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Sam Eastland / Paul Watkins Books In Order

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Publication Order of Inspector Pekkala Books

as Sam Eastland
Eye of the Red Tsar (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Red Coffin / Shadow Pass (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Archive 17 / Siberian Red (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Red Moth (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Beast in the Red Forest (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Red Icon (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
Berlin Red (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Night Over Day Over Night (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
Calm at Sunset, Calm at Dawn (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
In the Blue Light of African Dreams (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Promise of Light (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
Archangel (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Story of My Disappearance (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Forger (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Thunder God (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Ice Soldier (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Elegant Lie (As: Sam Eastland) (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Stand Before Your God (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Fellowship of Ghosts (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
Midget Submarine Commander: The Life of Godfrey Place VC (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon

Sam Eastland is the pen name used by the popular American author of historical fiction, crime fiction, and fiction novels named Paul Watkins. He is particularly famous for writing down the highly successful Inspector Pekkala series. Along with this, author Sam has also written several nonfiction books and successful standalone novels in his writing career. Throughout his whole life, he has lived equally in The United Kingdom and The United States. During his academic years, author Sam has attended the Dragon School, Yale, Oxford, and Eton University. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the Yale University. Currently, Sam works as a writer in residence as well as as a teacher at The Peddie School. Before that, he taught as a teacher at the Lawrenceville School. Author Sam lives happily along with his wife, Cathy, and a couple of children, named Emma and Oliver, in his house located in Hightown, New Jersey, United States. Sam began his writing career at the age of 16, when he wrote his first novel titled ‘Night Over Day Over Night’. This novel was published in the year 1988. The success of this novel enabled author Sam to continue with his passion for writing. Eventually, the second novel of his career helped him to win the Encore Award in the year 1990 under the category of the Best Second Novel. Author Sam was born on January 1, 1964, as Paul Watkins. After obtaining his bachelor degree in arts from the Yale university, Sam attended the Syracuse University in New York as a University fellow. The Inspector Pekkala series written by him is a detective fiction series, which is set in Stalinist Russia and features the main protagonist in the form of Inspector Pekkala.

The Inspector Pekkala detective series written by author Sam Eastland consists of a total of 6 books published between the years 2010 and 2015. All the novels of this series feature Inspector Pekkala as the primary character. He is described by the author as a Finnish extraction and a former investigator in the high profile case of Tsar Nicholas II. The Bolsheviks had once imprisoned Pekkala, as described by author Sam in the initial novels of the series. Having started his detective work in the year 1929, Inspector Pekkala now works as an investigator in the Soviet Union for Stalin. The first novel of this series was published under the title ‘Eye of the Red Tsar’. This novel was released by the Bantam Books publishing house in the year 2010 and revolves around the happenings in the life of the main protagonist named Inspector Pekkala, along with a few others such as Bandelayev, Grodek, Sister Ania, and Alexel Vassileyev. This riveting suspense first novel by author Sam introduces the character of Inspector Pekkala both as a remarkable detective and a new stellar voice.

Being an outsider, he is required to use all his extraordinary talents for solving a case that can redeem him. In the opening sequence of the plot of the novel, it is shown that, the whole imprisoned family of Tsar Ramanove was awakened just after the midnight of 17 July 1918, and was taken down into the Ipatiev house’s basement. All the members of the family were executed summarily over there and their dead bodies were properly hidden away. Also, the location of the hiding place was kept as a secret by the Soviet State. After a period of 10 years, Pekkala is shown as living in purgatory and banished to the edges of the forest of humanity. Pekkala was previously considered to be the most trusted undercover agent of the Romanov family. He was even considered to be the right hand of the Tsar. But today, he is forced to live as a prisoner in the harsh conditions of the merciless winter of the Soviet Union. It was believed that the strongest of men would vanish in such harsh conditions. But, Pekkala was needed by the state for one final time.

Having known the Romanovs very closely, he is asked to go on his final mission of catching their killers and find out the location of the royal child who was believed to be alive. If he becomes successful in this mission, then it will give a strong position internationally. Pekkala is told that if he is able to find the dead bodies, then he will be set free and will be mentioned in history if he finds the survivor. However, Inspector Pekkala finds himself stuck in the middle of deadly treachery and uneasy alliances. But, he does not stop in trying to find the clues that seemed to have eluded everyone’s attention. With this mission, Pekkala is taken into his past life once again, where he used to reign once. In the mean time, he comes across the woman whom he loved very and lost in rebellious fire, as well as the man who he believed had betrayed him. In the end, Inspector Pekkala uncovers one of the most shocking secrets that shakes his loving land to its core. The novel proved to be a compelling and complex investigator novel, written with crackling suspenses and stunning historical details by author Sam.

The second novel of the Inspector Pekkala series written by author Sam Eastland was released under the title ‘Shadow Pass’. It was published by the Bantam Books publishing house in the year 2011. The beginning of the story shows that a heavy weight killing machine is being developed in the deep wilderness of the Russian countryside secretly. The destructive machine known officially as T-34 was invented by a rogue genius who was killed brutally and was shown as died accidentally. Stalin suspects that he was killed by assassins and therefore, hires Inspector Pekkala once again to solve the murder of the genius. Pekkala was given the permission of not being unanswerable to anyone. And therefore, he was authorized to interrogate anyone. But, he comes across a number of other unanswered questions as he keeps digging deep to find the truth. Inspector Pekkala begins to suspect his higher authorities after wondering why was Commissioner Major Lysenkova carrying out a separate investigation when she was just assigned to the work of the internal affairs. In the end, it appears that Inspector Pekkala was headed towards a collision with the deadliest military secrets of the USSR as well as the secret police of the Soviet Union. If he becomes successful in unraveling the truth about the murder of the rogue genius inventor, then Stalin might lose his power and along with that, Pekkala’s life might also be buried.

Paul Watkins also known by his pen-name Sam Eastland is an American author with a penchant for crime fiction. Paul who is a teacher and writer-in-residence at The Peddie School went to the Dragon School, Eton College and Yale University. As part of his writing, he made an auto-biological account of the years he spent in the Dragon School and Eton. His autobiographical account was dubbed ‘Stand Before Your God’ and was published in 1993 by Faber. Paul who was a university Fellow at Syracuse University, New York got his B.A from Yale. He wrote his very first novel when he was only 16.

During his time at school, the father of a host family in Germany used to tell him of stories of his time as a German soldier in WWII. This let Paul’s imagination come alive and he came up with writings for his first book. While studying in Yale, Paul had to take on working on deep sea fishing boats to make ends meet at school. It was a rather dangerous job from which he took inspiration for one of his novels.

Paul’s first novel, Night Over Day Over Night (1988) follows the journey of Sebastian Westland from his childhood to his trials as an adult. He touches on the innocence Sebastian lost along the way and the past that was washed away from him forever. It also touches on the name that was taken away from him on his journey. The novel delves into Sebastian’s struggle to survive in a war that he has no real grasp of. In his writings, Paul tells of Sebastian’s journey through the rigors of boot camp and into the dreadfulness of war. The story tells of 17-year old Sebastian who leaves the small German town that he calls home and enlists himself during the last year of the war. His drive to join the Waffen SS is more out of boredom than from his patriotism of his nation. He must suffer through the cruelties of training camp before embarking on a devastating journey that will cost him his innocence, his name and his humanity. The story tells of man in the ugly folds of war.

With every turn of the page, Paul’s first novel reveals his amazing writing skills as he compels readers to keep turning the pages in search of what happens next. His knack of capturing readers attention in his very first novel earned him a nomination for the Booker Prize

His talent and impressive imagination spurred him on to his second novel, Calm At Sunset, Calm At Dawn. This novel was published by Houghton Mifflin in 1989. It also won the Encore Award in 1990. In this novel, Paul writes about James Pfeiffer, a 20 year old who got himself expelled from college and found himself operating a broken down scallop trawler, something his family was against. The story which is set on and off the Rhode Island coast takes James into his father’s past where he learns the truth about the man who brought him into the world. A man he both loves and hates. It follows James through the dangers that he learns of in the present as he follows in the footsteps of a father, Russ, who is inexplicably afraid of the sea. The young man faces sobering lessons as he toils laboriously in the company of dangerous men. He must live through treacherous accidents, feel the sting of losing his girlfriend and try to make something of himself. A crew member with psychotic tendencies and another with a hard-drinking problem completes the picture set for James as he strives to make a living.
In 1996, Calm at sunset, calm at dawn was tailored for television and was given the title, ‘Calm at Sunset’. In the televised story, Daniel Petrie directed while Peter Facinelli starred as Jams Pfeiffer. James’s father Russ was acted by Michael Moriarty, Gretchen Mol acted as Emily, his girlfriend while Kate Nelligan acted as his mother. Ernest Troost composed the music for the movie and it got nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award.

Paul’s brilliant writing skills have seen his novels earn critical praise and won him prizes. He won the Best Regional Novel of the year in 1996 and was shortlisted for the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize in 1992 and 1996.

The novels that he wrote under the name Sam Eastland were inspired by his grandfather. Sam writes of detective series set in Russia. He writes of Inspector Pekkala, a former investigator of Tsar Nicholas II who was imprisoned by the Boldsheviks and is now serving as an inspector for Stalin in the Soviet Union. He wrote of ‘Eye of the Red Tsar’ which introduced the detective in a series of novels that showcase his extraordinary talents as a detective. In his first series, Inspector Pekkala must step back into a past where he once reigned to look for clues that will help him solve a case that may redeem him. In his search for clues, he meets the man who betrayed him and the woman he loved and lost in the fires of rebellion. In his search for clues, he uncovers a secret that threatens to shake the land that he loves.

The second book in the series, ‘Shadow Pass’ delves deep in the Russian countryside where a thirty-ton killing machine, known officially as T-34 is undergoing secret development. The genius behind its creation suffers a death that is seen as an accident by the innocent but Stalin, who suspects assassins are everywhere brings in his own detective to help solve the murder. Inspector Pekkala is given free reign by the dictator to go wherever he pleases and interrogate whoever he chooses in a bid to solve the murder that is tantamount to treason. In his search for answers however, the Inspector is enveloped by even more questions. He is about to uncover something that could bury him alongside Stalin and his Communist state for good.

Paul Watkins currently lives in Hightstown, New Jersey with his family. News, readings and books written by Paul can be found on his website

Book Series In Order » Authors » Sam Eastland / Paul Watkins

One Response to “Sam Eastland / Paul Watkins”

  1. John Pilkington: 2 years ago

    Dear Paul
    First of all I would like to say how much I have enjoyed your Pekkala novels.
    I have now started to read the Elegant Lie and while I am enjoying it I have to point out a slight error with regard to the Grand Slam bomb which you say was dropped on Berlin in 1942. In actual fact the bomb was not invented until 1943 and was not used until 1945.


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