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Polina Dashkova Books In Order

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Madness Treads Lightly (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Polina Dashkova translated into Daschkowa in German and Dashkova in English is a Russian author best known for writing a series of crime, mystery, historical, and literary fiction. As Russia’s most successful suspense author, Polina Dashkova has often been referred to as the “Russian Crime Queen” by several reviewers. Dashkova has written more than twenty-seven titles which have gone on to sell over fifty million copies over the years, making her one of the most successful Russian authors ever. Her body of works have been so popular, that they have been translated into several languages including English, Spanish, Polish, French, Dutch, Chinese, and German.

Polina Dashkova got her start as an author from a very young age when she would write fairy tales and poems only aged six. Her interest in literature continued as she was an ardent student of the subject in high school, where she wrote an epic poem that came with a complicated plot and lots of characters. Upon her graduation from the Gorky Literature Institute, her poetry teacher told her that she had a future as a novelist that would be famous across the globe. However, it was not until she was thirty-six years old that her dream of authorship came true, when she wrote “Blood of the Unborn”, a thriller. She was lucky not to struggle to find a publisher as she was called by one a day after phoning a few houses she found in the phone directory. The editor would tell her to come with the manuscript and wait two to three months for an answer. She got a call barely a week later asserting that the house would publish the novel. Three months later, the book was published and went on to become wildly popular. She has never looked back since.

Polina is a huge fan of Russian literature and she read and still reads many of the Russian classics. Some of her favorite writers and titles include the likes of “King, Queen, Knave”, “The Eye”, “Laughter in the Dark” by Vladimir, Nabokov, “The Escape and The Key” by Mark Aldanov, “The Shooting Party” by Anton Chekhov, “Crime and Punishment”, “Demons”, and “Brothers Karamazov” by Fyodor Dostoevsky. While she asserts that the classics served as her literary influences, Dashkova set out to write her novels in a format that no one before her had ever tried before, and became very successful with it. With more than 27 works to her name, she has made a name for herself in writing crime capers though her novels could not be anymore different in their themes. About five of her novels are themed on serial killers, two are set in the Second World War and include the repressive Stalin years that interloped with the atrocities of Hitler. She has also written historical, political, and spy thrillers about the Civil War, the Russian Revolution, and the Cold War. Combining real historical events with the present, Dashkova got much of her information in her novels from memoirs and archival documents from several countries around the world to make for incredible narratives.

When Dashkova is not writing her novels she loves to read her Russian classics, travel, watch movies, take a walk in the park or around the city, and laze around chatting and meeting friends. Sometimes she can get nervous or tired and she resorts to knitting and sewing which calms her nerves. She got her skills in sewing and knitting from her time living in the Soviet era, when she had to sew her clothes given that obtaining clothes was quite a huge problem back then.

Polina Dashkova’s most popular works are her detective crime narratives that often tell stories that at the outset seem to be completely unrelated, only to come together in interesting and unexpected endings. Weaving and turning the stories with red herrings and false leads, Dashkova writes hair-raising thrillers in a way only she can do. She twists her stories and makes it unclear just who the villain in the story is or how they may be connected to other characters in the story. The almost perfect insertion of historical details makes for even more fun reads as she goes back into the past to relive some of the most interesting of characters that shaped the times. All in all, Dashkova’s novels are great reads that you can read on the beach or on a train ride during a trip.

“Madness Treads Lightly” is one of Polina Dashkova’s most popular novels that goes back in time to connect it to the present. Fourteen years ago a serial killer had been the terror of a small town in Siberia and now only three people are left that could connect him to present day killings that have reignited the horror. One of the witnesses is dead having fallen victim to the killer a few days past. Lena Polyanska is the archetypal working mother who supports her husband, a high ranking counterintelligence officer, edits a popular magazine, and cares for her two year old child. She has not time for amateur sleuthing, until a friend dies in mysterious circumstances and the police label it a suicide. All the clues she has point to a murder, and she is not going to take the police report lying down. She is determined to prove that her friend never took his own life. Her investigations lead her to a sequence of cold case homicides that stretch back to Stalinist Russia. Things come to a crescendo when another of her friends dies in similar circumstances, leaving Lena fearful for her family’s safety. She needs to do whatever she can to protect them but doing so may put her family and Lena herself into even more danger.

A Russian Orchid published in 2000 is another popular novel by Dashkova. A freak killer has finally been arrested, sentenced, and executed, but now the past seems to be repeating itself with a series of mysterious deaths. Lena the Russian journalist learns that the police have declared her friends murder a suicide leaving her furious. She does not believe for one moment that her friend Mitja could ever contemplate hanging herself, and she is determined to unearth the truth. In her quest to find the truth, she stumbles upon a more than a decade old story about a killer that may be connected to her friend’s killing. Could there have been a fatal judicial error in the case that had somehow executed the wrong man or could this be a copycat?

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