The Mysterious Bookshop

Ryan, William, The Twelfth Department

“Ryan's tense, tightly plotted whodunnits feel gloriously plausible, a function of the intimate link he forges between his readers and his characters, never mind that those characters are living through extraordinary times.”—The Guardian

“Ryan’s latest has a fine cast of characters, puzzling murders, interesting police work, and a strong sense of the terror that pervaded  Stalin’s Russia. But it is his eye for period detail (e.g., scheming apparatchiks who denounce a neighbor simply to move into a larger apartment) that makes this one special.”—Booklist (starred review)

The Twelfth Department is the third outing for William Ryan’s increasingly impressive Captain Korolev series…There’s an Orwellian influence to the manipulation of language and meaning…The geographical setting and political backdrop are compelling enough, but Korolev is a fascinating character in his own right, an army veteran of “the German War” who acknowledges the poisonous nature of the regime he serves even as he clings to the hope that its propaganda might some day chime with reality.”—The Irish Times

“Excellent…While the police work will keep readers engaged, the series’ chief strength comes from Ryan’s skillful evocation of everyday life under Stalin.”—Publishers Weekly (starred)