" "I began to worry that the line between the hunted and the hunter might often become blurred"- Inspector Boris Sukurev" "(page 46)
Now that was a very interesting statement that I found in another dark story that I just finished up the other night. This book is called "Russian Wolves" by Jim Musgrave. Published by Bookbooters Press (October 2002). I won this one from the author in a give-away on booklikes.com.
Set in Russia, this riveting story traces the development of a serial killer and how one man's desire to get his family to America causes him to use this killer as a paid assassin for the Russian mafia. Can CIA agent Dr. Abigail Soloman convince her government of the horrifying discovery she has made?
This book has all the things make you coward under the covers, jump at every thing that goes bump in the night and at that moment ... you can't remember if you locked all the doors and windows. It's beyond the realm of dark but how does someone write darker that dark? But I know that is the only way to describe it. It grabs you by the throat and that little pulse in your neck grows louder and louder as your life is slipping away. Mr. Jim writes in a style that has me think of a very demented Stephen King mashed up with the likes of Jack the Ripper on the literary world.
In my opinion the story line is dark, demented and dangerously addicting to be a eyes wide open read. The blood lust starts at a fast pace frenzy that sent shivers down my spine but I could not put it down and was reading so fast that my e-reader had problems keeping up with me. The development of the characters was so vivid that I could see in front of me. I could almost smell the sweat of desperation of famine as it opens up in Southern Ukraine in February 1932, in the village that hasn't seen food for 6 weeks in cold of the Russian air, and the despair of those who live there. Here's a word to think about - cannibalism.
Enter Andrei Romanovich Chikatilo - a loyal man to the cause who follows the Communist Party Rules to the bitter end. We walk along with him has his mental break. The man who has a job as a teacher, is a patriot, partisan, husband to Pauline, who is expecting their 3rd child; and there is one more thing that this mild mannered father is above all else ... a serial killer.
We are taken in the dark mind of this man who thoughts are so demented it's like a train wreck that has you frozen right that on the tracks as the 2 behemoths are barreling down on you. Your brain sees it but you just can't look or get away no matter how hard you try.
Now we can add it government corruption that goes all the way up to the Attorney General's Office, the Russian Mafia, and people won't be missed and things really get interesting. But let us add an element we that we all know racism. That becomes a bone of contention between Commander Kanowsky and a description provided by the Commander as "an Ingus college boy" Inspector Boris Aukurev. As you can guess "Ingus" is not a kind word.
The inspector is a man who has the ability to get inside the criminal brain. We can't help to root for him throughout the book as the hunt begins with brick walls at every turn. We can see how it takes over is the Inspector's life. This chase continues for 12 years against all odds. The suspense and the terror of the hunt and the hunt has my heart beating fast like I, too; is running against the darkest that is surrounding us. It has me thinking about that line from the poem by Robert Frost, Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening