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An Inspector Pekkala Novel of Suspense
Paul Watkins Writing As

Sam Eastland


A satisfying Stalinist-era thriller from the master of the genre



“Watkins leaves us practically breathless.” – Vogue


“Daring and remarkably assured…provocative.”  – The New York Times

The German Army begins to shatter before the tide of advancing Soviet forces in 1944. Two Russian soldiers burrow into the crypt of a German church, where, clutched in the hands of a priest’s skeleton, they discover a priceless icon last seen in the grasp of Rasputin, the mad monk who mesmerized the Romanovs. When news of the discovery reaches Moscow, Stalin calls upon his most trusted investigator, Inspector Pekkala, to unravel the secret of the icon’s past.


RED ICON is the sixth novel is this acclaimed suspense series (translated into l7 languages) following THE BEAST IN THE RED FOREST, published by Opus last year.


SAM EASTLAND is the nom de plume of novelist and memoirist Paul Watkins when he writes the Inspector Pekkala detective novels set in Stalinist Russia. He is the son of Welsh parents and the grandson of a London Metropolitan Police Investigator who served in Scotland Yard’s famous “Ghost Squad" during the 1940s. Watkins spent his early years in Rhode Island and was educated at the Dragon School in Oxford, Eton College and Yale University. Watkins has written for The London Times, The London Sunday Times, The New York Times and The Observer.  For the past 25 years, he has taught at the Peddie School in Hightstown, New Jersey.  

Praise for books by SAM EASTLAND / PAUL WATKINS


“A standout historical series. Eastland depicts his fictional Stalin as more than a James Bond villain, painting him as a conflicted, lonely tyrant whose retribution against slights both real and imagined makes him a very dangerous opponent.”  – Kirkus Reviews


“Writing with innate literary grace, he gives this series an air of swashbuckling romance with many glints of depraved humanity.” – Library Journal 


“Among literati he is already a legend.”  – Esquire


“Eastland’s weaving of fact and fiction is brilliantly achieved.  Pekkala makes an unusual, captivating hero.”           
– London Times


“Excellent…Evocative of Hemingway …Watkins is a writer of formidable gifts.”  – Washington Post Book World
“Pekkala’s a compelling character for this thriller series that combines the literary sensibilities of Paul Watkins with the storytelling of Sam Eastland.”  – Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine
“[A] suspense-driven, beautifully written, heart-stopping, breathless thriller of World War II…It will keep you guessing throughout.”   – Providence Journal


“Fans of this gripping series of literary thrillers will be glued to their chairs until the final pages."  –  Booklist


“Highly imaginative…History mixes with fiction in an exciting story.” – USA Today



Fiction – Suspense - Thrillers
Cloth • $28.95 
6 x 9 • 352 pages • U.S.
ISBN: 978-1-62316-086-9

E-BOOK Editions Available

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