"I am ready to meet my maker. Whether my maker is prepared to meet me is another matter."
-Winston Churchill

Saturday, February 19, 2011

**** The People's Will by Eric Berbig

The People's Will by Eric Berbig is a Historical Suspense,  and my first endeavor into historical anything.  As my first experience in Historical Fiction,  I must say that I enjoyed it a lot.Set in Russia,  I did have a bit of a time trying to pronounce a lot of the names,  but the plot of the story was great.

Revolutionists,  better known as Nihilists,  are trying to take back the people's rights.  The Tsar through the years has taken away privleges such as education,  how they live and many other rights.

As these Revolutionists attempt to prove a point,  the story starts out with murder.  Nikolai,  Irina,  Alexei,  Fyodor and Mikhail are the main group members following Zhelyabov's group called "The People's Will".   As they try to show the Tsar that they won't stand for all the rules and limited rights granted to the people,  they have planned their plight well.  Following Deputy Finance Minister Golovnin's every move,  they find him at a theater and drop a bomb of dynamite into his carriage,  killing him instantly.  Fleeing to safety,  they celebrate their victory.

Yuri Vladimirovich Pavlov is a detective in the St. Petersburg Police Department.  Out of 'professional curiosity' he enters the crime scene of Golovnin's demise and takes charge as those on scene are so distraught.  This is one person Zhelyabov didn't expect.  Now called officially by the Okhrana,  a secret service type of organization,  Yuri investigates into the murder of the Minister,  obtaining as much information about these Revolutionists as possible.

As "The People's Will" group plot their biggest retaliation,  the closer Yuri gets to solving this crime and finding those behind it.  The group members start to question their actions until Fyodor is arrested and every known revolutionist is ordered to be detained for questioning.  When Fyodor is released and returns beaten,  they know that they have to complete what they started,  to take out the Tsar himself.

This is when the action picks up,  and the scene drawn out kept me on the edge of my seat.  Berbig did a fantastic job with detail,  and I couldn't help but wonder how far Zhelyabov would go to obtain his goal,  which ultimately was power he was seeking.

With their attempt to take out Tsar Alexander II,  they all flee for safety.  When Mikhail's carriage breaks down,  he becomes surrounded by soldiers led by Yuri.  As Yuri attempts to sway his thinking,  telling him he was nothing more than a puppet,  Mikhail refuses to go down without a fight.

Will the rest get away?  That is yet to be determined,  and I anxiously wait for more. 

Berbig's "The People's Will" was a great introduction into this genre.  I was a little disappointed in the ending,  but only because I wanted to know more.   There were some parts that lagged,  and it may just be that I was more ready to see what the revolutionists were up to rather than learn the why's of it,  but when the action was there,  it was there full force.  I enjoyed this title and if you like historical suspense,  you will like The People's Will.

I give The People's Will **** (4) Stars,  BK Walker.


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