Friday, June 28, 2013

THE ROMANOV CROSS by Robert Masello

Bantam Books
March 5th, 2013
Historical, Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense
Electronic Advance Reading Copy (ARC)
Reviewed by Dawn (
Obtained by Publisher via Netgalley


One hundred years before, a desperate young woman stumbles upon a desolate Alaskan island, carrying a cross that is worth more than anything in the world but also bringing death to the small community that has made their home there. Now a century later, one man will find a mystery as well as more on that island. Can Doctor Frank Slater find the secrets that are hidden there and make sure the devastating Spanish Flu doesn’t come to life again?  Will he be just the first of casualties as the race for answers begins?

I have to admit THE ROMANOV CROSS was quite engrossing at times. I never read this author before and I loved the book blurb so I decided to give this a try. I can honestly say I really enjoyed it and at times was lost within the story on a lazy Sunday afternoon. This is a story that mixes the supernatural, history and a dash of suspense to give the reader a look into a story where it does the “what if one of the Romonov daughter’s lived?” mysteries as well as adds in the devastating Spanish Flu that decimated much of the world century ago as well as other spine-tingling twists and turns that left me breathless, even as I flipped the page to see what happens next.

The author does a great job in keeping the story flowing smoothly, seamlessly alternating between historical aspects as the murder of the Romonov’s and the legend of Rasputin to today’s world where fact and fiction are closely woven at times. Mr. Masello weaves a tightly knit story that alternates between frightening to enthralling with a dash of the supernatural to deliver a story that leaves the reader hanging by the thread, eager for more. With a fast pace, intriguing blend of historical and contemporary. Mr. Masello delivers a story that takes you from the palaces of the Tsar Nicholas and his family to the snowy shores of Alaska in today’s time. The characters are fascinating, well written and absolutely captivating. The story grabs your imagination by end of chapter one and never lets it go until the very last page is read. What really got to me was how skillful the author is in weaving the two stories seamlessly together, alternating between the early nineteen hundreds with the Tsar’s fall in Russia to today’s race to make sure the Spanish Flu doesn’t wake again. I have to say that the author did this so wonderfully well that at times I wasn’t aware I switched from one time period to another.

THE ROMONOV CROSS is a wonderful story that will weave a spell around you even as you wonder “What if…?” afterwards. After reading this latest story from Robert Masello, I am eager to see what else he has in his back catalog to intrigue me with. If you are looking for an equally engrossing yet at times haunted tale full of unexpected twists and turns then you will enjoy THE ROMONOV CROSS.

This is an objective review and not an endorsement



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