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William Ryan Books In Order

Publication Order of Captain Alexei Dimitrevich Korolev Books

The Holy Thief (2010) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Bloody Meadow aka The Darkening Field (2011) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Twelfth Department (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Constant Soldier (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

William Ryan is a renowned author who was born in Ireland. Currently, William Ryan resides in London city with his wife and son. After completing his high school education, William Ryan attended Trinity College, Dublin before being admitted to St. Andrews College. Before he became a full-time writer, William Ryan served as a lawyer. Ryan’s debut novel was titled The Holy Thief was shortlisted for the Novel of the year for the Theakston’s Crime Awards, The CWA John Creasy Award, and a Barry Awards. The Bloody Meadow is William Ryan’s second novel and was shortlisted for the novel of the year during the Ireland AM Crime Awards. His other novel, The Twelfth Crime was also shortlisted for a CWA Award and was also named as the novel of the year by the Guardian.

William Ryan Best Books

The Holy Thief

The Holy Thief is one of the best books by William Ryan. It is the first installment in the Captain Alexei Korolev book series. The year is 1936 and Korolev is a rising star within Moscow Militia, Criminal Investigation Division. In the initial pages of the book, Korolev is called to a crime scene, which was located within a community center that used to serve as a church before. Upon arrival, Korolev notices that there was a young woman who was lying on the floor. Upon close examination of the body, Korolev notices that the woman was tortured first before being killed. Korolev is exceedingly shocked by the brutality of the crime and also by the fact that it was committed within the walls of a former church. Despite the fact that Korolev is a devoted member of the newly formed Soviet Union, he still has some religious inclinations and even has a bible hidden beneath the floors of his exceedingly small bedroom.

As he conducts his investigation, Alexei eventually discovers that the lady who was killed was not only an American citizen, but she was also a nun as well. Due to the political inclination of the crime committed, one Colonel Gregorin decides to take an interest. It does not take long before Alexei discovers that there was something exceedingly deep and sinister taking place. Alexei is expected to report everything that he learns to Col. Gregorin, but the flow of information as expected is a one street way. From the look of things Col. Gregorin is in possession of information that could prove exceedingly useful to the investigation, however, he decides to hold back the information. Gregorin’s main reason is that he is protecting the state as well as its secrets. Alexei Korolev is more than determined to do everything that he can to solve the crime. Even if it means, overstepping the limits on his activities.

Korolev becomes entangled in the elements of the Moscow Underworld, and it does not take long before he puts himself at a great political and physical risk. With that said, The Holy Thief is a well-told story, though the readers are going to see what exactly is going on very early in the book. Nonetheless, what is fascinating about this book, is the character that William Ryan has created, Alexei Korolev. Korolev is a veteran of World War I. As a devoted citizen, Korolev believes that despite all the challenges that his country and citizens are facing, Soviet Union is soon expected to be a model to the world. Korolev is more than willing to accept the fact that sacrifices have to be made for this goal to be attained.

The Darkening Field

The Darkening Field is the second book in the William Ryan book series. In this installment, we meet once again with the Stalinist Russia militia, Captain Alexei Korolev. One night Colonel Rodinov, who works for the Soviet Secret police, summons Captain Korolev. Due to the fact that Korolev had no idea why he was being summoned by Captain Korolev, he assumes he is going to be arrested, and thus he begins to pack his belongings. Once he arrives at the Captain’s office, he is briefed about a case Colonel Rodinov asks Korolev to look into the murder of a young film assistant, Maria Lenskya. Maria was the mistress to one of the high-ranking officials in Ukraine. The woman had been killed while she was working on a project titled, The Bloody Meadows. The Bloody Meadow was a communist propaganda movie, which was being shot next to the black sea. Immediately, Korolev establishes that the woman was killed. To work on this case, Korolev has found his way through the deceitfulness of officialdom as wells the honor among thieves.

When compared with the first book, the Darkening Field had fewer descriptions of violence. Nonetheless, there was a pervading sense of menace throughout the book. The decision by the author to set this novel in Ukraine and Moscow gave it an exceedingly interesting perspective. As usual, Korolev continues to be an exceedingly interesting character. Once more the readers get to see the glimpses of the conflict between the vestiges of the defunct orthodox church and the Communist atheism. With that said, the author has managed to create a likable and believable character who is very human. This cracking mystery has a great setting. It is tense with danger, marvelous characters, and an exhilarating conclusion.

The Constant Soldier

The Constant Soldier is a standalone novel that has been set in an exceedingly small village in German Occupied Poland. In this book, we are introduced to a soldier by the name, Paul Brandt, who is traveling back home from the Eastern End. Paul is considered to be a hero. However, he is missing an arm and has a burnt face. Ever since he left, his home village has changed completely. The village is dominated by a rest hut, which happens to be a luxurious villa that is used by the Nazi officers who serve at a nearby concentration camp. Once he arrives, Paul decides to take a job at the camp. His family is outraged by the fact that he took a job there. However, as the story unfolds, the reader gets to understand some of the main reasons, why Paul had to take the job. One of the women, who is held at the hut as a slave is a woman that he knows.

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