Student Zena Dahl, the daughter of a Swedish millionaire, has gone missing in St Petersburg (or Piter as the city is colloquially known) after a night out with a friend. Captain Natalya Ivanova is assigned the case, making a change for Natalya from her usual fare of domestic violence work, but, because of the family’s wealth, there’s pressure for a quick result. But as she investigates she discovers that the case is not as straightforward as it may seem. Dark, violent and insightful, Motherland twists and turns to a satisfyingly dramatic conclusion.
Bringing modern day St Petersburg to life, with amazing narrative, Motherland puts you right in the heart of Putin’s Russia. Featuring every possible ‘faction’ you could imagine from the criminal Mafia, to the political FSB and the very public ‘legitimate’ Oligarchs of modern day, Motherland is a fascinating read. Whilst it did take me one or two attempts to get into the story, Once I did I loved it, and I definitely say that, once you have familiarised yourself with names etc, in the the beginning it will then keep you up all night because you want to see how tenacious Captain Natalya Ivanova is going to navigate her working obstacles, home life issues, and get to the bottom of a case far from as straightforward as it would appear.
I my opinion, if you didn’t know, you wouldn’t class this as a debut novel because it is so well written, and I’m certainly looking forward to more from Natalya….
G.D. Abson was born in County Durham (England) and grew up on army bases in Germany and Singapore before returning to the North-East. He is the author of Motherland, the first in a series featuring Senior Investigator Natalya Ivanova, which was shortlisted for a Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger.