The positive reviews from literary sources for this book, as printed on the cover, is not to be believed. It does not make you "hold on tight" because it is certainly not a "roller-coaster plot". "Superlative storytelling" (from the 'Literary Review')? Puh-leeze!
To me, it is the story of a middle-aged detective (certainly not "exciting" as proclaimed by the 'Daily Mirror'), struggling with severing his Russian roots but in this story is reluctantly drawn in to confront issues that he was adamant in walking away from. The underlying current of the story is the distrust of Russian immigrants (to America) of the authorities. A crime has taken place, no one is forthcoming with evidence, parties involved manipulate for their own purposes -- well, it's still all well and good, BUT, the storyline never seems to move beyond this ethos and pathos: two steps forward, one step back -- making this an 'OK, let's get a move on it' kind of read -- which till the end, does not really happen and concludes with a fizzle.