This was the second novel that I’ve read from C Michael Forsyth involving Houdini and a historical figure (the other being Sir Arthur Conan Doyle) and I absolutely loved it. Forsyth has a great formula of mixing Harry Houdini with a famous person, putting them into an adventure, and spinning a fun yarn, and this novel followed that formula quite well.
I have to admit that I did not know a whole lot about Rasputin prior to reading this novel. I generally knew that he was a Machiavellian character who was involved with the Russian aristocracy, but after reading this novel I came to the realization that he was a total monster. He was an evil, power hungry person who manipulated people for his own nefarious purposes. The novel is an adventure story with lots of twists and turns. There’s also a fair bit of drama and political intrigue. One of the things I really enjoyed was how Forsyth incorporated historical events and characters into his tale. Tsar Nicholas, Lenin, and even Joseph Stalin figure heavily into the story. Houdini is a character that’s easy to root for, and this time his wife, Bess, plays a major role in the story as well.
If you haven’t read C Michael Forsyth yet you are missing out. This is a great starting point and a novel that I would highly recommend.