If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country.”—E. M. Forster
Through seven previous novels, Reggie Nadelson has created one of the more memorable characters in detective fiction: Artie Cohen, New York police detective and first-generation American with complex ties to his Russian past, especially his close friendship with the enigmatic and flamboyant New York/London club owner Tolya Sverdloff. Now, in Londongrad—by far Nadelson’s most ambitious novel to date—Artie is faced with a murder that strikes at him personally and will ultimately place his best friend’s life in his hands as it challenges his own loyalty., In a playground in Brooklyn, Artie is led to a dead girl tied up in duct tape on a children’s swing. He soon realizes the killer murdered the wrong girl—the intended victim was Valentina Sverdloff, Tolya’s daughter, long adored by Artie. Artie flies to London to tell Tolya and finds himself enmeshed on his friend’s behalf in a maelstrom of Russian money and crime. Like Berlin at the end of World War II , somebody tells Artie, Londongrad, as it’s known, has become an offshore island for the new Russian underworld. Over his head, Artie is drawn further in, to Moscow, where, balancing between the old KGB and the new FSB, between the dazzle and grimness of Russia today, he uncovers a painful truth about his past that puts Tolya’s life in the balance.
Praise for Londongrad:
“Nadelson writes wonderfully well about New York in her crime novel series featuring detective Artie Cohen. Her new book, however takes Cohen out of his comfort zone. The murder of a Russian friend’s daughter leads him to London and Moscow. Nadelson’s take on a London of Oligarchs fuelled by money from the ‘new Russia’ is thrilling and trenchant”
Ian Rankin, Tatler
“Nadelson’s steady pacing keeps the pages turning… the detective-story format overlays an ambitious novel that manages to trace the tentacles of an international underworld of increasingly palpable influence, while at the same time forcing us to confront uncomfortable moral questions of loyalty and honor.”
Ben Moser, Harper’s
Nadelson writes and plots with panache, and she portrays the Russian diaspora in the US, funny and sad, with conviction.
Marcel Berlins, The Times
This is a novel of many layer, a murder story underying a love story that underlies a portrait of a dangerous society rolling in filthy money and haunted by its equally filthy past…
The Literary Review
Reggie Nadelson, where have you been all my life? This book is not just a well-written thriller, but one of those, “Damn, she’s really good” type of books, the kind that inspires reading junkies such as this reviewer to immediately seek out the author’s backlist to see what he’s been missing.
Londongrad is a dark, moody, brooding gem that’s bound to get under your skin. … the drama and pathos Madelson milks from the second victim’s passing is worth the price of admission all on it’s own.
Hank Wagner, Mystery Scene