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The Holy Thief

Korolev Mysteries Book 1

3.69 based on 1480 ratings & 211 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

This debut is a powerful tale set in 1930s Russia ... it's atmospheric, beautifully written and meticulously researched
Irish Examiner
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
William Ryan uses an inspired choice of setting for The Holy Thief, the first of a planned series set in a vividly imagined Stalinist Russia, where the creeping paranoia of a surveillance state blends perfectly with the brutal serial murders his protagonist Captain Korolev is charged with investigating.
Metro - Crime Books of the Year