My rating: 4 of 5 stars
December 1938. Moscow. Josef Stalin has lost some gold. He is not a happy man. He asks his henchman Beria to track it down.
September 1940. London. Above the city the Battle of Britain rages and the bombs rain down. On the streets below, DCI Frank Merlin and his officers investigate the sudden disappearance of Polish RAF pilot Ziggy Kilinski while also battling an epidemic of looting unleashed by the chaos and destruction of the Blitz.
Kilinski’s fellow pilots, a disgraced Cambridge don, Stalin’s spies in London, members of the Polish government in exile and a ruthless Russian gangster are amongst those caught up in Merlin’s enquiries. Sweeping from Stalin’s Russia to Civil War Spain, from Aztec Mexico to pre-war Poland, and from Hitler’s Berlin to Churchill’s London a compelling story of treasure, grand larceny, treachery, torture and murder unfolds. Eventually as Hitler reluctantly accepts that the defiance of the RAF has destroyed his chances of invasion for the moment, a violent shoot-out in Hampstead leads Merlin to the final truth...and Stalin to his gold.
This isn't really the type of book I usually go after. I prefer more adventure, racing across the globe, finding lost treasure. In this book they are trying to find some lost gold, just not some ancient treasure, well it is from the beginning ancient, but that’s beside the point. Right now it's Stalin’s gold that someone has managed to take and Stalin wants it back and when we want something…he really does everything to get it back. Throw in the British police force and some bad Russian villains and of course the people that have the gold then you have the book Stalin’s Gold.
Stalin’s Gold is Mark Ellis second book and the sequel to Princes Gate which I haven’t read and sometimes you feel like you missing something when you jump in and read a book in a series but I had no problem getting into the story. There were some hints about the first book but it didn’t bother me at all. Frank Merlin is the main character in this book and I got Foyle's War (tv-show) vibes about him. For just like Foyles he is a police that is denied to serve in the war because they need him in the force which didn't make him happy. He's an ordinary man, widower, that is dating a Polish girl and because of that, he gets involved in the case when a friend to her brother disappears.
It's very well written, the only problem I had from time to time was keeping track of all the characters which got a little tougher because of all the Russian and Polish name. It’s a bit hard to read a book when you suddenly see a name you can’t place. But in the end, it got clearer and the book wrapped up nicely and I will probably in the future both read more books by Mark Ellis and read the first one about Frank Merlin.
I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!