Released on 03 September 2010.

#1 in series
Read extract  

The Holy Thief

Korolev Mysteries Book 1

3.69 based on 1526 ratings & 214 reviews on Goodreads.com

2011 Long-listed

Waverton Good Read Award

2011 Short-listed

Theakstons Old Peculiar Crime Novel of the Year Award

2010 Short-listed

CWA New Blood Dagger

Synopsis

As Stalin's Great Terror begins, a killer strikes . . .

Captain Alexei Dimitrevich Korolev of the Criminal Investigation Division of the Moscow Militia, is asked to investigate. But when he discovers that the victim is an American citizen, the NKVD - the most feared organisation in Russia - becomes involved.

As more bodies are discovered and the pressure from above builds, Korolev begins to question who he can trust; and who, in this Russia where fear, uncertainty and hunger prevails, are the real criminals. Soon, Korolev will find not only his moral and political ideals threatened, but also his life . . .

Shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger, the Theakston's Crime Novel of the Year and the Irish Fiction Award.

In the media

Ryan's first detective novel confidently re-creates a paranoid society where mutual suspicion is the norm . . . The Holy Thief is an absorbing and assured debut
Sunday Times
A first novel written with all the narrative assurance of someone who'd been perfecting his art for years. A thriller set amid the paranoia of 1930s Moscow, it was persuasive in all its local and historical details, told its tense story with style and aplomb and had an engagingly troubled hero
Irish Independent
A first-rate crime novel: a genuinely memorable detective, powerful story and a seamlessly convincing setting. William Ryan is the real thing.
A.L. Kennedy