ear for dialogue is acute ... But Ryan's primary purpose remains the serious depiction of the hellish hall of mirrors that was Stalinist Russia ... Ryan's unrolling of the mental gymnastics required to survive this upside-down world where the morning's hero is the evening's victim is both thrillerishly pacey while also allowing his characters to grow in moral stature' Spectator 'Ryan is very knowledgeable about a dreadful place during a terrible period of history, and creates an atmosphere of claustrophobia and terror ... This is very neatly plotted and well written, and amounts to a convincing recreation of paranoia in Stalinist Russia' Jessica Mann, Literary Review 'William Ryan convincingly pitched us into the Kafkaesque labyrinth of 1930s Stalinist Russia with last year's The Holy Thief -- his troubled Moscow militia detective risking the gulag as he uncovered crimes at high levels. In The Bloody Meadow Korolev is dispatched to film set in the Ukraine to dig into the supposed suicide of a young, pretty 'model citizen' with powerful connections ... Korolev's struggle to stay sane in a world gone mad is intriguing' Metro

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