I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed here are my own.
Moscow Bound is the first book of Churchward’s Puppet Meisters Trilogy. I read the second book, Dancing With Shadows, a few months back and the author sent me book 1 after reading my review.
Ekaterina Romanova, the estranged wife of Russia’s wealthiest oligarch Konstantin Gravchenko, asks Scott Mitchell, an idealistic young English human rights lawyer who is being intimidated by the authorities, to find the father she’s never met. She believes he’s been languishing for decades without trial in the Gulag system. Meanwhile, General Pravda of military intelligence, though an advocate of transparency, is determined to protect a covert operation that he’s been running for years. General Pravda hinders Ekaterina and Scott at every turn and lawyer and client are forced to go on the run for a murder they didn’t commit. As they descend into the Hades that is the world of international realpolitik Scott is compelled to reconsider his own values, and Pravda’s life’s work disintegrates, when Scott uncovers a 50 year-old Cold War secret, which both the Russian and US governments are still trying to hide from the public domain. ‘Moscow Bound’ is the first book in The Puppet Meisters trilogy, dealing with state abuse of power.
I didn’t give this book’s sequel a glowing rating because I had problems with the plot. Moscow Bound, however, is so much better and was definitely intriguing to read. Ekaterina, one-dimensional in the next book, sounds a little more alive in this one.
This book has excellent writing. One problem some readers may have is pronouncing and remembering the Russian names in this book. I’m good with remembering names and I didn’t find the Russian ones that difficult, but I’m not so sure about other readers.
This is an entirely plot-driven book–the plot is airtight and has just enough political intrigue, action, and drama to make this an engrossing read. This could easily have been a 5-star read if it weren’t for the characters. A little bit more life and character development would definitely have pushed this book to a 4.5 at least.
Read this book if you like a good mystery with politics, Russian bureaucracy, and a solid plot.
Rating: 4 out of 5
What did you think of my review? Would you read this book? Let me know in the comments!