Book 5 of Lust, Money & Murder
The Undercover Hunt For An International Criminal
Title: On Russian Soil
Subtitle: The Undercover Hunt For An International Criminal
Author: Mike Wells
Genre: Crime, Thriller, Suspense, Espionage
Year of Publication: 2014
Series: Lust, Money & Murder
Rating: 5/5 stars
Warning: Lust Money & Murder is a book series where every book is the sequel to the previous one. If you haven’t read the book series and you are interested in doing so, please return to my review after finishing the previous book because this article contains spoilers from it!
After mastermind Georgio Cattoretti succeeds in stealing the entire collection of Picasso paintings from Hermitage Museum, the Russian Government surprisingly asks the United States “to send someone from the FBI Art Crime Team over to help them on the case” (Loc. 4974, Book 4). And who is the most suitable person to go on an undercover mission to St. Petersburg, to catch the international criminal? Elaine Brogan, of course.
However, her biggest challenges are: she has to pose as an FBI Art Crime detective, then she must catch Cattoretti before the Russian police does and she also needs to figure out a plan “to lure him out of Russia (…) or trick him in crossing the border into Latvia or Lithuania or Estonia” (Loc. 43) from where he can be extradited to the U.S. authorities and judged for his crimes. Elaine is not thrilled about her mission because of her lack of knowledge in art crime and also for the way Cattoretti treated her in the past, including his attempt to kill her. But in the end, she is left with no other choice but to obey the orders of her superior. How will she accomplish her complex assignment with all the risks it implies? And another important aspect is this: how will she complete her undercover mission without raising suspicions from Russian art crime expert, Inspector Sergei Amperov and his team?
I won’t actually give you too many details because this book is very well-built and the interesting journey is more enjoyable when you don’t know what to expect from this part of the series. The narration resembles a mystery book, though the reader knows from the start who committed the art heist. The deductions regarding the heist, the criminal’s intentions, the identity of the accomplices who helped him and the plan to catch the Italian mastermind and to bring back the priceless paintings safe and sound are the main parts of the story. I think that this particular book resembles a modern Sherlock investigation with high-tech surveillance gadgets, while the action is placed on Russian soil mixed with local culture and mentality. I also love the way the author describes the gloomy winter weather and the majestic historic buildings of St. Petersburg, not to mention the lavish Hermitages Museum itself.
This is all I have to say about On Russian Soil. Until next time!