Read Stalin's Gold by Mark Ellis Online

stalin-s-gold

December 1938. Moscow. Josef Stalin has lost some gold. He is not a happy man. He asks his henchman Beria to track it down. September 1940 London. Above the city the Battle of Britain rages and the bombs rain down. On the streets below, DCI Frank Merlin and his officers investigate the sudden disappearance of Polish RAF pilot Ziggy Kilinski while also battling an epidemicDecember 1938. Moscow. Josef Stalin has lost some gold. He is not a happy man. He asks his henchman Beria to track it down. September 1940 London. Above the city the Battle of Britain rages and the bombs rain down. On the streets below, DCI Frank Merlin and his officers investigate the sudden disappearance of Polish RAF pilot Ziggy Kilinski while also battling an epidemic of looting unleashed by the chaos and destruction of the Blitz. Kilinski's fellow pilots, a disgraced Cambridge don, Stalin's spies in London, members of the Polish government in exile and a ruthless Russian gangster are amongst those caught up in Merlin's enquiries. Sweeping from Stalin's Russia to Civil War Spain, from Aztec Mexico to pre-war Poland, and from Hitler's Berlin to Churchill's London a compelling story of treasure, grand larceny, treachery, torture and murder unfolds. Eventually as Hitler reluctantly accepts that the defiance of the RAF has destroyed his chances of invasion for the moment, a violent shoot-out in Hampstead leads Merlin to the final truth....and Stalin to his gold. Stalin's Gold is the latest in the Frank Merlin Series, and follows on from Princes Gate (Matador 2011)....

Title : Stalin's Gold
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781783062478
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 312 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Stalin's Gold Reviews

  • Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
    2018-11-13 07:16

    This isn't really the type of book I usually go after. I prefer more adventure, racing across the globe, finding lost treasure. In this book they are trying to find some lost gold, just not some ancient treasure, well it is from the beginning ancient, but that’s beside the point. Right now it’s Stalin’s gold that someone has managed to take and Stalin wants it back and when he want something…he really does everything to get it back. Throw in the British police force and some bad Russian villains and, of course, the people that have the gold then you have the book Stalin’s Gold.Stalin’s Gold is Mark Ellis second book and the sequel to Princes Gate which I haven’t read and sometimes you feel like you missing something when you jump in and read a book in a series, but I had no problem getting into the story. There were some hints about the first book, but it didn’t bother me at all. Frank Merlin is the main character in this book and I got Foyle's War (tv-show) vibes about him. For just like Foyles he is a police that is denied to serve in the war because they need him in the force which didn’t make him happy. He’s an ordinary man, widower, that is dating a Polish girl and because of that, he gets involved in the case when a friend to her brother disappear.It’s very well written, the only problem I had from time to time was keeping track of all the characters which got a little tougher because of all the Russian and Polish name. It’s a bit hard to read a book when you suddenly see a name you can’t place. But in the end, it got clearer and the book wrapped up nicely and I will probably in the future both read more books by Mark Ellis and read the first one about Frank Merlin.Thank you Netgalley for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!

  • Steve
    2018-12-01 06:25

    I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.I loved this book! The story has many facets to it, and this will likely be a reread for me. First off, Mark Ellis is obviously a student of history, and he ties the story in closely with real-world events and people. This mystery is set in London during the Blitzkreig of Autumn, 1940, and the main characters of the interact with historical figures, including Winston Churchill, the King and Queen of England, and even Josef Stalin and Hermann Goring make appearances. That part of the book was fascinating.The story itself was captivating, as well, and it almost turned into an Agatha Christie-type locked room mystery, with Frank Merlin acting the part of Hercule Peroit, calling into question suspects motivations and hidden ties to each other. Good stuff, and I'm looking forward to the next Frank Merlin mystery!I'd recommend this book to anyone with an interest in WWII, British murder mysteries, or anyone that just enjoys a well-written, well-researched book!

  • Erin
    2018-11-24 09:03

    Find this and other reviews at: http://flashlightcommentary.blogspot....I picked up Mark Ellis’ Stalin’s Gold the day I finished Princes Gate. I don’t think it necessary to tackle the two back to back, but I had the novel on hand and didn’t have reason to delay. One of the things I liked about this installment is that begins with Frank Merlin’s personal life. It moves on to the mystery fairly quickly, but I think the insight these scenes afforded created interesting context within the narrative. Maybe I’m alone in this, but I liked seeing the detective off duty and getting to know him in a more casual setting. Like its predecessor, the tone and humor of the piece are very English. The book also presents a detailed portrait of the political situation in Britain, Russia and Poland. I felt the mystery elaborate, but well-crafted and ultimately quite satisfying. I also liked how Ellis factored the Blitz into the action and used it to complicate the investigation process. In a lot of ways, I think I appreciated Stalin’s Gold more than the founding installment of the Frank Merlin series. The storytelling felt tighter and the action more engaging. The ending was a little drawn out for my tastes, but I was quite pleased with the time I spent on the book.

  • Dolf Patijn
    2018-11-19 09:23

    "Stalin’s Gold" is the second book in the Frank Merlin series. The first book, "Princes Gate", was set in the so-called phoney war in February 1940, but in this book it is September 1940 and the Battle of Britain is at its height. Hitler foolishly decided to leave the airfields alone and bomb the city of London instead. This gave the Royal Air Force time to reform and fight back. In this turmoil of dogfights in the sky, falling bombs and burning and collapsing houses, Frank Merlin and his team have to deal with gang-related looters and a missing Polish RAF Hurricane pilot.As in the previous book, the atmosphere in Stalin’s Gold is palpable. Even readers who are not really into reading thrillers will probably like this series because the books are very well written and it is just as much about the atmosphere of wartime London as it is about who committed the crime. After reading the book, I felt like I had personally paid a visit to 1940s London, which is a great achievement for sure.Stalin’s Gold is nicely paced and Mark Ellis takes his time to bring the different story lines together. In the end it all makes sense. One other thing I like about this series is that the characters are believable. The good guys and gals are not just good and the bad ones are not just bad. For instance, in this book there is a Polish RAF pilot who has done something terrible to a Jewish family in his country but is now defending the British against the German bombers. He is also friends with another Polish airman who he knows has Jewish blood.In this book we’re only in September 1940. I hope that Mark Ellis will keep this series going at this rate. I don’t know how many books he has planned but there’s half a year in between the time span of the first two books and at least 4 more years to go in the Second World War. That would make a total of about 12 books, if you also count the year 1945 (wishful thinking on my part, maybe). If the rest of the series is of the same high standard as Princes Gate and this book Stalin’s Gold, we’re in for a real treat. I’m really looking forward to the next book to revisit Mark Ellis’ version of wartime London.

  • Rob Kitchin
    2018-11-26 07:01

    Stalin’s Gold in the second book in the DCI Frank Merlin series set in London during the Second World War. At one level there’s quite a bit going on in the tale which entangles Polish aristocratic exiles and RAF pilots, Russian gangsters and political agents, local criminal looters, and the police, centred around some missing gold bullion. At another, the whole story is quite strongly telegraphed, meaning that there is not much mystery or surprise to the tale. Moreover the tale is held together in a web of coincidences, such as Merlin finding some gold in a bomb site and the looter’s also being connected to the Russians, and there are a number of scenes that do not move the story forward. To a degree these don’t really matter as it’s still an enjoyable read, Merlin continues to be a likeable character, the tale is interesting, and the context with respect to the war is nicely done, but I felt they took the edge off what could have been a more intriguing story with respect to how the mystery is revealed to the reader.

  • Ian
    2018-11-30 08:58

    This is a good book, in many respects an excellent one. Its strength is in the author's deep knowledge of London during the Blitz, and the reader is taken there convincingly. In addition, the main protagonists are sympathetic, the other characters well drawn and the plot manages to be both exotic and credible. There are a lot of threads to the story, all brought together in the end, which made it a bit hard for me at least to follow and I did find it difficult to differentiate between some of the characters, but this is a first-rate novel, one that readers will remember long after reaching the final page.

  • Karen
    2018-12-01 07:13

    The thing with really enjoyable review books that are part of a series is that there's no option but to go back and get the earlier books. Regardless of how teetering the current reading pile might be. Which is what happened here after finishing STALIN'S GOLD.Interesting enough this is now the second series built around the Polish in England that's appealed - albeit this isn't set in current day. Despite it also being the second book in the series, it's very easy to get into sync with Frank Merlin. A cop kept behind in England whilst the war rages, because of the importance of the job, he's not completely comfortable with this imposition. The job is also made considerably more difficult because there is such a lack of police resources with so many people fighting the war. On the home front the police are dealing with the aftermath of the London bombings, with looters causing concern in very high places, enough to make his immediate superiors question the need for much time to be spent searching for a missing Polish RAF pilot.But search and find that missing pilot Merlin does, and not just because of a personal request from the brother of his Polish lover. But the finding of the dead pilot leads to an even bigger mystery which eventually winds itself around more than just his death.The atmosphere and sense of place that builds in STALIN'S GOLD is palpable. The ever present threat of the bombings, combined with the feel of darkened streets and people living in straightened circumstances, is nicely described, and that, combined with the character of Merlin - restrained, very British, and yet a loving and concerned man gives what's ultimately a thriller, a strong base in place and character. It's also not all dire - in amongst the bombed out centres there's orchestra performances, moments in parks, and quiet and relatively peaceful streets with people getting on with life.The pacing of the thriller aspects is well done, and whilst the plot is complicated and quite far ranging, it weaves together deftly, with the characters remaining a strong focus. In a nice touch there's a real sense of grey about many of those characters. The circumstances of the lives that wartime people live sometimes leading them to do great things, or bad things. Not excusing any of the worst of the goings on.The other nice touch is the inclusion of the Polish government in exile and the Polish community - an aspect of wartime London here, at least, that was quite illuminating.Definitely a series for fans of historical crime fiction. Particularly those who like a touch of thriller pace in what is ultimately a good police procedural, with a strong central protagonist.http://www.austcrimefiction.org/revie...

  • Miles
    2018-12-11 04:16

    It has been well over two years since Mark Ellis released his debut novel Princes Gate, an introduction to Frank Merlin set in February 1940; however in Stalin’s Gold we re-join Merlin and his colleagues seven months later in September 1940. London is under attack, not only from the air but on land by a gang of looters determined to make the most of the opportunity to steal luxury items from bombed out buildings. It’s up to Frank Merlin to solve the crimes and keep his boss – AC Gatehouse – happy. Not an easy task!The great thing about this book, and it’s no different to the author’s first offering, is that you are immediately transferred to London at the height of bombing, close your eyes and you are there. You get a real sense of what it was like to live in those troubled times where good quality food was scarce – for the working class at least – and walking the streets of London a lottery, not only from the bombs but the falling debris left in its wake. Atmospheric and wonderfully written the narrative really does everything it should to give the reader a feel for that period and along with a plethora of terrifically compelling characters it works really well. A complex story, it takes a while for all the pieces to unravel but unravel it does. It never felt rushed and the pace is for the most part spot on. There were a couple of parts where I found it a little laboured but that was more a point of getting to grips with the foreign names in the Polish community!The winner for me this time around is not Merlin but the aforementioned Polish community in exile and the atmospheric accounts of a war torn London. Don’t get me wrong, there’s more than enough of Merlin to satisfy – I would have liked more between Frank and AC Gatehouse as experiences in Princes Gate – but for me it was all about Battle of Britain, the Poles and the bombing! Another gripping tale from a talented author, let’s hope we don’t have to wait too long for the next book, who knows it won’t be long before Pearl Harbour is attacked by the Japanese and Frank will have something else to occupy his time! Highly recommended and thoroughly entertaining.

  • Maria Beltrami
    2018-12-05 06:12

    A complicated plot that sees British policemen, warplanes Poles pilot, big international crooks, thieves, spies and a large cargo of gold, move on the dodgy background of the Battle of Britain, the last attempt of Nazi Germany to invade the Great Britain, whose lack of success was probably the first sign of the possibility of defeat what looked like an invincible enemy.The book is, in fact, complex, fascinating, well written, with characters defined in the round, they are actors or supernumeraries. The only moment of weakness, reason why I gave it 3 stars instead of 4, is the scene that takes place in the time of Montezuma, that could have been avoided without the novel clean state.Thank Troubador Publishing Ltd and NetGalley for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.Un complicato plot che vede muoversi poliziotti inglesi, piloti da guerra polacchi, grandi truffatori internazionali, ladri, spie e un consistente carico d'oro, sul poco raccomandabile sfondo della Battaglia d'Inghilterra, l'estremo tentativo della Germania Nazista di invadere la Gran Bretagna, la cui mancata riuscita fu probabilmente il primo segnale della possibilità di sconfiggere quello che sembrava un nemico invincibile.Il libro è, appunto, complesso, affascinante, ben scritto, con caratteri definiti a tutto tondo, che siano protagonisti o semplici comparse. L'unico momento di cedimento, ragione per la quale ho assegnato 3 stelle invece che 4, è la scena che si svolge ai tempi di Montezuma, che poteva essere evitata senza che il romanzo ne risentisse.Ringrazio Troubador Publishing Ltd e NetGalley per avermi fornito una copia gratuita in cambio di una recensione onesta.

  • Danielle Tremblay
    2018-12-05 01:22

    I won this book in GoodReads giveaways in exchange for an honest review.I loved this book. Mark Ellis is a new author to me. I've never read anything he wrote, but I'll go back to his first book and certainly read the next one too.This story is a nice mixture of historical and cop and investigation novels. It's very well written. Do you know which movie directors win Oscars or Cesars? Those who are able to make you feel you're in there, as if you were one of the characters of their movies. Here it's the same. The author succeeded very well to make us see London and all the places where Frank Merlin went. He gave us the feeling that we were in the forties during WWII. Moreover, this is a captivating story with interesting plot and twists.I hesitate between 4 and 5 stars. If possible I'd have given 4½, but it's impossible here. So, since I have nothing wrong to tell about this book, I chose to give it 5 stars. I recommend it to all lovers of historical or mystery novels.** Sorry if there are mistakes in my review, French is my native tongue and I learned English lately.

  • David
    2018-11-23 01:15

    The follow-up to Princes Gate, Stalin's Gold flits between Battle of Britain-era London, Stalin's USSR, Nazi-occupied Poland, Civil War Spain and Montezuman South America.It's a well-plotted tale of political jockeying, international gangland brutality, bravery in the air and crafty detective work as Frank Merlin's team solve a series of inter-related mysteries, all the while trying to dodge the bombs and conflagrations of the start of the Blitz and the bureaucracy of jittery wartime London.Where it falls down slightly, compared to its predecessor, is in the confusing number of similarly-monikered Eastern European characters, necessitating a lot of recapping which isn't easy on a Kindle. This, and the intricate plot linkages results, a bit disappointingly, in there having to be a somewhat clumsy explanation of the inter-linking facets of plot and character to bring Stalin's Gold to a conclusion.I like Frank Merlin though, so much so that I want to find out how he's getting on in future Mark Ellis outings.

  • Mark Ellis
    2018-12-01 02:04

    See website markellisauthor.com for news, links to FB and Twitter, and more reviews

  • J
    2018-11-12 00:59

    I study history as a subject and I'm sure it's going to help me understand better. I really have to win this book!

  • Kevin Cowdall
    2018-11-18 06:17

    As the Battle of Britain rages in the skies overhead and the threat of a German invasion looms, DCI Frank Merlin investigates the interconnecting threads of stolen gold bullion and Aztec treasure, organised looting, Russian spies, unscrupulous bankers, lingering anti-Semitism and a missing Polish RAF pilot in the second of Mark Ellis’ series of Merlin novels (following on from ‘Princes Gate’).This is a tense and atmospheric story with a strong sense of the WWII time-set, a believable multi-national cast of characters and a well-paced plot which weaves its way through the landmarks and back streets of London in the Blitz.A thoroughly enjoyable read – I look forward to the recently released third book in the series, ‘Merlin at War’.

  • Sharron
    2018-12-01 01:59

    Not half as good as his earlier book. A cast of thousands, at least seemingly, in a convoluted and improbable plot. By the midpoint I was bored.

  • Margaret Wilkening
    2018-11-10 03:59

    When I read the blurbs on Stalin’s Gold I had the impression of a World War II spy novel with page turning suspense. Those can be really good or really poor, so I wasn’t sure what the book would offer. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Mark Ellis has a fairly strong London DCI character involved in the drama of the Battle of Britain. Reading something like an episode between Foyle’s War or a Billy Boyle WWII novel, Stalin’s War delves into life in London during the war, and the best parts of the novel are those that show what the war was like for the ordinary people of London. Ellis has made Frank Merlin’s character multi-dimensional. His English-Spanish background presents an interesting perspective from the commonly seen thoroughly English detective. His brother, a wounded disabled veteran, give a view of those fighting in the early days of the war. The limbo and bravery of the displaced Polish Air Force is accessed though contacts with Merlin’s Polish refugee girlfriend. Firefighters risking their lives, displaced families stumbling from shelters, and petty crooks and looters taking advantage of the chaos from the bombing all help fill out the life of the book. All of these things would have made the book an outstanding addition to the war years of England genre begun in the Jacqueline Winspeare and Charles Tood. However, Ellis overreaches himself by trying to make the book more than it needed to be. Jumping from Spain, Russia, Berlin, and Poland, adds confusion rather than complexity. The multitude of Russian and Polish side characters had me frequently flipping back to see who were the good guys and who were the bad guys, and which bad guys were which.This book wasn’t good enough for me to eagerly await the next release In the series, but I am going to go back and read the first book in the series, Princes Gate, to see if Ellis plans to have a focus on DCI Merlin or if he has a tendency to over write in general.

  • Claudia
    2018-11-21 05:06

    I've always said I learn much of my history from novels and fiction. I learned about London under the bombardment of the Nazis in late 1940. The stiff upper lipped Londoners go about their business and are just shocked when looting becomes a problem. That's NOT what Londoners do when their homes are being obliterated. Bad form.Apparently this is book #2 in Frank Merlin's story, so I already have some more reading to do. I like Frank...a detective who feels he should be in the Army, contributing to the Cause. He knows in his head the work he does for Scotland Yard IS a contribution...just not the one he wants to make.The is a sweeping novel...from the ancient Incas, to Spanish Civil War, to Poland between the wars, to Stalin's special reign of terror, to London, where the strands are woven together into the story of stolen gold, Jewish secrets, Polish pilots, house robbers...royal Poles and disgusting Russian ruffians.And always Josef pulling the strands, determined to recover the gold he believes is his.There were almost too many characters for me to keep track of...I can see this book working well as a film, because I'd have that visual cue for each character...but Ellis makes them real. No one, except Josef Stalin, is one-dimensional...well, maybe all the Russians are pretty disgusting. But other characters are driven by love of someone...a brother, friend, husband, wife, son...there are some noble motivations for the tackiest of decisions...You understand why they act the way they do.The atmosphere of this book is a strong point. As I said, I learn history this way...I felt like I understood a small part of what it was like for Londoners that hot September...and I cared about them.

  • Lianne
    2018-12-06 06:58

    I was approved of an ARC copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. This review in its entirety was originally posted at caffeinatedlife.net: http://www.caffeinatedlife.net/blog/2...Stalin’s Gold is populated with a lot of intriguing characters, most involved one way or the other to the mystery concerning the stolen gold and the disappearance of a Polish RAF pilot. These characters range from Polish patriots in exile to working class citizens and nefarious members of the Soviet apparatus. The author brings 1940s London to life in this novel. It’s always interesting to read a novel set on the home front end of the Second World War for a change, to see how citizens were getting by.The mysteries themselves were very interesting, especially how they eventually intersect. It is interesting how the gold ends up touching events from the Spanish Civil War to way back in Aztec Mexico; it may sound a little random especially given what’s going on in the present day of the story but it’s interesting and adds another dimension to the story. The reveal of who the culprits were and who was behind Kilinski’s disappearance and behind the stolen gold was surprising in terms of how wide-spread it was and how many people were involved in both cases.Overall Stalin’s Gold was an entertaining mystery set in a very interesting and busy and dire period in European history. Readers of mystery and suspense novels will want to check out this novel.

  • Merritt
    2018-12-05 06:15

    Stalin’s Gold is the second novel starring Scotland Yard Chief Investigator Frank Merlin. As with the first Merlin novel, Prince’s Gate, the book is set in London in the early days of WWII. However, whereas Prince’s Gate is set during the so-called “Phony War”, the action in Stalin’s Gold is shadowed by the horrendous but heroic days of the Blitz and Battle of Britain. Both books are in the tradition of fine British mysteries a la Agatha Christie, and are intricately and ingeniously plotted. But Stalin’s Gold, benefiting from the dramatic events surrounding it, has a greater feeling of historical sweep. Moreover, the action moves from the Kremlin, to London, to Civil War Spain, to Poland, to Berlin, so the reader gets the pleasure of experiencing several exotic locales.Mark Ellis has a great sense of character. Frank Merlin is a charismatic and complex hero. The other characters, the good, the bad and the ugly are as alive to the reader as if they were in your living room. But Ellis’ greatest gift is as a painter of setting. In so many small details, the slogans on a can, the taste (or not) of the cuisine, the lilt of the speech, the sounds and smells, the reader is really there. Ellis has an encyclopedic knowledge of the details of London and British life in those days.This is an intelligent novel and an excellent read. Good show!

  • Linda
    2018-11-17 03:19

    Frank Merlin is a Detective Chief Inspector at Scotland Yard. In this WW II story he finds out just how convoluted life can be as he confronts several bad people from Poland and Russia who, unbeknownst to him, are fighting over millions of pounds worth of gold ingots that supposedly belong to Josef Stalin. Polish exiles claim it to be their money to use to save their country from the Germans. Some of it anyway. The Russians simply want to return it to Stalin. Or, do they?As the web slowly untangles Merlin begins to put the pieces together but he really needs to be in the right place at the right time to stop the final theft and disappearance of the gold ingots. Who can he trust? In fact, who can any of them trust as they run about trying to avoid the bombs that Germany is dropping over London? Some of the bad guys get their comeuppance in startling but very satisfying ways as they fight each other to get the gold. Fortunately, Merlin is able to stay out of the way of any harm but others do not.A good story, a little slow in the beginning as characters are being introduced and backgrounds play out but it does get better. An interesting story with some good action, interesting historical facts and a near perfect ending as all the loose ends are tied up.

  • Barb
    2018-11-25 02:09

    I won this book as a Goodreads First Reads giveaway and am glad I had the opportunity to read it. As a fan of British mystery writers, I found this to be a very entertaining historical fiction set in London during WWII.Our hero, DCI Frank Merlin, is as likable a character as I would ever hope to encounter: intelligent, brave, honest, and fiercely protective of those he cares about, this is a man I'd want to have my back in a sticky situation. While investigating the disappearance of Polish airman connected to his new lady love, Merlin finds himself enmeshed in a web of greed and murder involving Spanish gold stolen by Stalin during the civil war and in turn pilfered by a Polish aristocrat. The twists and turns the case takes kept me fascinated as I tried to piece together the clues as they came to light.The novel was well crafted, reminiscent of stories by P. D. James and Martha Grimes. A fast read, I finished it easily in two days and was left quite satisfied with the resolution.I will definitely be searching out other works by Mark Ellis, particularly anything featuring the intrepid Mr. Merlin.

  • Kooky
    2018-11-25 05:26

    We are back in the world of Detective Chief Inspector Frank Merlin who we met in Princes Gate and Britain is now at war. Again, I found the characters substantial and intriguing and I found the plot exciting and clever.My issue was with the style of writing. The style of writing the author has just doesn't agree with me. I like description and background, I like to be able to see in my imagination what characters look like, what a scene looks like, but the writing made the descriptions feel more like a list of adjectives or scenarios to describe the character or scene. It felt like listening an audio commentary from a television programme catering for the visually impaired. Every minute detail described makes it feel rigid, starchy in places. It doesn't feel smooth or like it flows and due to this I felt it dragged slightly.

  • Sabrina
    2018-11-22 09:08

    I was really excited to receive a copy of this book through the Goodreads Firstreads program. I had read other books of a similar concept and had really enjoyed them. Unfortunately, I found this book to be a very trying experience. The large cast of characters was difficult to keep track of; the story was told in short seemingly disconnected excerpts that didn't seem to accomplish much, and the glacial pace at which the story moves quickly caused me to lose interest. I realized about halfway through that despite the effective description of the period and life during WWII London I still didn't really know what the story was about or where it was going. All the action seemed to take place in the last 100 pages and even that didn't make up for the earlier 200 pages.

  • Susan Krich
    2018-11-30 04:27

    This was a great Goodreads book.The descriptions of the characters and background painted a clear, colorful picture without being too wordy eg. page 4.The action picked up on page 35 and only got faster until almost the very end.It was good to see that the background of the time period in London included the grittier parts such as looting as well as the altruism.The only downside for me was the flashbacks in Italics inserted within the book. I would have preferred them to be in the front in chronological order. This is a personal preference and should not discourage anyone from reading it.I enjoyed this book and look forward to another Frank Merlin novel.

  • Kathleen
    2018-12-09 04:11

    Second in the series of police procedurals/mysteries set in war time London, this during the blitz. Protagonist Frank Merlin is likeable with a backstory that is not overblown. Good mystery and excellent writing. I look forward to more sequels.My only reason for not rating a 5 (like I did the prior PRINCES GATE) is that even with so many heroic Polish aviators involved, not all these young men had to have names starting with K. Honestly it was hard to remember which one was which as the action moved on.

  • Brittany Adams
    2018-11-30 03:01

    Unfortunately, I found this book dreadfully boring. I was more than 200 pages into it before the story seemed to get started. Too many characters and buildups that for the longest time didn't seem to go anywhere, and not enough focus on the characters that did matter. At the end I found myself not caring about the main event. I am a very emotional person who cries during commercials - don't judge me - but I literally felt nothing (during what should have been an emotional moment at the end) but relief that this book was finally ending.

  • Deb Novack
    2018-11-16 03:58

    This was a couldn't put down read.Poor Mr Stalin is missing some gold, so he sends people to London to find it. This all takes place during the time of the Blitz and The Battle of Britain. The book has a fine historical feeling and the plot is well thought out. His characters are intriguing, Frank Merlin is a type of hero. You feel as though all the characters are in your home with you,Wonderful book!!!!***This book was given free in exchange for an honest review*****

  • Ashley
    2018-11-14 05:06

    *Received my copy free through GoodReads FirstReads*Great book! I loved the historical setting and thought that it was well represented. I found the book to be tough going for the first half because there is a large cast of characters, but it definitely picked up in the second half as all the story threads began to come together. From the hints of what happened in the first Merlin book, I'll have to work on getting a copy, because it sounds just as good as this one.

  • Maggie Hesseling
    2018-11-30 03:22

    An excellent novel! I hadn't read the first book of the series, but loved this one (I will go back and read the first at a later date). Edge of your seat intrigue- I had a hard time putting it down. I also loved the characters! Almost like a film, the mise-en-scene took you right into the times and won't allow you to feel anything but immersion. I must read for any historical detective/thriller fan!

  • Raven Haired Girl
    2018-12-10 06:02

    Great characters, all convincing. Frank Merlin is dynamic, well sketched both personally and professionally. The plot is involved - numerous threads coming together in the end. Well researched, rich in landscape and history - Russia, Poland, Britain and Civil War Spain and Montezuman South America - yeah, loads covered. Lots of characters and with the complex plot revealed at the end it was work following along. A bit long winded in general, nonetheless a satisfying read.