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When American journalist Michael Sheridan jumps into the Whangpoa River to save a woman he met in one of Shanghai's taxi clubs, his life is changed irrevocably. A Russian refugee, Anastasia Romanov bears an extraordinary resemblance to the princess of the same name, who was rumored to have survived the brutal murder of her family at the hands of Bolshevik revolutionaries. T When American journalist Michael Sheridan jumps into the Whangpoa River to save a woman he met in one of Shanghai's taxi clubs, his life is changed irrevocably. A Russian refugee, Anastasia Romanov bears an extraordinary resemblance to the princess of the same name, who was rumored to have survived the brutal murder of her family at the hands of Bolshevik revolutionaries. The fate of the youngest daughter of the last Russian Czar has become one of the most talked-about mysteries of the time. But Michael's Anastasia is suffering from amnesia and remembers little of her life before Shanghai. Unraveling the mystery of Anastasia's identity and past takes them both from the streets of Shanghai to the decadence of pre-war Berlin and London, from Bolshevik Russia to New York just before the Wall Street crash. Michael is the only man who has ever helped Anastasia without wanting something in return - but can she give up the chance to be a princess for true love?


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When American journalist Michael Sheridan jumps into the Whangpoa River to save a woman he met in one of Shanghai's taxi clubs, his life is changed irrevocably. A Russian refugee, Anastasia Romanov bears an extraordinary resemblance to the princess of the same name, who was rumored to have survived the brutal murder of her family at the hands of Bolshevik revolutionaries. T When American journalist Michael Sheridan jumps into the Whangpoa River to save a woman he met in one of Shanghai's taxi clubs, his life is changed irrevocably. A Russian refugee, Anastasia Romanov bears an extraordinary resemblance to the princess of the same name, who was rumored to have survived the brutal murder of her family at the hands of Bolshevik revolutionaries. The fate of the youngest daughter of the last Russian Czar has become one of the most talked-about mysteries of the time. But Michael's Anastasia is suffering from amnesia and remembers little of her life before Shanghai. Unraveling the mystery of Anastasia's identity and past takes them both from the streets of Shanghai to the decadence of pre-war Berlin and London, from Bolshevik Russia to New York just before the Wall Street crash. Michael is the only man who has ever helped Anastasia without wanting something in return - but can she give up the chance to be a princess for true love?

30 review for COLOSSUS

  1. 5 out of 5

    Paromjit

    This is the third in Colin Falconer's DI Charlie George of the Serious Crimes Police Team series set in London. I have read the first in the series but somehow missed the second, this is a terrific addition to the series which takes an unusual path, where nothing is as it appears and which culminates with a rising body count. Charlie is under pressure to find a young woman, Evie Myers, she has been abducted from the streets and bundled into a Ford Transit van. As the hours slip by, the closer it This is the third in Colin Falconer's DI Charlie George of the Serious Crimes Police Team series set in London. I have read the first in the series but somehow missed the second, this is a terrific addition to the series which takes an unusual path, where nothing is as it appears and which culminates with a rising body count. Charlie is under pressure to find a young woman, Evie Myers, she has been abducted from the streets and bundled into a Ford Transit van. As the hours slip by, the closer it gets to the greater likelihood of recovering a body rather than finding Evie alive. The reader is introduced to young mother, 23 year old Sarah Howlett, with a 4 year old son, Ollie, with serious health impairments that impede his development. Sarah is unhappily married to a wealthy bank trader, Daniel, an entitled, arrogant and controlling figure who will never let her go. After a loud domestic in the early hours of a morning, Sarah walks out and drives off in the Lexus, only to be abducted in a similar MO to Evie. The two cases are deemed to be connected under the assumption that the same perpetrator has struck again, increasing the workload for Charlie and his team, which includes DS Dawson, and his new partner, DS Matthew Grey, a happily married family man who sticks out like a sore thumb within the team in terms of class and dress. Charlie's boss is the odious, ambitious, publicity hungry Fergus O'Neal Callaghan, a man who has every intention of letting all failures and blame fall squarely on Charlie's shoulders. In a narrative where there is CCTV of the taking of Sarah, twists come thick and fast in an investigation that moves into entirely unexpected directions. Falconer writes a well plotted crime story with a workaholic DI Charlie George, a man with a dysfunctional family as can be observed when he comes to be saddled with having his younger brother, Will, arriving from Australia to stay with him, for the celebration of his dementia suffering mother's 70th birthday. Will has a surfeit of issues, including drugs and drink, and a pugnacious, problematic and wilful attitude that stymies any efforts that Charlie makes to improve their relationship. Charlie visits his former colleague, the seriously injured, vulnerable and fearful Lovejoy, in hospital, she is terrified that she will lose her foot and wondering if she will ever return to the murder team. This is a great crime series, entertaining, enjoyable and engaging, which I think will appeal to many crime and mystery readers. Many thanks to Little, Brown for an ARC.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Alenka of Bohemia

    If I could, I would give this... this.... THING zero stars! Because, ladies and gentlemen, this awful piece of lurid fiction made me both outraged, confused and outraged again. Before we delve into everything wrong, let me just state that HISTORICAL FICTION dealing with REAL peronalities who have been WELL DOCUMENTED should, at least, RESPECT the truth that is easily researched and confirmed by a FRIGGIN GOOGLE SEARCH! Mr. Falconer did not do any research. Or if he did, he probably printed his n If I could, I would give this... this.... THING zero stars! Because, ladies and gentlemen, this awful piece of lurid fiction made me both outraged, confused and outraged again. Before we delve into everything wrong, let me just state that HISTORICAL FICTION dealing with REAL peronalities who have been WELL DOCUMENTED should, at least, RESPECT the truth that is easily researched and confirmed by a FRIGGIN GOOGLE SEARCH! Mr. Falconer did not do any research. Or if he did, he probably printed his notes and used them as toilet paper. Otherwise I cannot imagine how this abomination of a book was allowed to take shape at all! This publication is nothing but rape of history, far beyond any tasteful and acceptable line of what should one be allowed when writing about REAL people. I read first 160 pages, after which I skimmed the rest, not having strentght left to go into detail. The writing is sloppy, disjointed and without any artistic quality that would make it stand out. Within the first forty pages you shall encounter these innacurate things, which could be EASILY PREVENTED by just going on Wikipedia! 1) In the beginning the four daughters of the Tsar and their brother are arriving into Ekaterinburg to be reunited with their parents. - In reality Grand Duchess Maria had arrived with her parents months before. 2) "Nurse" Sofia Karlovna mentioned in the book was NOT A NURSE. She was a Lady-in-waiting and she was never even allowed to get out of that train to say her goodbyes. Furthermore nickname "Shura" is used for her, when that was in fact the nickname of the ACTUAL nurse (and by that time MAID) Alexandra Tegleva. 3) Anastasia being RUDE and PROVOKING the Red guards (who in their turn are all unthinking, disgusting animals) 4) The girls constantly being talked about as PRINCESSES. The title was GRAND DUCHESS. 5) Anastasia saying "I AM A PRINCESS AND TILL THIS DAY I HAVE NEVER HAD TO CARRY MY OWN STUFF" when in fact all the imperial children, even before the revolution, would engage in physical work including cleaning their rooms, sawing wood and breaking ice in the spring, not to mention their work in hospitals during the war. 6) Jemmy was Anastasia´s. Tatiana had another dog, Ortipo. And there was yet another dog in the family, Alexei´s Spaniel Joy. 7) The behaviour of the guards in the house is SEVERELY exaggarated (yes there was a guard on duty when they went to the loo but NO the door was not dismantled! NO, Avdeyed did NOT curse in front of the Tsar. 8) Nicholas NEVER LOST HIS COOL, but in the book he is repeatedly RUDE and commanding the guards who in their turns call him slurs in the face. 9) Anastasia hates Alexei because he is such a burden and she is jealous of him! In reality she was his closest friend, loved him unconditionally. 10) There are NO relationships between anyone in the family apparently. Much like there is NOTHING that would scream "relationship" later among the fictional people. But we KNOW that the last Imperial family was EXTREMELY CLOSE and loving. 10) Tatiana is ambushed during her nightly visit to the toilet and RAPED but that is just about it, it leads nowhere, no plot point. THIS NEVER HAPPENED!!!! NONE OF THE GIRLS WAS MOLESTED BY THE RED GUARDS!!! And this whole thing is USELESS!!!! 11) Anastasia is a provokateur who acuses her father of everything being his fault TO HIS FACE. (WTF???!!!) 12) Alexandra is mentioned to be "same age as Nicholas". In fact she was four years his junior. 13) On the night of the murder there are people in the streets because the shooting can be heard all over the city apparently. In fact the streets were empty and the Bolsheviks made sure of that 14) Also there are many quotations about Anastasia - some of which I recognized as genuine, but many are simply made up - including several mentioning that she was a devil and deserved to die - but it is NEVER pointed out they are made up!!!!! 15) Grand Duchess Olga Alexandrovna in the 20s is meantioned as "unhappy" and fat "spinster". In fact she was a trim and content, wedded to Captain Kulikovsky, and mother of two. 16) Grand Duke Kyril is Tsar´s brother in the book. He was his cousin. 17) Grand Duke Ernst of Hesse (brother of the last Empress) wants to be Tsar of Russia. WTF??!!! He was a German princeling with NO claim. And he NEVER EVER wanted to be the Tsar. 18) And I forgot this thing: Alexei Nikolaevich DEMANDS a chocolate from a guard, is NASTY and RUDE to him and when the guard is provoked Nagorny stops him from harming Alexei, for which he is taken away and shot. In reality Nagorny did not want to let a guard steal a little golden cross from the boy. For THAT he was taken away. But in this book Anastasia does not forget to BLAME ALEXEI for Nagorny´s death. I just could not go on.... This book is TRASH of the lowest order. Authors need to STOP USING THE ROMANOVS AS PLOT DEVICE IF THEY ARE NOT EVEN GOING TO TRY TO PORTRAY THEM AS THEY WERE. If you want to read decent and good Romanov fiction, just read these: The Kitchen Boy: A Novel of the Last Tsar The Lost Crown or even better the non-fiction like Nicholas and Alexandra or Romanov Autumn: Stories from the Last Century of Imperial Russia

  3. 4 out of 5

    K.

    Trigger warnings: execution, graphic descriptions of death, rape, animal cruelty, amnesia, attempted suicide, domestic violence, sex slavery. DNF on page 124. Not long after I started this book, I realised that I've DNFed another book by this author in the past - one that deals with the Spanish invasion of Tenochtitlan. So things weren't off to a great start. Let's bullet point all my problems with this: - If you're going to use actual historical figures as characters in your book, at least try a Trigger warnings: execution, graphic descriptions of death, rape, animal cruelty, amnesia, attempted suicide, domestic violence, sex slavery. DNF on page 124. Not long after I started this book, I realised that I've DNFed another book by this author in the past - one that deals with the Spanish invasion of Tenochtitlan. So things weren't off to a great start. Let's bullet point all my problems with this: - If you're going to use actual historical figures as characters in your book, at least try and get their personalities even vaguely right. Hell, trying to even get the HISTORY vaguely right would be a good start... - We jump straight from the execution of the Romanovs to Michael meeting Anastasia in Shanghai in 1921. There's no explanation of what happens in between (and, like, maybe it's meant to turn out that she's not THE Anastasia Romanov, but still. It bugged me) - Anastasia is a "taxi girl", which seems to be kind of like an escort? Essentially a sex worker who meets men in bars and goes to their rooms with them. And she's doing this because she was brought into China by the triads and has been pushed into sex work to pay off her debt to them. - Anastasia jumps off a bridge and Michael saves her. It's never mentioned whether this is because she's suicidal or whether it's an accident. - Michael's got a Chinese servant whose dialogue is very "Girl leave with bad man, what Master want do?" and it's horrible. - Anastasia ends up married off to Grand Duke Who Gives a Fuck basically against her will? She spends a lot of time being all "My husband doesn't want to have sex with me, thank GOD". Then she walks in on her husband dressing up in her clothes and she's all "Well. That explains a lot" and he beats her to a bloody pulp. And that's the point at which I gave up on this trashfire of a book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    The history of the last Russian Czar and his family is a tragic one and the rumour that Anastasia somehow survived lends intrigue and mystery. Part One of this book was a good read, emotional and tense, but after that the book went downhill for me. In fact, I fail to understand what purpose Part One served in the story, as the character known as Anastasia Romanov suffers with amnesia and can't remember anything of her past. The blurb on the back cover claims that this is greatest love story ever t The history of the last Russian Czar and his family is a tragic one and the rumour that Anastasia somehow survived lends intrigue and mystery. Part One of this book was a good read, emotional and tense, but after that the book went downhill for me. In fact, I fail to understand what purpose Part One served in the story, as the character known as Anastasia Romanov suffers with amnesia and can't remember anything of her past. The blurb on the back cover claims that this is greatest love story ever told, but I disagree with that. Whatever else was going on in the story, the two main characters didn't treat each other with much love at all. Chivalry does not equal love. Sex does not equal love. I'll say no more because I don't want to write in any spoilers. The older female characters (a fake Russian countess, a downstairs neighbour and a mother-in-law) were invariably spiteful when things didn't turn out happily for them. There were no exceptions to this. The main character did not have any redeeming feature and I just could not empathise with her at all. The atmosphere throughout the book was bleak, without happiness or contentment or much hope. Having said that, the book raised an interesting question for me: who are we without our memories and our backgrounds? Unfortunately, I cannot say I enjoyed this book and I did not find the ending satisfactory.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    I loved this book. French author, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry once wrote that perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. Colin Falconer's Anastasia is a slim book that recalls the very best masterpieces. For me, it is now a modern classic. I am passionate about the Russian Revolution and the murder of the Romanovs but what initially drew me to this novel was promises of time travel to 1920s Shanghai, Berlin and New York. I was not dis I loved this book. French author, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry once wrote that perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. Colin Falconer's Anastasia is a slim book that recalls the very best masterpieces. For me, it is now a modern classic. I am passionate about the Russian Revolution and the murder of the Romanovs but what initially drew me to this novel was promises of time travel to 1920s Shanghai, Berlin and New York. I was not disappointed. Colin Falconer's wonderfully scribed vivid descriptions transported me to the bars and nightclubs of Shanghai with its expat soirées and its seedy Triad underworld, before sweeping me away to the sexual decadence and currency collapse of Weimar Berlin. Soon after, I was indulging in London's tea houses and flapper period, casting an uneasy eye on rising unemployment, before finally leading a ritzy life in 5th Avenue New York prior to the Wall Street collapse. If all this travel wasn't enough, Colin Falconer also managed to paint glimpses into Lenin's Russia and make poignant observations on the Revolution's disappointing aftermath. In this passage, the main character, journalist Michael Sheridan, travels to Petrograd (now St Petersburg) where he attempts to uncover evidence to prove that the love of his life is or is not the late Anastasia Romanov. Michael's visit to the room where the Romanovs were murdered is particularly harrowing. I was left with a feeling not evoked by other novels dealing with the same subject. In his depiction of all cities, I loved the author's keen eye for the tragic pantomimes of excess and how these are often bound to chaos and misery. Even his female character, Anastasia, assuming she were a Romanov, would embody the idea of aristocracy toppled by Revolution; wealth's sudden descent into poverty. Through conflicting desires Anastasia strives to survive, reminding the reader constantly of the fine line between fortune and destitution. I whizzed through the suspenseful second part of this book which saw Michael putting on his ruthless journalist cap and going to war with the very scum of stockbrokers. With the aid of an unlikely ally, he uncovers a stunning revelation filled with political intrigue about the fate of the Romanov fortune. This is a fantastic novel packed with social insights; it combines elements of romance, mystery and intrigue. Highly recommended.

  6. 5 out of 5

    ✰ BJ's Book Blog ✰Janeane ✰

    Copy received from Hachette Australia for an honest review I am new to the world of Colin Falconer's books, this being only the second story I have read. But I am definitely a fan of this author. We are back in the world of Charlie George and his colleagues. I like that George is not a perfect character. He has family issues to deal with, along with work politics. Angels Fall had me guessing the whole time I was reading. I had my suspicions about what was going on, but I really didn't know what wa Copy received from Hachette Australia for an honest review I am new to the world of Colin Falconer's books, this being only the second story I have read. But I am definitely a fan of this author. We are back in the world of Charlie George and his colleagues. I like that George is not a perfect character. He has family issues to deal with, along with work politics. Angels Fall had me guessing the whole time I was reading. I had my suspicions about what was going on, but I really didn't know what was going on until Falconer wanted to know. Many red herrings were thrown in our path as readers. And I have to say, I was completely shocked with the way the story went. Because it takes a lot for a crime thriller to shock me. The final 20% of this book really ramped things up and got the adrenaline pumping. I look forward to reading more by Mr Falconer in the future.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Richard Myers

    Wonderful book This book is about Alexander and some of his supposed battles and is seen through the eyes of one of the mahavat of his elephant groups. The characters are well defined and I will be getting more of the author’s books.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeta

    When I started the book, I haven't imagined the story would get so complex and develop in the way it did. Very interesting read. When I started the book, I haven't imagined the story would get so complex and develop in the way it did. Very interesting read.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sandy

    3.5 stars "You know, you wonder how much any of us really knows anyone else, even those very closest to us" says George Mason, the father of a young woman found murdered in her basement. It's a common theme in this British police procedural where many of the characters have perfected the art of presenting an acceptable facade to the world. This is book #2 featuring DI Madeleine Fox of the Met's Major Incident Team (following "Rough Justice"). Maddy is 34, single & good at her job. Sure, there are 3.5 stars "You know, you wonder how much any of us really knows anyone else, even those very closest to us" says George Mason, the father of a young woman found murdered in her basement. It's a common theme in this British police procedural where many of the characters have perfected the art of presenting an acceptable facade to the world. This is book #2 featuring DI Madeleine Fox of the Met's Major Incident Team (following "Rough Justice"). Maddy is 34, single & good at her job. Sure, there are days she'd like to smack colleague DS Terry James who seems to be going through puberty again. Maybe he'll get it right this time. And they're all still getting used to a new boss, Greg Mills. The team is tested when they arrive at the scene of a woman murdered & left displayed in a room tricked out for S&M games. Seems she was living a double life...attractive public relations executive by day, dom/sub mistress by night. In alternating chapters we meet James Carlton, an urbane politician who has it all. Good looks, trophy wife, teenage daughter & beautiful home in an exclusive part of London. But he's a fraud. He knows he should be grateful for his privileged life but can't help tempting fate occasionally. It's all about the thrill of the risk. The story continues on 2 fronts: Maddy & her team as they investigate 2 murders & following James as his world begins to unravel. We are privy to more facts than the characters as the parallel story lines develop then begin to merge. I really enjoyed this. It's tightly plotted with fleshed out characters & lots of action. The opening scene grabs you & even pacing keeps you turning the pages. Maddy's a likeable, original character. Instead of the standard portrayal of a female cop as strident & bitchy, she comes across as capable of holding her own on the job but not immune to self doubt. Friends are settling down & popping out babies, other relationships are falling apart & Maddy starts to wonder about some of the choices she's made. Sections dealing with her personal life round out her character but never overwhelm the main thrust of the book which is the criminal investigation. However, I did subtract half a star due to the ending & a decision she makes about a relationship. It was just plain dumb & until then, I really thought she was smarter than that. All in all, a quick well written book that will hold your attention. Should appeal to fans of Peter James, Alex Gray & Brenda Chapman.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Elaine Tomasso

    I would like to thank Netgalley and Little, Brown Book Group UK for a review copy of Angels Weep, the third novel to feature DI Charlie George of The Met. Charlie and his team are given the case of Evie Myers whom a witness saw being abducted after her car broke down. They’ve hardly got started on that investigation when Sarah Howell disappears in similar circumstances. CCTV gives Charlie a few leads but it’s not clear cut as it initially appears. I enjoyed Angels Weep which is the first novel in I would like to thank Netgalley and Little, Brown Book Group UK for a review copy of Angels Weep, the third novel to feature DI Charlie George of The Met. Charlie and his team are given the case of Evie Myers whom a witness saw being abducted after her car broke down. They’ve hardly got started on that investigation when Sarah Howell disappears in similar circumstances. CCTV gives Charlie a few leads but it’s not clear cut as it initially appears. I enjoyed Angels Weep which is the first novel in the series that I have read. It’s not always ideal joining an established series midway but there are no issues here as everything is explained and I didn’t feel as if I had missed anything. I like the way the novel is written as it has a common touch. The characters seem like regular people with worries, laughs and normal interests and the dialogue reflects this. I was less enthusiastic about the emphasis placed on Charlie’s dysfunctional childhood and family because it just seemed too much in a crime novel. I do, however, like Charlie and will look out for any upcoming novels in the series. Initially I didn’t have a feel for how the plot would develop as there are several characters requiring introduction and the novel switches point of view regularly to do so. Even when the characters become familiar there is still uncertainty. I think that what the author does with his plot is unusual and thus intriguing, so it held my attention throughout. I was a bit disappointed in the conclusion which seemed to me rather thrown together in order to tie up loose ends. I can see why it was done that way and what it’s supposed to represent, but still. Unfortunately I can’t reveal this without spoilers. Angels Weep is a good read that I can recommend.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Leonide Martin

    Don't expect things to end well when you make a deal with the Devil. Boston ER physician Adam has a good life with a series of lovers he discards when done, until his current flame drops him. It's more than his ego can bear and he starts making mistakes at work, causing his superior to force a leave of absence. Adam is cajoled into doing charity work for a few months at a remote village clinic in southern Mexico, where he learns of the Black Witch. Locals say the witch can give you anything you Don't expect things to end well when you make a deal with the Devil. Boston ER physician Adam has a good life with a series of lovers he discards when done, until his current flame drops him. It's more than his ego can bear and he starts making mistakes at work, causing his superior to force a leave of absence. Adam is cajoled into doing charity work for a few months at a remote village clinic in southern Mexico, where he learns of the Black Witch. Locals say the witch can give you anything you want, and Adam wants his lover back. After observing unexplainable illnesses among the villagers he concludes that the witch does have power, and against his better judgment he requests the witch make his lover return, handing over her picture. With vivid imagery, the story puts you in the dusty Mexican village, decadent Mexico City nightlife, fascinating medical crises, eerie shamanic rituals, and into the anguished mind of Adam. His pining for his lover is tiring and you get frustrated at his inability to let it go, but this compulsion drives the story. References to Olmec ruins near the village by the Guatemala border are more likely Mayan, although Olmec influences were found in Maya sites in this region. Adam returns to his life in Boston, as you watch him unraveling and his world imploding. He is appalled as events fall into place to bring about his request of the Black Witch—but not in the way he imagined. Be careful what you ask for, you just might get it but with disastrous consequences for all involved. There's a surprising twist at the end, and it is pure poetic justice.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Dianna Rostad

    If you've ever wanted to walk the streets of early twentieth century Shanghai, Berlin, London, or New York, then you will love the wide landscape of this novel. All the big cities come to life with all the political and economic intricacies of that time. From the grittiest of inhabitants, to the most decadent and smug, Falconer gives you a view into the turmoil of the Great War without clubbing you over the head with a clunky recitation of history. Michael is a self-made journalist unwilling to If you've ever wanted to walk the streets of early twentieth century Shanghai, Berlin, London, or New York, then you will love the wide landscape of this novel. All the big cities come to life with all the political and economic intricacies of that time. From the grittiest of inhabitants, to the most decadent and smug, Falconer gives you a view into the turmoil of the Great War without clubbing you over the head with a clunky recitation of history. Michael is a self-made journalist unwilling to be tethered to his family’s fortune back in New York. He falls instantly for Anastasia, a prostitute who looks like Anastasia Romanov, the murdered daughter of the Czar. The mystery of her identity pulls them apart repeatedly, as Anastasia longs for her elusive past and the grand life of a Duchess. A privileged existence that Michael repudiates. Cruel love and chance encounters through years and long distance have you turning pages and hoping for the best. A well paced read that I enjoyed, not only for the authentic portrayal of the cities, but also for the aching love story that plays out among the events of the early twentieth century.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    Where did OPIUM stop and AIR OPIUM start? What mysteries are yet to be felt and savored or seen and abhorred on the peninsula where Viet Nam and Laos lie? The USA is in Viet Nam fighting Communist aggression. Are they welcomed by South Viet Nam or is the USA stupidly strutting while the underworld does not let a stupid strut go to waste? The author reminds the reader through his characters that there are more questions than answers about that war. The steamy heat permeates and heightens the sens Where did OPIUM stop and AIR OPIUM start? What mysteries are yet to be felt and savored or seen and abhorred on the peninsula where Viet Nam and Laos lie? The USA is in Viet Nam fighting Communist aggression. Are they welcomed by South Viet Nam or is the USA stupidly strutting while the underworld does not let a stupid strut go to waste? The author reminds the reader through his characters that there are more questions than answers about that war. The steamy heat permeates and heightens the senses to the odors of sex, drugs and murder. I felt the author taking me deeper into the intrigues of the opium underworld and of the people who populate it. More people, locales, and crimes enter the story, but I find no new redeeming entity. 'Truth is three dimensional so it looks different depending on where you are standing.' There are no white hats. Thank you, Mr. Falconer, for a good read.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Charlotte Pawson

    DI Charlie George is the lead investigator two women snatched off the streets of London. The first 48 hours is all the time you have to find them alive. What starts out as a kidnapping leads to so much more. You will be hard pressed to keep up with who is the victim and who is the killer in this race to the finish. A fast paced journey interacts with Charlie’s private life. A story of families and how you really can’t see beneath the surface. I was given an arc of this book by Netgalley and the p DI Charlie George is the lead investigator two women snatched off the streets of London. The first 48 hours is all the time you have to find them alive. What starts out as a kidnapping leads to so much more. You will be hard pressed to keep up with who is the victim and who is the killer in this race to the finish. A fast paced journey interacts with Charlie’s private life. A story of families and how you really can’t see beneath the surface. I was given an arc of this book by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Marwan Asmar

    Nice story about a journalistic photographer that takes him to Vietna, El Salvador and Bosnia. Didn't much like the private story line of Sean Rayan Nice story about a journalistic photographer that takes him to Vietna, El Salvador and Bosnia. Didn't much like the private story line of Sean Rayan

  16. 4 out of 5

    Natasa

    A different take on the Romanov princess, but interesting. We see her in a different landscape. A beautiful love story. A fast moving but not enough to get lost. Enjoyed this book.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jade Elias-killeen

    My most favorite book

  18. 4 out of 5

    ShepardN7

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. The book started OK. It was well paced, the premise was interesting. However, when the real storyline began to unfold I got the feeling where it was going. Some parts of the plot in the middle of the story were abandoned towards the end, and were never explained (Murder of Banishevskiy). My biggest problem with the book were the main characters. They are, in my opinion, very unlikable and self-centered. Anastasia was going back and forth in the entire time, couldn't make a decision that she would The book started OK. It was well paced, the premise was interesting. However, when the real storyline began to unfold I got the feeling where it was going. Some parts of the plot in the middle of the story were abandoned towards the end, and were never explained (Murder of Banishevskiy). My biggest problem with the book were the main characters. They are, in my opinion, very unlikable and self-centered. Anastasia was going back and forth in the entire time, couldn't make a decision that she would follow through completely and her portrait of spoiled child was so vaguely described. Michael was true to himself, but despite his consistency in character his foolishness bother me. I am not sure that the author knows how women think, not even men. The big love between the main character was juvenile. He was portrait as prince Charming but without castle (possible) and Anastasia as damsel in distress that needed saving but didn't want one, and so on. The main romance book tropes were all there: instant-love, damsel in distress, love triangle, unplanned pregnancy etc. What is more troubling is that I didn't get the feel that the characters learned any lesson. Also, Anastasia was acting as a gold-digger and based her decisions around the money, it was always the most important thing for her (why she chose Felix) and finding about her past was at the second place (she mentions at one point that Anastasia Romanova, the princess was Felix's obsession and the she din't care that much anymore). In the end she still got the money, and staid moderately rich. The writing was good, character building not so much. I am not a big fan of historical fiction, but some books I did like. This one is not one of them and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone, except you realy

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Mitcheltree

    Great fiction I thought at first this story would be about Anna Anderson whom many believed to be Anastasia, the youngest daughter of Tsar Nicolous, but instead was about a fictional woman with amnesia that the reader believes to be Anastasia. It is a story of love over ten years and two marriages, taking place in Russia, Shanghai, Germany, London and New York, ending shortly after the stock market crash of 1929. It is a story of survival and a study of economics contrasts of the times.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    Amazing The authors first few books I read I did not rate because I was annoyed at the poor editing. By now I don't care about that anymore because he is an amazing writer. You feel like you are living every era he writes about. And even after all his books I have read now I can never predict the ending. I am happy I still have a few to go. Amazing The authors first few books I read I did not rate because I was annoyed at the poor editing. By now I don't care about that anymore because he is an amazing writer. You feel like you are living every era he writes about. And even after all his books I have read now I can never predict the ending. I am happy I still have a few to go.

  21. 5 out of 5

    FAITH Puttman

    I first read this book when I was 15 and I’ve reread it several times since. Each time I get something new out of it. By far one of my favourites. The way it blends the curiosity of the Anastasia myth to the backdrop of the early days of globalization is fascinating. The characters are heartbreakingly real in way that harks back to Bogarts Casablanca.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Donna Peake

    Alas, we wish it were true that she did survive.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Debbie Trammell

    Great book What a great story that I think the world wish was true. A good ending to a tragic tale. If only one of them could have lived! I will recommend this book!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Bette

    Fiction or what?

  25. 5 out of 5

    Alan Porter

    Recommended

  26. 5 out of 5

    Gayle Pace

    anastasia (famous women's series) by colin falconer "Falconer's grasp of his period and places is almost flawless...He's my kind of writer." The Australian (from front cover) "Falconer weaves a pacy story of obsession, love, greed and corruption....Really well Done" ....Sydney Morning Herald (from back cover) BLURB: "Some men don't fall in love, they get lost. I was lost from the moment I saw Anastasia Romanov in the taxi club that first night..." When Michael Sheridan jumped into the Whangpoa River t anastasia (famous women's series) by colin falconer "Falconer's grasp of his period and places is almost flawless...He's my kind of writer." The Australian (from front cover) "Falconer weaves a pacy story of obsession, love, greed and corruption....Really well Done" ....Sydney Morning Herald (from back cover) BLURB: "Some men don't fall in love, they get lost. I was lost from the moment I saw Anastasia Romanov in the taxi club that first night..." When Michael Sheridan jumped into the Whangpoa River to save a woman he had met in one of Shanghai's taxi clubs, his life changed irrevocably. A Russian refugee, Anastasia Romanov bears an uncanny resemblance to the princess of the same name, who was rumoured to have survived the brutal murder of her family at the hands of Bolshevik revolutionaries. The fate of the last Czar's youngest daughter has become one of the most talked about mysteries of the time, but Michael's Anastasia is suffering from traumatic amnesia and remembers nothing of her life befoare Shanghai. So who is she? Unraveling the mystery of Anastasia's identity and the past takes them both from the streets of Shanghai to the decadence of pre- war Berlin, from the London of flappers and Charlestons, behind the grim curtain of Bolshevik Russia and finally to New York just before the Wall Street crash. OVERVIEW: Shanghai, 1921,Michael was a self made journalist. He wanted no ties to his family's fortune back in New York. Anastasia is a prostitute who looks like Anastasia Romanov, the daughter of the Czar, who had been murdered. For Anastasia to have survived the last Russian Czar was mysterious at the least. Besides she suffered from amnesia. How could she possibly remember that she had been a duchess? Trying to make sense of her past and what her true identity is Michael and Anastasia go from Shanghai to pre-war Berlin and London, from Bolshevik Russia to New York, just before the Wall Street crash. Anastasia feel Michael is the only person who has never wanted anything in return, for helping her. Can she possibly be that Duchess? Can she give all that up for Michael and a chance for love.? I think this was a good love story. Not the 'mushy' kind, but a good love story. I would recommend this book to anyone. Read the book and draw your own conclusions. Everyone sees things differently. I'll give the book 3.5 Stars. I received this complimentary copy of ANASTASIA by Colin Powell from the author for this unbiased review. SHANGHAI 1921 http://bemiown.blogspot.com http://www.goodreads.com/reviews/list http://www.amazon.com/gp/cdp/member-r... http://www.shelfari.com/bemiown The copy I read was Revised edition copyright 2012 by Colin Falconer

  27. 4 out of 5

    Amira

    If you're a sucker for the Russian Revolution or anything to do with the last Tsar mystery, then you'll enjoy this book. The story centres around the possibility that Anastasia Romanov may have survived the horrific murder of the royal family and been discovered in Shanghai working as taxi girl (prostitute) by a cocky, but charming American journalist, Michael Sheridan. Michael is draw to this mysterious woman and becomes more obsessed with her when he discovers she may be the missing Grand Duch If you're a sucker for the Russian Revolution or anything to do with the last Tsar mystery, then you'll enjoy this book. The story centres around the possibility that Anastasia Romanov may have survived the horrific murder of the royal family and been discovered in Shanghai working as taxi girl (prostitute) by a cocky, but charming American journalist, Michael Sheridan. Michael is draw to this mysterious woman and becomes more obsessed with her when he discovers she may be the missing Grand Duchess. However much he loves and desires Anastasia, she remains emotionally unavailable and unable to give him the true passion he wants. The story weaves its way through Shanghai, Berlin, London and New York during the social revolutionary era of post-war and the Roaring Twenties. Usually I'm hesitant to wander into the world of 'what happened next' type historical fiction, just because I think it ends up ruining the true story and its someone else's fan-fiction fantasy of what they want to have happened (i.e. something like Pride & Prejudice: Pememberly II The Return of Wickham). But its not the case with this book and it didn't ruin my fascination of the Romanov downfall. I also found it extremely hard to put down and was definitely hooked. Although I did like Anastasia's opportunistic and cold demeanour (usually the women are the mushy ones) I strongly disliked the way she relied on men to support her and seemed to float after the one who appeared to be most advantageous at the time. I wanted a little more spirit and fight in this supposed princess and for her to decide her own destiny. Instead she was a mix of a resourceful user and a damsel in distress. Michael was believable as the 'always keep your promise', brash American and you sympathised with him more because of the horrid things he has to endure (usually at the hands of Anastasia), but he also makes mistakes often out of bitterness and arrogance. The chemistry and romance between the main characters was also believable and you wanted them to find a way to be together, despite everything. I liked the exploration of the importance of your past, but that the future is what you've got to live for. At times the book can be violent and graphic and it seems to cover every type of vice and sin, but I didn't think this was too overwhelmingly repulsive more of an influence from the male writer. And on that note it was a good love-story written by a man, which I haven't come across all that often.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Oh My Bookness

    Anastasia by Colin Falconer is a historical Fiction Novel based on and around the events as one knows of,Czar Nicolas of Russia and his family that all died in the cellar on the night of 7/17/18 and the stories of the "only survivor" Anastasia. Colin Falconer brings a fresh perspective to the Anastasia story, with authentic story telling of the early twentieth century cities, the sceneries, political and economic views as well as a look into the Great War. We follow the story through the roaring Anastasia by Colin Falconer is a historical Fiction Novel based on and around the events as one knows of,Czar Nicolas of Russia and his family that all died in the cellar on the night of 7/17/18 and the stories of the "only survivor" Anastasia. Colin Falconer brings a fresh perspective to the Anastasia story, with authentic story telling of the early twentieth century cities, the sceneries, political and economic views as well as a look into the Great War. We follow the story through the roaring 20s' of Berlin, London and New York City. Michael is a self-made journalist unwilling to be tethered to his family's fortune, wanting to make a name for himself. He falls instantly for Anastasia, a prostitute who looks like Anastasia Romanov, the murdered daughter of the Czar. This mysterious woman, is she really the Duchess? Not always positive who she is, her identity a mystery pulling the two apart, Anastasia longs for the past and life as a Duchess. A life that Michael rather be far from and s life of privilege he is trying to escape. Bringing a fresh perspective to the Anastasia myth, we follow a American Journalist Michael in the early twentieth century is working in Shanghai and meets a Russian emigre who is working as a prostitute and dancer, also known as Anastasia. She eventually becomes to believe she really is the real Anastasia, becoming along the way mixed up with some scandalous people such as a swindler and cross-dressing Russian exile Count Andrei Banischevski. Then the rich Russian Jew émigré Felix Rifkin, but know matter who she becomes involved with, it's always charismatic Michael that her heart pulls for. Being an enigmatic wannabe princess gives her a certain allure. This Anastasia Romanov, working as a prostitute to drab law secretary, eventually comes to believe she is the Grand Duchess. A enthralling story that will keep you hooked from start to finish. For the story of Anastasia, for so many know, and so many claim to be brings another tale with wonderful detail.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Elena

    A really good book. If you're looking towards Shangai, Berlin, New York in the 1920's then this book will surely give you a good time-lap. Very well described, starting from how the cities look back then, to the way of living,the way people dressed, behaved, the morals and discrimination of certain nationalities. You will start living in the book. However, the beginning of the book is too good, solid and makes you want to read more and more... But as the book progressed that feeling kinda starte A really good book. If you're looking towards Shangai, Berlin, New York in the 1920's then this book will surely give you a good time-lap. Very well described, starting from how the cities look back then, to the way of living,the way people dressed, behaved, the morals and discrimination of certain nationalities. You will start living in the book. However, the beginning of the book is too good, solid and makes you want to read more and more... But as the book progressed that feeling kinda started to fade away. Anastasia,at the begging had my likes, living as a taxi girl with no friends and family. Then the american journalist saved her and the story began... As the book went on, she turned out to be a wanna-be-princess, a person that wants to hold and believe in that possibility. A weak person that doesn't want to move on and start living a normal happy life with the man that loves her dearly and she loves too. But she instead prioritizes money, fame and a social status. I really didn't like how she gets everything she wants, on the long-run. Like she doesn't suffer at all. And most of the problems that she has after Michael, she creates them on her own. On the other hand, Michael was too in-love with her, it was cute, but at some point in the book I wished that it stopped. He really did everything he could, but that just seemed not enough for his beloved Anastasia, no matter what. And it irritated me, really. He was never really able to move on, because she didn't let him move on. She loved him, but wasn't with him because he didn't have much money. And he went through so much trouble because of her. My point is, all started good until everything started going bleak, there was nothing particular in the story, just two people: one in loved, the other a gold digger chasing each other. The end kinda felt unfinished, as if the author hurried up to finish the book, 'till a certain dead-end.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kamilla

    As good as this book has started, it quckly just went downhill. The Prologue was the only interesting part of this book. It was historical, based on actual facts. It was intriguing, I wanted to know more. Then the fiction started and everything went south from there. Even though the premise of Anastasia finding herself in Shanghai with no memory of her past was believable, even through the descriptions of the 1920s Berlin, London and New York was true to the times, the story itself lacked finess As good as this book has started, it quckly just went downhill. The Prologue was the only interesting part of this book. It was historical, based on actual facts. It was intriguing, I wanted to know more. Then the fiction started and everything went south from there. Even though the premise of Anastasia finding herself in Shanghai with no memory of her past was believable, even through the descriptions of the 1920s Berlin, London and New York was true to the times, the story itself lacked finesse. None of the main characters were likeable. Anastasia turned out to be a wannabe grand princess, an heiress to the Russian throne, who wanted prestige, who wanted to live the high life and wanted to be waited on, to whom a 'simple' living with a man who actually loved her was never good enough. Michael on the other hand was a sucker for punishment. He was fascinated by her, by her story, by the possibilities, but even though she has repeatedly treated him like dirt, he was always there to rescue her. Until she left him again for someone better, and richer and with more prestige. As a person she was deplorable. Even though she seemingly never claimed to actually be anything other then an amnesiac, but she had no qualms about letting the men around carry on as she the daughter of the Tzar. I didn't like the book at all. As I was expecting something based on facts, based on actual probabilties, this was nothing but a badly written fantasy with sad characters. A truly disappointing read.

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