Review of Commissar by Seattle Book Review

“A taut mystery and espionage story”

Set in 1918, shortly after the murders of Tsar Nicholas Romanov and his family, Commissar by D.V. Chernov is a taut mystery and espionage story. The action occurs against the backdrop of the Western intervention in the Russian Civil War, when a variety of White, Red, and Anarchist armies, along with Allied forces, fought a bitter struggle for dominance in post-Imperial Russia. Anna, a Russian agent with philosophical misgivings, races against time in a perilous search for the famous spy Reilly, who has set in motion a plan that will change the course of Russian history and propel the country back into World War I against Germany.

At times an enthralling mystery novel, at other times a spy versus spy thriller, Commissar sends the reader on a wild ride from Petrograd to Moscow to Southern Russia as Anna attempts to foil Reilly’s deadly plot. Chernov exhibits wide-ranging knowledge of the chaotic years of the Russian Civil War. He explores the personal motivations of a cast of characters involved in ever-changing alliances designed to eliminate or maintain Bolshevik rule. Not only is Commissar an exciting read, it’s also an excellent introduction to the struggles of the nascent Soviet Union.

[read the review here]


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