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Extended Audio Sample Eye of the Red Tsar: A Novel of Suspense Audiobook, by Paul Watkins Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,114 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Paul Watkins, Sam Eastland Narrator: Paul Michael Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2010 ISBN: 9780307735973
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This riveting suspense debut introduces both a stellar new voice and a remarkable detective, an outsider who must use his extraordinary talents to solve the one case that may redeem him.

Shortly after midnight on July 17, 1918, the imprisoned family of Tsar Nicholas Romanov was awakened and led down to the basement of the Ipatiev house. There they were summarily executed. Their bodies were hidden away, the location a secret of the Soviet state.

A decade later, one man lives in purgatory, banished to a forest on the outskirts of humanity. Pekkala was once the most trusted secret agent of the Romanovs, the right-hand man of the tsar himself. Now he is Prisoner 4745-P, living a harsh existence in which even the strongest vanish into the merciless Soviet winter.

But the state needs Pekkala one last time. The man who knew the Romanovs best is given a final mission: catch their killers, locate the royal child rumored to be alive, and give Stalin the international coup he craves. Find the bodies, Pekkala is told, and you will find your freedom. Find the survivor of that bloody night and you will change history.

In a land of uneasy alliances and deadly treachery, pursuing clues that have eluded everyone, Pekkala is thrust into the past where he once reigned. There he will meet the man who betrayed him and the woman he loved and lost in the fires of rebellion—and uncover a secret so shocking that it will shake to its core the land he loves.

With stunning period detail and crackling suspense, Eye of the Red Tsar introduces a complex and compelling investigator in a fiercely intelligent thriller perfect for readers of Gorky ParkChild 44, and City of Thieves.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • A triumph! With a canny eye for detail, Eastland re-creates the tragedy of the Romanov dynasty in this intelligent and relentless thriller. David Hewson
  • “Hair-raising action sequences and spellbinding settings…the lead contender for beach book of the summer.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Eastland’s debut is a gem of a historical mystery, and narrator Paul Michael does it full justice.”

    AudioFile (starred review)

  • “Eastland is succinct yet deeply affecting as he captures truthful emotions in depicting humanity's lust for power and gold.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kelli Stephenson | 2/11/2014

    " Great historical fiction about a time and place I really did not know anything about. Very well written. I am grateful the author put in a real timeline at the end odf the book to fill me in-otherwise I would have had to do the research through Google! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Suzanne | 2/9/2014

    " This is the first in what is promised to be a series by this author, set in Russia after the Communists have ousted the monarchy. Gritty and dark, wonderful descriptions of the countryside. I'll read another by this author. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shauna | 2/6/2014

    " Suspense and mystery without the foul language or gratuitous violence. I enjoyed this novel which is set in Russia about ten years after the assassination of the Romanov family. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lori | 1/28/2014

    " I liked it, but would give it 2 and half stars if I could. It wasn't as good as I expected. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leonard | 1/27/2014

    " Good historical novel based on the execution of the Romanovs. Pakkala is a Finn and the last Tsar's crack detective. In the gulag, Stalin yanks him back, making him a reluctant collaborative of his regime. Pakkala is an interesting character because of his Finnish baqckground. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 John Uzzi | 1/25/2014

    " Actually, I listened to this on audio CD while driving. It kept my attention. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jay | 1/15/2014

    " A great suspense novel set in the early days of post Tsarist Russia. I think this is a great series of books to come. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lissa | 11/8/2013

    " I am so glad that I received this book. Although I am a fan of thrillers, I am not big on historical fiction. Immediately I was drawn to the main character Pekkala. The book is a great read! I cannot wait for book 2! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andy Weston | 9/24/2013

    " a favourite period of history for me, and a good detective story - little wrong with it "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mokieblylk | 8/30/2013

    " i bought this book cause the cover was pretty cool looking, and i am not into suspense or crime mystery novels but this book was very interesting and i wanted to keep reading after every page. I will most certainly be reading more of the 'Pekkala' novels. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paul | 8/21/2013

    " Paul Watkins, writing under the pseudonym of Sam Eastland, is one of the finest prose stylists working in crime fiction today; his virtuoso descriptions and mordant humor make this mystery about the murder of the Romanovs a standout. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Terrie | 3/11/2013

    " pretty good... a lot more could have been done to it, but has potential. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ryan Kohn | 4/2/2012

    " Overall a good detective story. There is something about early 1900's Russia that makes these types of stories that much better. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Claudine | 3/30/2012

    " This book was very well written, many twists and turns, based on history, good effort for first time author. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Juan Brian Doyle | 11/28/2011

    " I really enjoyed this book. The ending was predictable. But the experience enjoyable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 April | 11/24/2011

    " I definitely liked the suspense and SOME historical accuracy about the last Tsar of Russia. However, it's quite unbelievable, but a fun read nonetheless. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jack | 11/12/2011

    " Set in Russia in 1929, this is a story based on the mystery of the demise of the Romanovs. I enjoyed the story and the characters. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Chris | 8/21/2011

    " An interesting premise and period piece brought down by inconsistent attention to detail (and yet the hero, Pekkala, is renowned for his observation!) and a painfully improbable conclusion. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chip | 4/22/2011

    " Eh. Not bad, not great. Perhaps negatively impacted by my distaste for the use of famous historical personages as actual speaking, acting characters in novels, as was the case here. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heather | 4/15/2011

    " Found this to be an interesting story. Very well written. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marvelle | 4/6/2011

    " I like historical fiction. This was good but hard to get fully engaged in the story. Character development needed a bit more work but overall, the story is not bad for a first time novelist. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marilyn | 3/15/2011

    " This is intriguing because the fate of the Romanov Family, the Tsar, his wife, and children have always been something of a mystery. This story is a gristly one, and pretty strong stuff, but it was a suspenseful read. Some profanity. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jack | 2/27/2011

    " Set in Russia in 1929, this is a story based on the mystery of the demise of the Romanovs. I enjoyed the story and the characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joan | 2/27/2011

    " Quick read. Very entertaining, but then again I am a fond of novels set in Russia regardless of time period.

    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mokieblylk | 2/22/2011

    " i bought this book cause the cover was pretty cool looking, and i am not into suspense or crime mystery novels but this book was very interesting and i wanted to keep reading after every page. I will most certainly be reading more of the 'Pekkala' novels. "

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About the Author
Author Paul Watkins

Sam Eastland lives in the United States and the United Kingdom. He is the grandson of a London police detective who served in Scotland Yard’s famous “Ghost Squad” during the 1940s.

About the Narrator

Paul Michael is an Audie Award-winning narrator. He has acted on stage, radio, television, and in feature films in Canada, Great Britain, and the United States. He has had leading roles in series and made-for-television movies and has guest starred in such series as VIP and Alias. He has been nominated for a Canadian Emmy (or Nellie) and has recorded over 150 audiobooks, including the international bestseller The Da Vinci Code, winning more than a dozen AudioFile Earphones Awards.