“ Genre: Crime / Thriller / Author: Michael Bar-Zohar / Edition: Reprint / Mass Market Paperback / Book is published 1995-04 by Gold Medal „
Hello there. Today, I am going to endeavour to do my very first book review. I am a bit nervous, but here we go . . .
---- My own bias when it comes to reading ----
I would like to inform the reader of my book reviews about my reading preferences, because I would like to believe that, by doing this, I can, somehow, help such a one to make a more informed decision as to the "worth" of the specific book I review.
Well, I love to read thrillers . . . The plot must, however, be good, and it must be believable, the characters must be real (in the sense of . . . believable) and the author's writing style needs to free flowing; not forced at all. If I, at all, struggle to read a book, I will put it down, almost immediately, thriller or no thriller.
I will not even touch a book which deals with any kind of magic, like the Harry Potter books, for example, and will never read a fictional book on a subject unrelated to the world we live in, like Sci Fi, for example. I might read a book on History (Scriptural and European, mostly) once in a blue moon, and, at most, perhaps, only page through books on, whatever, other topic. I trust that the above will, at least, be somewhat helpful to you who will read my book reviews.
---- The Author ----
Michael Bar-Zohar is an award winning author of 11 books, including Enigma, which was made into a film starring Martin Sheen and Derek Jacobi. He is a Jew who lives in Tel Aviv, Israel, with his wife and son. His books are easy to read and his writing style completely free flowing.
---- The story ----
2 brothers . . . born in Stalin's Russia. The eldest, Alexander Gordon, is smuggled out of Russia to America, in the nick of time, just before his step father is sent to a Siberian maximum security camp, where he soon dies. Alexander grows up and is shaped by everything American, while his half brother, Dimitri Morozov, grows up in the most miserable of circumstances, in a Leningrad orphanage.
As grown ups the brothers meet for the first time in Paris. Alexander is on the very verge of becoming one of the CIA's top agents, while Dimitri is now well on his way to becoming the head of one of the KGB's most secretive international departments. Alexander is free, while Dimitri is an extremely bitter man whose entire life revolves around international terrorism, mayhem and death. Soon the two brothers find themselves in the middle of the Cold War, between their respective countries, while on another, personal, level, they are trying to literally destroy one another.
The book inexorably moves towards its climax in a non-descript place called Pecora, which is situated in the arctic circle, deep within the dark frozen depths of Russia's military zone. It is here that Dimitri waits for Alexander, and he knows for sure that his brother will come . . . Dimitri holds all the cards, has all the advantage, because no one can/will enter this frozen hell hole, where even Russian military traffic is non existent, unnoticed.
The climax is exciting, sudden and unexpected . . .
---- My thoughts on the book ----
A mere average author will never be able to write a book of this calibre. Michael Bar-Zohar is a master story teller. The way in which he describes the inner workings of the notorious KGB almost makes the reader wonder how on earth he can know this stuff without having had first hand experience; it is as chilling as the Russian winter . . . I am definitely going to read all his other books . . . I remember that I have already read Enigma; can not remember the story any more, however.
I recommend "Brothers" to young and old alike. Once you start this spy thriller, you will not want to put it down before you have read the very last page.
---- Book details ----
Published by Ballantine Books
Available from www.amazon.co.uk
Price, new (hardcover) - 23.25 British Pounds