Gray Shadows

  • by Julia Gousseva
  • Narrated by Jack de Golia
  • 4 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

They live a life of danger, sacrifice, and bravery. They die saving others but get no fame, no medals, and no solemn ceremonies. They are…
Gray Shadows.
Nikolai, a bodyguard in the prestigious Centurion Personal Protection agency, is injured in the line of duty. While recovering from his injuries, he is assigned to a new client. An easy case, his boss tells him.
Nikolai travels to a small quiet town north of Siberia to provide protection for a young woman, on her dad’s request. At first, both Nikolai and his boss see the assignment as a whim of a rich overprotective father. But the more Nikolai learns about the town, the oil company that the young woman is working for, and the people involved, the more he encounters secrets, suspicious behaviors, lies, and threats. In an unexpected and frightening course of events, Nikolai’s easy assignment becomes one of the toughest and the most dangerous.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

I didn't know who the villian was until the end!

Gray Shadows, written by Julia Gousseva, is subtitled as Book 1 of the Russian Bodyguard series. The main character is Nikolai is a professional bodyguard. He is still finding his place in the new Russia. Before the break up of the USSR, he was in the military. As communism fell and capitalism rose, the military lost power and the criminal element expanded. Nikolai puts his military learned skills to work as a bodyguard for various high profile capitalist or politicians. He works for an agency that assigns the jobs he takes.

Nikolai is living with his girlfriend Olga in a deteriorating relationship. After being injured on the job, he is given a light duty assignment, guarding the daughter of a wealthy man. Nikolai’s charge, Natalya, is a spoiled immature girl who is working as a translator. Her assignment takes her, and Nikolai, to an oil town in Siberia. Once there, his original mission of just keeping Natalya out of trouble, transforms into uncovering sabotage.

I enjoyed the story although Nikolai was the only character I liked. I really did not know who the villain was until the last 25 minutes. The transition from communism to capitalism in Russia was interesting. The connections between the political and criminal power structures was fascinating. I would like to learn more about how the transition from communism to capitalism has affected normal people, whether it made their lives better or worse. Keeping track of the Russian names (both formal and nicknames) was a bit difficult but got easier as the book progressed.

Production values were very good. The volume level was consistent and there were no extraneous noises. The narration was a problem. When Jack de Golia, the narrator, is speaking in his normal voice, it is fine. He has a very nice voice. The sample on Audible is a good example of his normal speaking voice as he has no characters to voice in the sample. The problem I had was his character’s voices and accents. Natalya’s voice is grating. In the very beginning, Nikolai sounds more American than Russian. Later in the story, he has a more pronounced accent. A good example of narrating Russian accents can be found in Paul Michael’s narrations of Sergei Lukyanenko’s Watch series. Unfortunately Mr. de Golia’s accents and character voices were distractions. If he had read the book instead of performing the roles, I feel it would have been a much better audiobook.

Audiobook provided for review by the narrator.

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- AudioBook Reviewer "All of my reviews are on my blog audiobookreviewer dot com"

Perfect for Audio, exciting listen

Fast paced, excitement all the way, you won't want to stop listening to this story.
Wonderful evocative writing, listening to the narrator describing the Siberian landscape is enough to make you shiver with the coldness!
Twists and plots galore, with a great ending.
Jack de Golia was the perfect choice, he has that wonderful noir, gangster edge to his voice, his characterisations, rythymn and tone brought much enjoyment to the listening experience.
This book is perfect for audio
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- bec "I review books and audiobooks, mostly mystery, police procedurals, That's about it!"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-16-2014
  • Publisher: Julia Gousseva