'A winning combination of crime fiction and adventure story as if Flashman were frisking through a tale by Dostoevsky' Independent
Erast Fandorin returns to Moscow after an absence of six years, only to find himself instantly embroiled in court politics and scandal. His old friend General Sobolev - the famous 'Russian Achilles' - has been found dead in a hotel room, and Fandorin suspects foul play.
Using his now-famous powers of detection - powers that belie his twenty-six years - Fandorin embarks on an investigation, during which the political and the personal may become dangerously blurred. With the assistance of some formidable martial arts skills, acquired whilst Fandorin was in Japan, our eccentric and ingenious hero must endeavour to discover not so much whodunit, as why ...
William Hootkins was acclaimed in 2003 for his portrayal of Alfred Hitchcock in Hitchcock Blonde, which ran in the West End. He is a Russian expert and fluent Russian speaker. He made his feature film debut in Star Wars. Other major films include Batman, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Valentino, Flash Gordon and Hear My Song. Stage work includes a season at the Chichester Festival Theatre, and amongst his many other audio books is Moby Dick.Review:
With The Death of Achilles, the hilarious and dashing Erast Fandorin, Akunin's debonair Russian Sherlock Holmes, just seems to get better and better...Akunin is more like Agatha Christie meets James Bond: his plots are intricate and tantalising...They are unputdownable and great fun...This is a stunning continuation of form from a Russian author whose thriller writing is world-class. (Viv Groskop SUNDAY EXPRESS (7.8.05))
I always enjoy Akunin's novels, Fandorin with his deductive genius, ninja skills and his bizarre winning streak in games of chance, seens almost too impressive. (Stuart Kelly SCOTLAND ON SUNDAY (7.8.05))
The Death of Achilles may be historical pastiche but its wit and invention are a source of constant wonder...All in all, a delicious confection. (Mark Sanderson EVENING STANDARD (15.8.05))
The Death of Achilles offers agreeable entertainment. It is written with great assurance and much invention. It is a literary equivalent of a pavlova. (Allan Massie THE SCOTSMAN (13.8.05))
This all terrific fun...There is plenty of the stuff you want from detective fiction: murderous dexterity acquired after long years of suffering; exotically lethal weaponry...; treachery in high places and detective genius, but Akunin is a fine novelist as well. The plot of Achilles is cleverly structured to reveal clues from both detective's and the villain's point of view. (Toby Clements TELEGRAPH (20.8.05))
charming and highly amusing...a witty, rip-roaring thrill-fest. (Claire Figuero TIME OUT (24-31 August))
If you have still to sample the Russian detective;s casebook, I recommend you do so now. You won't be disappointed. (Robert Colbeck YORKSHIRE EVENING POST (3.9.05))
...the latest in Akunin's excellent series of novels featuring Erast Fandorin. (Joan Smith SUNDAY TIMES (11.12.05))
Boris Akunin is a playful writer, peppering his mystery-adventure stories with well-judged anachronisms and sly literary references. ( LONDON REVIEW OF BOOKS (26.1.06))
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