The Holy Thief

  • by William Ryan
  • Narrated by Sean Barrett
  • 10 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

It's Moscow, 1936 and Stalin's Great Terror is beginning.
In a deconsecrated Church, a young woman is found dead, her mutilated body displayed on the altar for all to see. Captain Alexei Dimitrevich Korolev of the Criminal Investigation Division of the Moscow Militia, is asked to investigate. But when he discovers that the victim is an American citizen, the NKVD - the most feared organisation in Russia - becomes involved.
As more bodies are discovered and the pressure from above builds, Korolev begins to question who he can trust; and who, in this Russia where fear, uncertainty and hunger prevails, are the real criminals. Soon, Korolev will find not only his moral and political ideals threatened, but also his life....

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Loyalty vs Greed vs Corruption

What did you like most about The Holy Thief?

To shred a good story into pieces would be an abuse so there was no one bit but an enthralling wholeness to it.


What was one of the most memorable moments of The Holy Thief?

The final interrogation


Have you listened to any of Sean Barrett’s other performances? How does this one compare?

I have listened to most of Sean Barratt's readings and along with Geoff Harding's works they are all utterly splendid. He has a voices for characters that resonate with authority and that give a sense gravitas to moments of tension.


Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Laugh or cry ... oh please this was a story set in Stalin's Russia where people disappeared, where petty officials could denounce you, where a 1984 atmosphere and a midnight knock could make you and your family disappear. No laughs, no crying but a need to pay attention and form pictures of the greyness of it all.


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- Mr Rupert Seymour

intelligent and moving

knowing nothing about the Russian secret police of the 1930's, I nevertheless found the story intriguing and accessible.

The characters were well developed and I cared about them. I recommend this book and the excellent audible reader.
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- Grumpy Scot

Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-04-2014
  • Publisher: Pan Macmillan Publishers Ltd