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An Inspector Pekkala Novel of Suspense


By Sam Eastland



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

 – Booklist


“Watkins leaves us practically breathless.” 

— Vogue



“The distinguished author has nailed another successful Emerald Eye saga, intricately weaving true details from the pages of history with the fantastic exploits of Pekkala and Kirov. Writing with innate literary grace, he gives this series an air of swashbuckling romance with many glints of depraved humanity.” 

– Library Journal


"Eastland's engrossing Pekkala novel delivers a surprise ending driven by grievances from the past, brutal betrayals, and the power of friendship.”       
– Publishers Weekly


 "A complex and atmospheric thriller in 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  




80 years before Edward Snowden seeks asylum in Putin's Russia, an American autoworker, disillusioned with the stubborn, stagnant inequality in America, moves his family to Russia. His letters home are glowing arias about Stalin's New Man in Soviet Paradise. Then, suddenly, the letters stop.


The world of Soviet espionage is shaken with the shocking disappearance of Stalin's invincible Inspector Pekkala whose charred remains are reported from the frontlines.  But Stalin refuses to accept the indomitable Pekkala demise and dispatches Pekkala's assistant, Kirov deep into the wild forests of Western Russia, to follow a wilderness trail of clues, each one leading to a more tortured turn of fate. A new enemy has emerged from the fog of war, more deadly than any Kirov or Pekkala have ever faced before. Meanwhile, Pekkala's Nemesis is closing in for the kill.


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.  The first two Pekkala thrillers, Eye of the Red Tsar and Shadow Pass, have been translated into 17 languages. OPUS relaunches the Eastland series with this new novel.


Watkins 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. He was educated at the Dragon School, Eton College and Yale University.  He has written for The London Times, The London Sunday Times, The New York Times and The Observer. He resides in New Jersey. 



“Among literati he is already a legend.”  — Michael Hirschorn, Esquire


“Daring and remarkably assured…provocative..."  — Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times


"Highly imaginative . . . History mixes with fiction in an exciting story."  – USA Today


"What elevates this Russian period thrilleris its mad, brilliant hero." – Kirkus Starred Review


"Gripping and memorable. . .Fans of Russian thrillers (such as Martin Cruz Smith's Gorky Park) will want this." – Library Journal 


ISBN: 978-1-62316-049-4
Hardcover • $22.95 •  US
336 pages • 6 x 9 

Fiction / Thrillers / Suspense





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