The Russian Singer

The Russian Singer

by Leif Davidsen

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Davidsen's ( The Sardine Deception ) new thriller is a smart mix of mystery and romance. Jack Anderson, a Danish diplomat in pre-Gorbachev Moscow, is determined to discover the truth behind the death of his secretary Sonia, who is found in her bathtub, her wrists slit; on her bed lies the corpse of a sadomasochistic prostitute. Soviet officials are content to call it a murder-suicide, so Jack, sniffing the possibility of a coverup, resorts to illegal tactics. Adding to the puzzle is the revelation that Sonia had been smuggling porno tapes into Moscow, to be sold on the black market. Becoming deeply enmeshed in the seamy underbelly of the city, Jack meets the dead prostitute's sister--the exotic, enigmatic Lilli, a lounge singer. She inadvertently leads him into a trap, getting him fired just when he's close to exposing a connection between Sonia and an ambitious ministerial counselor also at the Danish embassy. Lilli teaches Jack the sobering lesson of corruption: that everyone is for sale, even those in love. Their inevitable split and unrealistic reunion, however, indicate a sudden lack of authorial innovation which undermines an otherwise solid novel. (Aug.)
Library Journal - Library Journal
This spy thriller is set in Moscow just before and after Gorbachev ascends to power. Jack Andersen, a Danish diplomat, becomes involved in an investigation into the murder of a secretary. He gradually uncovers evidence that leads him into the Soviet underworld of prostitution, pornography, graft, and corruption. ``The Russian Singer,'' Lilli Smuul, is the only person Jack encounters who seems untouched by this corruption. Written by a Danish journalist who spent four years in Moscow, this novel is not very different from standard American thrillers. It depicts the authoritarianism and cruelty of Russian life. It also shows the confusion and mistrust of the Russian people under perestroika. The characters are drawn from the diplomatic community, and they all resemble Americans. Jack is even described as ``a Danish version of Paul Newman.'' Entertaining reading for general readers.-- Kathy Armendt Sorci, IIT Research Inst . , Annapolis, Md.

Product Details

Random House Publishing Group
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st American ed

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >