VODKA NEAT – Anna Blundy
Condorena offers a review of a series that is very different from the norm.
Faith Zanetti is returning to Moscow after a hiatus of fifteen years. It is far from her first visit. When she first came here it
She returned to marry Dimitri who was a charmer and she was very happy with him and her life in Russia. But when she was nineteen there was a brutal double murder of a man and woman in the apartment next to them and by then she had realized that she could not make a life in Russia and she left to later become an investigative journalist and war correspondent.
After a mental breakdown coming after the death of her mother she is sent back to Moscow away from
the front lines and is immediately picked up by the Russian authorities and accused by of the crime in the next-door apartment that happened fifteen years before. She is told that her husband has been in the psychiatric prison Oryol for many years because he confessed to the crime but that he has now recanted and has blamed her, saying that he only confessed to protect her at the time.
Faith travels the distance to the desolate area where Oryol is located and finds that not only if the man in the prison not her husband, he is Adrian, an American who has been masquerading as a Russian and has been forced by Dimitri to confess to this crime in order to protect his family and he tells her Dimitri is dead.
He begs for Faith’s help. Before the day is over Adrian is dead, supposedly by his own
hand. Faith knows that this is impossible and that the truth must something she has not wanted to see before. Faith now suspects she never really knew Dimitri; he has become a shadowy figure in her mind. She does believe though that Dimitri is alive and must be found if she is to be found innocent of murder.
Anna Blundy describes
a very beautiful and different Russia. She evokes the sentiments of hope that many of the people had for a new beginning and a different way of life that ended in a great disappointment. Despite the lack of material goods and services there were still upbeat moments in people’s lives at the Bolshoi, at the Ukraine Hotel and at Gorky Park. Blundy also introduces the reader to the vastness of Russia as well as the bleakness that is present in many of the areas that is reflected in the soul of the inhabitants. This is the third in her Faith Zanetti series.
The suspense builds slowly as the characters as well as Russia is revealed and Zanetti is intrepid as she moves toward the point where her past catches up with her and bites her.