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Volk's Game

Posted on

Volk's Game

Current Status:
In Season
Brent Ghelfi
Henry Holt and Company
Mystery and Thriller,

We gave it a B

The modern Russian hero of Brent Ghelfi’s debut thriller, Volk’s Game, is both a black marketer and a walking metaphor. Like his nation, he’s corrupt (he deals in drugs and pornography), crippled (he has a prosthetic leg), and weighed down by the past (he’s a veteran of the Chechnyan conflict). Volk is tasked to steal a priceless painting, resulting in a confusing series of double crosses. Balancing his sadism with moments when he comforts children and war widows, Volk offers an interesting spin on the stereotypical thriller protagonist. But he’s ultimately less compelling than Russia itself, ”always the same, whether she toils under the tsars, the Communists, or the republicans.” B