The Kiev Confession

Fiction - Thriller - Political
364 Pages
Reviewed on 06/28/2023
Buy on Amazon

Author Biography

Kathleen Hart worked as a reporter in Washington, D.C., for 23 years, where she covered the environment, energy, and nuclear nonproliferation. Born in Holden, Massachusetts, she received her B.A. from UMass, Amherst. She published a nonfiction book, Eating in the Dark: America's Experiment with Genetically Engineered Food, with Random House. The Kiev Confession is her debut novel.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Frank Mutuma for Readers' Favorite

Dmitry was starting to take too eagerly to the party's doctrine. He wanted to be a scientist like his uncle, and nothing would get in his way. Larysa and Vasyl are worried about their children, not just the increased tantrums by Dimitry but also the recently occurring disaster. What should they do to keep their children safe? Anatoly had been a director of a nuclear facility and a staunch loyalist of the Communist Party, even at the end of his brother's life. Was he a seeker of truth or a keeper of secrets? From Indiana to Washington, Vickie has to survive politics and the intrigues of Washington's journalism world. Her boss, who sees Vickie only as an assistant, doesn't make her life easy. But how does a lowly journalist in America relate to a nuclear disaster that happened miles away? To find out, get a copy of The Kiev Confession by Kathleen Hart.

This is a wonderfully written book and a page-turner. The plot takes you through endless adventures in the Soviet Union and America without you having to leave your couch. Kathleen has managed to use suspense to great effect. The reader can't wait to see what happens in subsequent chapters. I loved how the characters were developed and how realistic the dialogue was. The vivid descriptions of events and the characters' emotions will also capture the reader's attention. Despite this being a work of fiction, The Kiev Confession is thought-provoking, and as I was reading, I couldn't help but think about a government's role in keeping its citizens safe. This book is a must-read.

Alma Boucher

The Kiev Confession by Kathleen Hart is a political thriller based on a historical event. Dmitry Marchenko and his sister participated in the May Day Parade among thousands of kids, unaware of the deadly radiation that was flooding their city. Their father Vasyl had heard rumors about the radiation and decided to send them away to safety. Elsewhere, reporter Vickie Evans, a single mother, faced competition in the journalism industry. Since she was eight, Vickie had the idea that she was destined for something important. Vickie attended a nuclear utility meeting where she saw someone protesting that a repeat of the Chernobyl disaster must be prevented. Vickie wanted to know why this person believed that the Hardwick plant was like Chernobyl. Together, Dmitry and Vickie risk everything to reveal the awful secrets that destroyed so many lives in Chernobyl.

The Kiev Confession is a suspense novel that interweaves the tale of a devastated Ukrainian family after the Chernobyl meltdown and an American journalist who discovers a nuclear secret. The story is well-researched, and Kathleen Hart captures Ukraine as it was during those difficult times. It was interesting and sad to learn more about the events that occurred during the Chernobyl tragedy. They were described in such a way that it was easy to visualize and become part of them. The characters were authentic and realistic. My favorite character was Vasyl. He sent his children away when it was necessary for their safety. The events of the past and present were interesting to read about and flowed together. The story is excellently written and covers several crucial historical themes. The ending is fantastic, and I couldn't have asked for a better outcome.

Keith Mbuya

It had been three months since Victoria Evans (Vickie) landed a job as a reporter with the Newhart chain of newspapers in Washington DC. She had failed to produce even a single byline story in all that time. Her job was clearly on the line. She stumbled on a report about the US government’s involvement with nuclear weapons and energy technology, which could save her job. Apart from the US government covering up its nuclear weapons tests in Nevada, it downplayed the consequent radioactive fallout. Meanwhile, four years after the Chernobyl disaster in 1986, thousands of people were succumbing to radiation illnesses in Ukraine. After the fall of the Soviet Union, Dimitry Marchenko was determined to expose the role of the former Soviet government in escalating the Chernobyl incident. As Vickie and Dimitry discover how their families and thousands of others were wronged, can they find justice? Discover more in Kathleen Hart’s The Kiev Confession.

Kathleen Hart’s The Kiev Confession will appeal to lovers of historical novels featuring a tale of news reporters, bureaucrats, scientists, soldiers, deceit, redemption, and agony. Hart weaves an intriguing plot, unfolding the storyline with a dual timeline. The vivid descriptions took me back to the late twentieth century from the 80s to the 90s. They opened a whole new world of suffering and injustice that is sadly part of the world’s history. Hart’s knack for capturing the mood and settings made me feel as if I was right there beside every character, watching the events slowly unfold. The thought that people were exposed to such harm and unbearable living conditions broke my heart and brought me to tears. Hart’s clear and elegant way of depicting the dynamic feelings of those involved had me going on a roller coaster of emotions. Vickie is that type of perceptive, shrewd, quick-witted, and strong-willed character you can’t help but love.