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Rasputin's Shadow    by Raymond Khoury order for
Rasputin's Shadow
by Raymond Khoury
Order:  USA  Can
Dutton, 2013 (2013)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Rasputin's Shadow by Raymond Khoury is a fast paced thriller that moves back and forth in time - it tells a modern adrenaline-rush of a tale, while filling in a back story about the infamous Grigory Rasputin - and the man he mentored.

The novel opens in 1916 in the Ural Mountains when an experiment comes to fruition for the charismatic Rasputin aided by a man of science who is horrified by what they have achieved together. Next we meet high school physics teacher Leo Sokolov in modern day New York City. After seeing the news, he acts foolishly, revealing his continued existence to his enemies.

The author also reveals the state of mind of FBI Agent Sean Reilly and his obsessive search for CIA agent Reed Corrigan, the ruthless man who brainwashed Sean's four-year-old son and left him fearful of his own father. Sean feels like he's chasing a ghost. He's willing to cross any lines needed to achieve his goal, but will not involve his partner, Nick Aparo. Sean enlists a hacker to his cause, and makes some progress.

Reilly and Aparo investigate the case of a Russian embassy official who 'had taken a bungee jump out of a sixth-story window in Astoria. Without bothering with a bungee cord.' It was Sokolov's window and both he and his beloved wife are missing. Turns out that more agencies than the FBI are seeking them, and an unlikely alliance develops between the FBI duo and lovely Russian agent Larissa.

The violence is hot and heavy and the body count rises steadily in a whirlwind of action. At the center of the storm is a device (once used by Rasputin) that alters human behavior. The bad guys have a target in mind with 'guaranteed maximum media exposure.' Can Reilly stop them? Of course, we know he will but turn the pages as fast as we can to find out how.

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