Advance reader reviews of The Darkening Field by William Ryan.

The Darkening Field

A Novel

By William Ryan

The Darkening Field
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2012,
    352 pages.

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There are currently 26 member reviews
for The Darkening Field
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  • WDH (New Port Richey, FL)


    Action & Intrigue
    The characters were interesting and the plot has lots of twists and turns adding to the suspense. The author has a descriptive writing style that helps envision people and places throughout the book such as the extreme cold and the barren landscape of the steppes. He also does a good job with the dialogue - exposing the intrigue of an environment where you can't say what you really mean and must express yourself carefully to survive. I did feel the wrap-up was a bit long. Overall a good read - I will look for his first book to catch up on the adventures of Alexei Korolev.
  • Trezeline B. (Columbia, MD)


    The Darkening Field
    A very riveting book. Korolev, a Soviet detective is called upon to investigate a murder. There is a possibility that what he discovers could offend or involve higher ups in the Soviet structure in a very dangerous 1937 in the Russian history. This possibility makes for an exciting read.
  • Judith M. (San Diego, CA)


    The Darkening Field
    From the very first I was engrossed in this story. It certainly helped refresh my memory of post revolution Russian history and set it on a more human level. The main character was well developed, and the interaction with the new young female detective will be worth reading in future books.

    Yes, the mystery does seem like a minor part of the bigger political intrigue. But, I for one want to go back and read the first Captain Alexei Korolev book, and will eagerly await the next.
  • Norman G. (Diamond Bar, CA)


    Grows on you
    Book started off as a typical foreign who-dun-it but the characters and the plot expanded nicely. The lead Soviet era investigator took on a full life and the plot had enough twists to keep the interest. Especially well written details about how some factions in The Soviet Union must have viewed their lives add an interesting historical touch. Not a great book but worth the time.
  • Gerald R. (pompton lakes, NJ)


    Martin Cruz Smith wannabee.
    This Russian police procedural, in the style of Martin Cruz Smith, was a bit disappointing. I found the plot to be pretty standard issue for the USSR in the late Thirties. The characters, although numerous, were not fleshed out. I never got the feeling that I knew any of them. Thank goodness there was a list of them at the beginning of the book that I had to keep referring to. I did like the author's way with words and his descriptions of life in Russia just prior to WWII. Captain Alexi Korolev has a way to go to be compared with Arkady Renko.
  • Eileen P. (Pittsford, NY)


    Second in series
    This is the second book in the series featuring Captain Alexei Korolev. My pleasure in reading it was somewhat dimmed by not having read the first book in the series. However, the book captured my imagination, and raised all sorts of interesting questions about the strength of individuals’ loyalties and the compromises that must be made in oppressive societies. It would make a daring, but rewarding book club selection.
  • Daniel A. (Naugatuck, CT)


    The Darkening Field
    I liked this book very much. It had a good plot with lots of twists and turns, and the Russian detective is a fascinating protagonist.

    I like the list of characters at the beginning of the book, just like in an Agatha Christie novel; it helped me with the Russian names.

    Overall, this was a good read, and I can't wait for the next book in the series.
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