Tuesday, April 26, 2011



       Through the crucible of "crime Fiction", in all its permutations, one is now capable of traversing all manner of once discrete literary tropes.  The new crime writing fraternity encompasses travel writing, social critique, urban and rural explication, and a semi-demented pride of place.
        Into this milieu comes  Brent Ghelfi expanding the traditional crime-thriller boundaries in both exciting and profound ways.  His fourth novel, "The Burning Lake", like the previous three in the "Volk" series, rushes forward like an out of control locomotive.  This literary train speeds down a track of thrills with stops at nuclear disaster, multi-national espionage, Russian-style censorship, and American complicity in the ongoing horrors of modern life.  Inside all of this is a love story involving the central character, Alexei Volkovoy, and the two woman in his life.

          Volkovoy is a morally compromised, and often brutal pawn in a world he never made.  His struggle to stay true to his lover, Valya(an heroic and damaged soul in her own right) is both nerve-wracking and heart-wrenching.  Hovering above them all is "The General", a gray shadow puppet-master with a hand in every racket Russia has to offer.  He is both Volk's protector and exploiter.

          Ghelfi once again brings all these characters to vivid realization. These complex and vital people pulse with a life force that leaps from the page.  In "The Burning Lake", Ghelfi adds a new and unforgettable force of evil in the person of American agent Grayson Stone.  This walking nightmare makes Dick Cheney look like Santa Claus.

Where it all started...
          I cannot recommend Brent Ghelfi's "Volk" series strongly enough. While the books can be enjoyed purely as thrillers, Ghelfi's red-hot pen pushes them to another level.  The horrors that men inflict on their fellow citizens are unrelentingly shown through the prism of "Volks" adventures.  The historical and ethical issues raised in "The Burning Lake" move it into the company of Graham Greene and Martin Cruz Smith.  Buckle up and get aboard; its a ride you do not want to miss.

For those readers who enjoy the "Volk" series I would recommend the following books you may also enjoy.

          "Wolves Eat Dogs" by Martin Cruz Smith
          "Do They Know I'm Running" by David Corbett
          "Power of the Dog" by Don Winslow
          "Iron River" by T. Jefferson Parker

           - Steve Shadow Schwartz

There will be a launch party for The Burning Lake at The Poisoned Pen on April 29th at 7pm. For more information visit the event page at poisonedpen.com 

No comments:

Post a Comment