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As with any plot driven novel, something is needed to set it apart from the many others of its ilk. In this case, it is the "new" Czarist Russia, circa 1865 or so. However, I personally prefer character driven books (Harry Bosh comes to mind...) and so when reading a plot driven book I need a pretty good dose of its intended "uniqueness," which does not happen that well in this case.
Lots of loooonnnggg Russian names which were troublesome to keep organized and I found myself working hard ot maintain interest at the 8 hour mark, but pushed through.
Soid narration and good plot with just enough mid 19th century Russia kept me to the end of a book that I might have given up if it took place in 1980s New York....
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