THE ROMANOV PROPHECY by STEVE BERRY.
Atlanta lawyer Miles Lord is thrilled to be in Moscow for such a momentous event: After the fall of Communism and a succession of weak governments, the Russian people have voted to bring back the Tsar, who will be chosen from among the distant relatives of Nicholas II. Miles is assigned to perform a background check on one of the candidates, but research becomes the least of his concerns when he is nearly killed by gunmen on a city plaza. Suddenly Miles is racing across continents, his only guide a cryptic utterance of Rasputin's implying that the infamous 1918 massacre of the Romanov family was not the last chapter in their story. The prophecy's implications are earth-shattering - not only for the future of the tsar and mother Russia, but also for Miles himself.
.... From the outer back cover.
FIRST SENTENCE (from the prologue): Alexander, Empress of all Russia, turned from her bedside vigil as the door swung open, the first time in hours her gaze had been diverted from the pitiful child lying prone beneath the sheets.
MEMORABLE MOMENT: A great lover of Russian poetry. One of Radishchev's verses read: God's angels shall proclaim Heaven's triumph with three peals of Hell's Bell. Once for the Father, once for the Son, a final for the Holy Virgin.
What to say without giving too much of the plot away?
I, like many of you, am aware of the story of the last Tsar of Russia and all the controversy surrounding his and his family's execution.. This is a story of what happens when the people of present day Russia decide to elect a new Tsar.
The Romanov Prophecy is a novel of modern Russia but with a good dose of the story of the last Tsar thrown in for good measure. A winning combination, this is one of the best books I have read this year.
Spanning two time zones as well as several countries, this is a thrilling thriller which easily manages to combine a fascinating history with a present day twist. Seamlessly combining fact with fiction, it is fast paced, full of drama and filled with exciting characters.
Billed by the Florida Times-Union as "Berry pulls a Dan Brown", I actually think this story is better than any offering by Brown. Much more intelligent and plausible, Steve Berry manages to take a well known reality and ask 'but what would happen if ....?'
I shall certainly be on the lookout for Berry's other books - THE TEMPLAR LEGACY and, THE THIRD SECRET - you can't get a better recommendation than that.
The Romanov Prophecy was ex-library stock.