Zahradnik’s knowledge of New York quickly immerses the reader in this deftly plotted thriller. Also fascinating: Grigg discovers that these bone discs were used by bootleggers in the Soviet Union to play banned records, though he has no idea of the importance of this disc or how it’s connected to the life his father left behind. As Zahradnik draws a contrast between Grigg’s father’s restrictive life in Leningrad and the freedoms he enjoyed in the U.S., Grigg realizes how little he knew about the man, and how much is lost forever.
Grigg’s quest to find the murderer and keep himself and Katia alive also is a quest for closure—and for finding his place in the world. As the mystery ramps up and Grigg discovers some flash drives and plenty of cash hidden in a shipping container, he tries to fit the pieces together. Just who has been tailing the duo, and are Russians secret service agents (SVR) involved? Can they trust the FBI agents who bring them in for questioning? The twisty suspense and the certainty that no one is as they appear keeps the pages turning.
Takeaway: A twisty, emotionally resonant thriller sends a son investigating his Russian father’s death and life.
Great for fans of: Joseph Koenig’s Little Odessa, Ben Coes’s The Russian.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A