It is 1939. The world stands on the brink of Armageddon. In the Soviet Union, years of revolution, fear and persecution have left the country unprepared to face the onslaught of Nazi Germany. For the coming battles, Stalin has placed his hopes on a 30-ton steel monster, known to its inventors as the T-34 tank, and, the ‘Red Coffin’ to those men who will soon be using it. But the design is not yet complete. And when Colonel Nagorski, the weapon’s secretive and eccentric architect, is found murdered, Stalin sends for Pekkala, his most trusted investigator. Stalin is convinced that a sinister group calling itself the White Guild, made up of former soldiers of the Tsar, intend to bring about a German invasion before the Red Coffin is ready. While Soviet engineers struggle to complete the design of the tank, Pekkala must track down the White Guild and expose their plans to propel Germany and Russia into conflict. (Taken from Amazon)
This is the sequel to Eye of the Red Tsar but I don’t feel that you have to read the first books in order to understand the second. However if you are planning on reading the first book it would be a good idea to read it first as the ending of the first book is given away by this book. This book provides a catch up and covers all the main elements of the plot that happen in the first book.
The reader was given more detail about Inspector Pekkala and his history with the Tsar family and this helps to explain why he is the way he is. This book also provides flashbacks throughout that helps understand more about his character.
I loved the first three quarters of the book but the ending was disappointing to me and not what I thought was going to happen. However the novel is fast paced thriller full of twists and turns that will keep the reader hooked till the end. This book is definitely one of my must reads for 2011.