The Kirov Wolf

A Detective Pete Nazareth Novel

Fiction - Thriller - General
274 Pages
Reviewed on 11/29/2016
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Darryl Greer for Readers' Favorite

The Kirov Wolf is one of a series of novels by author R.H. Johnson, following the exploits of NYPD detectives Pete Nazareth and Tara Gimble. In this story, the crack husband and wife team are on the prowl for a Russian assassin, who has apparently been living in New York City for decades. He occasionally emerges when he feels it is necessary to dispose of a Russian émigré who does not share his world view, particularly if it conflicts with that of Russian president Ruslan Kotov. The first to go is a well known billionaire so the stakes are high and pressure on the detectives mounts as the death toll rises. As the story unfolds, it becomes clear that there is a national security aspect to the case. Pete Nazareth, a former marine, is a veteran of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and has a friend in the CIA, Dalton Stark, whom Nazareth had met on one of his special ops. Stark’s help is enlisted and, as more murders follow, the hunt becomes more intriguing. As the story twists and turns towards its denouement, one surprise follows another until eventually all the strands of the story come together.

The Kirov Wolf gets off to a dramatic start, as R.H. Johnson hooks the reader straight into the story. His narrative is highly descriptive, a visual treat, as the unfolding scenes leap off the page. Unless the author happens to be a walking encyclopedia on all things Russian, the research necessary for a work of this nature must have been enormous. As he has used a number of real events, cleverly blending fact with fiction, the story comes across as plausible. The plot is intricate, involving not only the inner workings of the New York City Police Department but also the CIA, as well as Russian spooks, all cleverly blended together so that, step by step, the reader can keep pace with the story. Characterisation is excellent. The title of the book is as intriguing as the story itself. There actually was a Kirov wolf, though it was a real wolf, a man-eater which terrorised some USSR citizens between 1944 and 1954. But back to this version, a rather harmless novel. The Kirov Wolf is a great read, a real page-turner.

Benjamin Ookami

The Kirov Wolf by R.H. Johnson is certainly written to thrill. Someone is killing Russian dissidents in Manhattan. On the case are detectives Pete Nazareth and Tara Gimble, the star married couple of the NYPD. It is believed that the killer must be a Russian assassin who lives in the United States, but finding him in New York alone is like finding a needle in a haystack. While their search continues, the killer sits in that place of his. His childhood has not been satisfactory, but all of what he went through has resulted in him becoming a dangerous human weapon. Once upon a time, he had been known as the Kirov Wolf. Nazareth and Gimble are after a killer that has been in the business for a very long time.

Please allow yourself to become submerged in a world in which, as some characters simplify, faces change and missions don't. Johnson introduces readers to a multitude of powerful Russian figures both in and outside of America. Nazareth and Gimble tend to disagree on certain matters. The reader doesn't know what to think. Some characters that might seem like a possible new target for the killer might also, at the same time, come into their thoughts as the Kirov Wolf himself. Meanwhile, someone close to Nazareth and Gimble in a professional sense is starting to act funny. If you'd like to know how two NYPD cops can save an entire country, than this is the type of book you should read. Johnson mixes what shouldn't mix and the result is brilliant.

Christian Sia

The fourth novel in the Detective Pete Nazareth crime series, The Kirov Wolf by R.H. Johnson will appeal to fans of thrillers. Two NYPD detectives, Pete Nazareth and Tara Gimble, are working under pressure to locate the whereabouts of a deadly assassin, Kirov Wolf. The pressure becomes intense with the unsolved murders of Russian nationals in New York City. As if they haven’t had enough troubles to sort out, the pair has to deal with an impending nuclear attack on Central Park. With a long list of suspects, it becomes very difficult to locate the assassin, and the lives of many innocent people hang in the balance.

R.H. Johnson is a master storyteller, with a great gift for plot and character development. The story starts casually, with Volkov covertly observing his victims from a hotel room. Like a hunter, Volkov has learned to wait, watching his victims, taking in every detail about their lives, and understanding the pattern of their lives. In a darkening room, the reader watches him watch them for what could be the last time. The tension starts from here, and Volkov’s words at the end of the chapter, delivered in a stream of consciousness, become a promise of a dangerous game that will be as entertaining as it is exciting: “Things would get much worse before they got better.”

The Kirov Wolf is a fast read, well-written, with measured dialogues and vivid descriptions. The short chapters make the read enticing and they are so well crafted to make the reader want to turn to the next chapter every time they finish one, a style that has made James Patterson’s thrillers very popular. The characters are complex and readers will undoubtedly care about them; they will love the detectives as they work hard to solve the murder cases and to stop one of the worst crimes in history from taking place. This one will be a fun read for crime thriller lovers.