Monday, January 02, 2017

A Spring Betrayal - Tom Callaghan

A Spring Betrayal
An Akyl Borubaev Investigation
Tom Callaghan


Months ago, in the depths of a Kyrgyzstan winter, Murder Squad Inspector Akyl Borubaev solved a case.  The case involved a police superior, and the daughter of a high-ranking Minister.  After solving the case, Akyl was sent to the place farthest away from the city of Bishkek.  It’s a remote place, almost on the border with China.  It’s a quiet place until a farmer, readying his field, turns up the corpses of seven children.  Each child wears only an orphanage-issued identity bracelet.  

He speaks to a man who runs an orphanage in Bishkek.  Hours later, that man is dead, in an unconvincing suicide.  He left a note for Akyl, with a contact.  The contact is Saltanat, a female security service agent who helped Akyl on his last case.  The two have a common goal now.  Saltanat tells Akyl about a shipment of pornographic movies that was intercepted recently.  The movies involved children who were murdered in the final moments.  The children in the films were wearing the bracelets.  From that slim lead, grim as it is, Akyl and Saltanat embark on a mission to get justice for the dead and protect the living.

This is the second novel in this series, following A KILLING WINTER.  I haven’t read the first installment, and while I will seek it out asap, that was no impediment to my enjoyment of this one.  The setting is quite unique in my experience, but the author did a wonderful job of describing the landscape, both physical and psychological of the country and its peoples.  Akyl comes across as a very real human being; one with a past, who is dealing with the baggage of a lifetime, one who hopes for better from life but doesn’t expect it.  Don't start this one late at night.  The plot never seems to stop moving; you'll be up far later than you intended!  

Rating: 8
October 2016

ISBN# 978-1-681-443782 (hardcover)


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