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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (327 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Paul Watkins Narrator: Paul Michael Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The Inspector Pekkala Series Release Date: February 2011 ISBN: 9780307876676
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Deep in the Russian countryside, a thirty-ton killing machine known officially as T-34 is being developed in total secrecy. Its inventor is a rogue genius whose macabre death is considered an accident only by the innocent. Suspecting assassins everywhere, Stalin brings in his best, if least obedient, detective to solve a murder that’s tantamount to treason. Answerable to no one, Inspector Pekkala has the dictator’s permission to go anywhere and interrogate anyone. But the closer Pekkala gets to answers, the more questions he uncovers. First and foremost, why is the state’s most dreaded female operative, Commissar Major Lysenkova, investigating the case when she’s only assigned to internal affairs?

In the shadows of one of history’s most notorious regimes, Pekkala is on a collision course with not only the Soviet secret police but the USSR’s deadliest military secrets. For what he’s about to unearth could put Stalin and his Communist state under for good, and bury Pekkala with them.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A quirky, yet compelling hero, Inspector Pekkala seeks the truth in a nation—Russia—where finding truth can mean death…An outstanding example of an unusual protagonist being used to excellent advantage.”

  • “Formidably researched…Eastland writes with visceral punch.”

    Metro (UK)

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chelsea | 1/6/2014

    " This is a series worth pursuing. I enjoy Inspector Pekkala. The author does an excellent job of portraying him as jaded and compassionate simultaneously. I also like the setting and time period. Fascinating! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 David | 1/3/2014

    " I really enjoy the chaos that our hero inspector Pekkala works amidst. Everyone's had a tough boss they've had to work for at some point, but I don't think it can get much worse than Stalin. Sam Eastland(who ever "he" is) has done a great job of balancing the gritty, minimalist, and brutal conditions of post Tsarist Russia with a variety of well played, entertaining, and empathetic characters. The fact that Pekkela often has to be more careful of his superiors than the criminals who want him out of the way offers twissting plot lines and makes this series a true original. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pamela | 1/3/2014

    " Really enjoy this series...Good plots and historical intrigue. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christopher Mcgurr | 12/25/2013

    " It was good, but the identity of the Killer was easy to pick up on, not the motive though so it was engaging nonetheless. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Robert Brase | 12/23/2013

    " Pekkala, The Emerald Eye, is on the track of a murderer. Eastland hits a home run with the second in the series of books with Inspector Pekkala. The murder mystery seemed a bit shallow as I had the murder solved fairly quickly. However the description of pre WWII Russia was very well detailed and rich with the old, and well justified, Russian paranoia. A definite hit that leaves this reader looking for more from the author. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sean Martin | 12/22/2013

    " Book 2, in which Pekkala investigates the murder of the designed of a new tank. Eastland (Paul Watkins) continues to juggle past and present in a satisfactory way, giving us more backstory about Pekkala's time working for the Tsar. This book - published as The Red Coffin in the UK - finds Eastland finding his stride with this series (which originally had been intended to be a one-off), and I think has a more satisfying ending than book 1, which kind of ran out of steam towards the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura Hoffman Brauman | 12/19/2013

    " Solid historical fiction about Russia and the Soviet Union. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Vanda | 12/15/2013

    " No as good as the first one, but I still enjoyed it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Allan Batchelor | 11/13/2013

    " This is a good follow up with a good storuline that holds you in its grip "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Boris | 7/16/2013

    " Second in the Pekkala series. Perhaps the best of the three. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Martha | 7/5/2013

    " I liked the first one in the series better, but I still enjoyed this one. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Janet Whalen-Jones | 3/21/2013

    " Pekkala is a difficult character to get comfy with, even though we spend most ot the book inside his head. Kirov, his assistant, is the more complex and enjoyable character by far, but the setting in Stalinist Russia is the most interesting part of this series. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mark Ellis | 12/4/2012

    " Superb background and colour and was gripped throughout "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amanda Boehm | 9/8/2012

    " I am really loving this series. I can't wait for the next one because I want to learn more about this character. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elizabeth Barone | 5/19/2012

    " I didn't like this one as much as the first, Eye of the Red Tsar. Please read my full review on my book review blog. (I hate to do that, really, but I already wrote it there, and don't want to write the same review twice.) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jack | 5/15/2012

    " Inspector Pekkala investigates the death of a colonel engaged in a highly secret defence project, with the threat or war imminent. The complexities of life as an official in the 1930s USSR complicate things. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kath | 2/5/2012

    " A VERY good read; definitely worth the wait. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Courtney Livingstone | 10/26/2011

    " I've read this book but it was called the red coffin, maybe its a US /UK thing? loved it, great follow up to the eye of the red tsar ! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kim | 5/1/2011

    " This book helps prove the theory that sequels are never as good as the original. (Sequel to Eye of the Red Tsar) "

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About the Author
Author Paul Watkins

Paul Watkins is the author of Night over Day over Night, Calm at Sunset, Calm at Dawn, Arch Angel, and In the Blue Light of African Dreams. He lives in New Jersey.

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.