A book blog about Russia in English-language fiction

Tag: Jersey

The Hour of the Lily by John Kruse (1987) – part one

Part two of this review is here

John Kruse wrote three novels about the Soviet Union in the decade from 1981. His first — Red Omega (1981)— is the best and most successful, as evidenced by the fact that it has been made available as an ebook.

So, if Red Omega is the best of Kruse’s three novels, why turn, in Russia in Fiction’s first review of a Kruse work, to his second book, the somewhat sprawling 1987 novel The Hour of the Lily?

Afghanistan is the reason. The Hour of the Lily has a setting that is largely neglected in Western novels and thrillers, namely, the almost decade long Soviet war in Afghanistan (1979-1989).

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Confessional by Jack Higgins (1985)

Jack Higgins is a successful and prolific thriller writer. Most known for his bestselling The Eagle Has Landed (1975), he is the author of over 80 novels since his first in 1959.

Somehow having never read Higgins, I picked up Confessional because I was aware of his standing, wanted to read something by him, but also wanted to feed my ‘Russia in fiction’ predilection.

And from the Russia-in-fiction perspective it was a bit of a treat to come straight in, chapter one, to the intriguing notion of the “live like it’s the West” spy school.

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