by Jack Grimwood

4.00 out of 5 based on 6 customer ratings
(6 customer reviews)

4.00 out of 5 based on 6 customer ratings
(6 customer reviews)


Christmas Eve 1985. The shaved, exsanguinated body of a young man is found in Red Square; frozen solid like marble to the touch missing the little finger from his right hand. A week later, Alex Marston, the fifteen year old daughter of the British Ambassador disappears. Army Intelligence Officer, Tom Fox, posted to Moscow following the death of his own daughter, is asked to help find her. But as Fox’s investigation drags him deeper towards the dark heart of Soviet establishment, his fears for Alex’s safety grow as it looks like she could become a sadistic killer’s next victim.

Genre, Thrill Mystery Adventure

About The Author

Jon Courtenay Grimwood (born 1953 in Valletta, Malta) is a British science fiction and fantasy author. He writes also as Jonathan Grimwood (literary fiction) and Jack Grimwood (crime fiction and thrillers).
As Jack Grimwood, he is writing thrillers for Penguin Books. The first, Moskva, Spring 2016, is set in 1980s Soviet Moscow. The second, Nightfall Berlin is due Spring 2017.

Grimwood was guest of honour at Novacon in 2003, at Kontext (in Uppsala, Sweden) in 2008, at Eastercon LX (the 60th British National Science Fiction Convention) in 2009, and at Bristolcon in 2014.

He was a judge for the 2010 Arthur C Clarke Award presented to China Miéville for The City & the City; and for the 2011 award presented to Lauren Beukes for Zoo City. He also judged The James White Award given at Eastercon 2012.

Average Reader Rating

4.00 out of 5 based on 6 customer ratings

Reader Reviews

6 reviews for Moskva

  1. 3 out of 5

    “Good Reading”

  2. 4 out of 5

    This Cold War novel begins in 1985, with the discovery of the body of a frozen boy, found in Red Square clutching a wax angel, and goes back to Berlin in 1945. The shadow of WWII looms over this novel and over Russia itself, as our hero finds himself involved in the search for the missing step daughter of the British ambassador, Sir Edward Masterton.During a party at the British Embassy, a depressed Fox makes a flippant remark to the attention seeking young Anna Masterton, which he is to regret when she disappears. Sir Edward is being uncommunicative, while her mother is frantic. Full of guilt, Fox goes in pursuit. Along the way he is befriended by bar owner, Dennisov; who has his own war stories to brood over, contacted by mafia leader Erekle Gabashville (Beziki) and is aided by the beautiful Major Svetlana Milova.This is a fast paced, atmospheric novel, which is packed full of action. At times it tries to cover too many different storylines and I felt a little lost, but overall this was an enjoyable and exciting read. I would certainly look forward to reading more novels featuring ex-priest, and ex-soldier, Tom Fox.

  3. 4 out of 5

    It’s a brave writer indeed who pitches up with an idea for a thriller set in 1980’s Moscow, as we all know and love Gorky Park, and many have failed in its wake. But good news crime buddies, Grimwood has cracked it with the atmospheric and claustrophobic Moskva. With impeccable plotting, research and narrative tension, Grimwood has produced one of the best Soviet set thrillers I have read. Drawing on, and using to great effect, all the inherent and documented fear and suspicion so redolent of Soviet life within this period, Grimwood has crafted a supremely intelligent serial killer thriller, with a depth of characterisation that will draw in admirers of other exponents of this subgenre. As the depth of conspiracy and concealment begins to reveal itself, frustrating Fox’s investigation of Alex’s disappearance, there is a crackling tension to the book throughout, compounded by Grimwood’s unflinching analysis of the weaknesses and dangers of the Soviet state that so consistently thwart Fox, giving him a slippery grasp on truth amongst the smoke and mirrors emanating from the echelons of power in Moscow. I’ll say no more to avoid spoiling your reading of this one, but you must seek this one out. It’s a terrific read, and Grimwood demonstrates again his real flexibility as a writer. Add to your wish list now.

  4. 4 out of 5

    This is a bleak, atmospheric and literary thriller set in 1980s Moscow. It begins with the discovery of a young boy’s frozen body by the Kremlin wall. Major Tom Fox is temporarily based at the British Embassy when the Ambassador, Sir Edward Masterton’s step daughter, Alex, goes missing. With his personal life a mess, Tom is separating from his wife, Caro, and struggling to come to terms with the death of his daughter, Rebecca. He is a haunted man, drinks to keep his demons at bay, and is determined to find Alex. He has no idea of the dark murky web of deceit, horror, and gruesome murders that he is about to encounter. He begins to get an idea of what he is up against when he sees the state a cat is left in at his flat. I wanted to throw up with him, there is a sadistic killer on the loose.The star is Moscow and Russia, Jack Grimwood has a real feel for the time, conveyed through superb descriptions, and its political and cultural life. You get a picture of Russia doing all it can to protect its dark secrets. It is corrupt, but its humanity is vibrantly alive, captured through the bewitching cast of characters: Dennisov who runs a bar, Yelena, his sister, Beziki, Sveta, the Commissar, and so many others. The character development is astonishingly brilliant. Tom has so much depth to him that he is real, as is his search for absolution. The despair constantly plaguing him mirrors the state of Russia. The author’s plotting sustains tension and suspense throughout. This is an intelligent and erudite thriller that I urge others to read. Absolutely brilliant! Thanks to Michael Joseph for an ARC via netgalley.

  5. 4 out of 5

    After a teens body turns out in Red Square a British Analyst is recruited by the Russians and the British Ambassador because the teenage daughter of the Ambassador has also disappeared. We get to see Moscow that “Gorky Park” only begun to describe. Tom Fox moves around Moscow like a local including going to the bar of the son of an old General. Dennisov an Afghan vet suffers under the shadow of his famous father General Dennisov. As he continues to find clues to who might have the girl. He is contacted by a leader of Bratva, Erekle Gabashvile better known as Beziki. Their talk eventually reveals that the first teenager found was Beziki’s son. He continues to investigate leading us through the real reason of the crimes dating back to World War II. A mystery worth reading and highly recommended. Some very violent parts but we are all grownups tough it out.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Excellent account of a rather complicated plot, which Grimwood masterfully pulls off. What made me love love love this book was the way a flawed protagonist haunted by ghosts of his past finds (a sort of) redemption in the context of a flawed society which is on its own way to (a sort of) redemption, despite the past that haunts it. Moscow at the beginning of Gorbatchev’s perestroika is vividly painted and the overall atmosphere is so oppressive and bleak that it makes someone who’s lived through those times acutely remember them.

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