Punishment of a Hunter
Yulia Yakovleva, Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp
1930s Leningrad. As a mood of fear cloaks the city, Investigator Vasily Zaitsev is called on to investigate a series of bizarre and seemingly motiveless murders. In each case, the victim is curiously dressed and posed in extravagantly arranged settings.
At the same time, one by one precious old master paintings are going missing from the Hermitage collection.
As Zaitsev sets about his investigations, he meets with suspicion at practically every turn, and potential witnesses are reluctant to provide information. Soon Zaitsev himself comes under suspicion from the Soviet secret police. The embittered detective must battle increasingly complex political machinations in his dogged quest to uncover the truth.
'This is the most successful reload of the retro-detective genre in Russian fiction since Akunin.' - literratura 'Yakovleva writes with an expert and deep knowledge of the period, and she simply writes well.' - Gorky 'Yakovleva's unobtrusive art entertainment, which introduces paintings of Botticelli, Velazquez, Van Dyck, and Rubens, is one of the true pleasures this novel offers... For Yakovleva, it is more important to understand not how the crimes were performed, but why. The author is interested first and foremost in the mechanism of how the large state evil gives birth to a private, small evil.' - Fontanka 'Yulia Yakovleva leads the hero (as well as the reader) through every circle of Soviet hell, to a bright finale that offers both satisfaction from how the plot wraps up as well as the suggestion of an opening for a sequel.' - Medusa.io 'The novel's main hero is the time period, a time marked by Petersburg's impotency and beauty, steel and blood' - chaskor.ru
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