The Romanov Conspiracy: A Clayton Lovell Stone Adventure by Bruce Hutchinson

The Romanov Conspiracy: A Clayton Lovell Stone Adventure by Bruce Hutchison
Published: 15 August 2019
Publisher: Self
Genre: Action/Thriller, historical fiction
Pages: 306-paperback
Available: ebook, paperback

Violence level: medium: multiple killings, one graphic killing 😮😮😮
Sexual content: minimal 💗

Reviewers note: I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. If you are interested in viewing this book on Amazon, click on the book cover.

The Plot in brief: When his friend, Russian journalist Marta Russco is brutally murdered in Siberia, art recovery expert, Clayton Stone is determined to solve the mystery behind her death. At the heart of the puzzle lies two tons of long missing Tsarist gold. Interwoven into the modern day plot is the story of the gold and the multiple hands through which it passed. The last days of the Tsar Nicholas II and the unfortunate fate of his family also play out across the pages. 

The Characters: Dozens of characters parade across the pages of this book; some don't stick around for more than a few pages, others are in for the long haul. The author does a good job of fleshing out the main character, Clayton Stone and his modern day cohorts. I found them believable and likable. The one relationship which I did not think was well developed was that between Clayton and the murdered Marta. This is important because it's their supposed friendship which drives him to risk his life pursing the bad guys who've killed her. I kept thinking, if I was Clayton, I'd head on home.

I found the inclusion of Vladimir Putin as a character interesting and brave. Not sure I'd dabble in such highly political and controversial figures. 

The History: I found the historical portion of the book engaging. I have only a glancing knowledge about the Russian Revolution, and although the book gives us a brief piece of the story, it was very informative. I especially liked the tale of the missing gold. I Googled it and read more about the now legendary Tsarist treasure. 

The Writing: The book is really a blend of three consecutive stories: the story of the gold and its trip East into Siberia,  the last days Tsar Nicholas and the modern day adventure of Clayton Stone. Written in third person, with multiple points of view, the book is divided into extremely short chapters, some only a page or two long, others are but a paragraph . Each chapter jumps between story lines. I am not a fan of this style of storytelling; it feels like the story is getting some traction and bam, you're on to something else only to have the same experience over and over again. Some chapters overlapped and the same scene is replayed twice. 

Each chapter contains a dose of philosophical musings on the current conditions of the POV character. I found it a tad overdone and admit to skimming through some of it.

I was sent a poorly edited copy of the book which the author assures me has been re-edited. Let's hope so! He misspelled the name of his main character on the cover of the book for Heaven's sake. 

Overall Impression: I thought The Romanov Conspiracy was a decent read. I liked the blend of history/action/thriller. The pace is fast and the pages action packed. However, there is a car chase in the beginning of the book which I thought was never going to end and I had difficultly visualizing the description.

My other main issue is that the main character doesn't really accomplish much in his jaunt across Russian. The ending left me deflated and wondering what was the point.

Recommendation: Fans of easy read action/thrillers will surely enjoy this book. If you are also a history buff, this will be a bonus. 

I rate this book 3 stars. ⭐⭐⭐ 


My Ratings: 

1  Star: Not good at all, do not read!

2  Stars: Read only as a last resort, no other books available

3 Stars: Good, enjoyed it, will recommend with reservations

4 Stars: Really good, read this book!

5 Stars: So good, I might read it again sometime! Highly recommend


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