Robert C. Yeager had me by page four of his new novel The Romanov Stone. With a combination of mystery, excitement and well-researched historical fact Yeager writes with a seemingly effortless style – easy and enjoyable to read, but which skips along at a rate of knots. His technique of slipping between past and present in the initial chapters not only gives depth to the plot line, but keeps the reader page-turning with alacrity.
Heroine Katya Gavrill is plunged into a world of intrigue and danger after the violent death of her mother, whose words of warning “They have found us” set the heart thumping. With her romantic Russian family history revealed to her, Katya embarks on a hunt to find a priceless gem and claim her Romanov inheritance, long hidden in the vaults of the Bank of England. On the way she encounters Russian mafia, Columbian jewel thieves and the hypnotic world of Imre Novyck, the grandson of the evil Rasputin.
Yeager creates a world inhabited by characters that are multi-faceted, touching each others’ lives and the reader’s in a believable roller coaster of adventure and intrigue. I found myself reading as quickly as I could, following Katya’s journey, enveloped in a world of Russian Tsars, Faberge eggs, and murder. As she wavered between love interests I found myself saying aloud “No, Katya! No, not him!” and in the space of 300 pages she went from stranger to character I want to meet again.
I would definitely recommend this interesting novel to anyone who enjoys a good thriller with a historical twist and I am secretly (well, not that secretly!) hoping that Yeager will write a sequel so I can spend more time with Katya, her man (I won’t tell you who she ends up with …) and maybe the Assassin of the Seven Bells too!