Sunday, 27 November 2016

Turkish Gambit by Boris Akunin

Turkish Gambit by Boris Akunin
First published as Turietsky Gambit by I Zakharov in Russian in Russia in 1998. English translation by Andrew Bromfield published by Weidenfeld and Nicolson in 2004.

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Where to buy this book:

How I got this book:
Bought from a charity shop

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Russo-Turkish war is at a critical juncture, and Erast Fandorin, broken-hearted and disillusioned, has gone to the front in an attempt to forget his sorrows. But Fandorin's efforts to steer clear of trouble are thwarted when he comes to the aid of Varvara Suvorova - a 'progressive' Russian woman trying to make her way to the Russian headquarters to join her fiancé. Within days, Varvara's fiancé has been accused of treason, a Turkish victory looms on the horizon, and there are rumours of a Turkish spy hiding within their own camp. Our reluctant gentleman sleuth will need to resurrect all of his dormant powers of detection if he is to unmask the traitor, help the Russians to victory and smooth the path of young love.

I had quite high hopes for Turkish Gambit and had looked forward to a swashbuckling historical tale. Unfortunately I found the book rather dull. There are lots of lengthy conversations, but little in the way of descriptive writing about the country and period. I found it difficult to keep track of who everyone was too. Our heroine Varvara is well defined, but sleuth Erast Fandorin mostly kept himself to himself and it wasn't until the latter stages of the book that I thought the many other men in the cast began to differentiate themselves. The spy plot at the centre of the tale is nicely done, but the advertised romantic element is practically nonexistent. Varvara never seems particularly concerned for her fiance! Turkish Gambit does have interesting moments, however I think I must have missed the point with this book because it is one in a popular series of a dozen Fandorin novels and at times I wasn't sure I would finish even this one!

Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Boris Akunin / Historical fiction / Books from Russia

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