Sunday, 6 March 2011

Archangel - book review

by Robert Harris

After a shaky start with Robert Harris' Lustrum I find myself really getting into his work.

Pillars of the Earth was great and when I saw Archangel on my brother in law's bookshelf I jumped at the chance to borrow it.

It has a slightly stumbling and unstructured start which worried me, but then the book really got into its stride and I was captivated. It's a tale of mystery and intrigue with Kelso, the main character, seeking the whereabouts of Stalin's last leather bound notebook. After plunging into Moscow's underworld Kelso tracked down the book only to discover that instead of providing an insight into Stalin's last days it offered a route map to a much more tangible legacy.

Kelso, a historian specialising in post Cold War Russia, links up with a TV reporter and strikes off to Archangel to track down the truth behind the book. The book sweeps you into a gripping finale, with the storyline as chilling as the tundra they has to traverse.  

In the final analysis, far from being the puppeteer, Kelso is the man having his strings pulled. All intriguing and believable. The final page contains a neat twist in the take, but one which rounds off the story rather than undermining the whole plot.

All in all a quality read - you won't be disappointed.

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