MURDER ON THE TRANS-SIBERIAN EXPRESS
Stuart M Kaminsky
Mysterious, Oct 2001, 24.95, 277 pp.
Moscow Director of the Office of Special Investigation Igor Yaklovev assigns Chief Inspector Porfiry Rostnikov to ride the Trans-Siberian Express. Yaklovev expects Porfiry to seize a package allegedly containing a century -old document belonging to Czar Nicholas II. The Chief Inspector realizes that his superior has not told him most of what is going on, but he knows to do what he is told if he plans to keep his job.
In Moscow, Porfiry's team is kept busy while he rides the train on its six thousand-mile voyage. Detectives Emil Karpo and Zelach go after kidnappers who abducted Acid the lead singer of the Naked Cossacks rock and roll band. However, more important to the police brass is that Acid is the son of an influential business mogul.
Also in Moscow, Porfiry's son Detective Iosef Rostnikov and a peer Elena Timofeyeva hunt a serial killing woman whose attacks show no pattern. Instead, the maniacal female apparently attacks men with a knife at subway stations.
The fourteenth Porfiry and associates Russian police procedural novel, MURDER ON THE TRANS-SIBERIAN EXPRESS, is an entertaining and insightful tale. The story line shifts between the three major subplots, which in turn slows down the pace of each investigation. Still, all three tales are cleverly designed and the detectives seem authentic as they bring Russian life home to the reader. MURDER ON THE TRANS-SIBERIAN EXPRESS is an engaging entry that will please sub-genre fans, but especially those followers of the series.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner