The Romanoff Conspiracy

A Clayton Lovell Stone Adventure

Fiction - Thriller - General
371 Pages
Reviewed on 10/29/2019
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

The Romanov Conspiracy: A Clayton Lovell Stone Adventure is a work of contemporary mystery and suspense fiction, combined with elements from real Russian history and conspiracy, and was penned by author Bruce Hutchison. Continuing the adventures of Clayton Lovell Stone, this edition sees the investigator on the hunt for missing treasures from the Romanov dynasty across Russia and Siberia. The mysteries and dark dealings of murder and espionage in Russia’s past are brought to light by his quest, just as those dark dealings, murder, and espionage of the present threaten Stone’s very life. What results is a deep and involved mystery with plenty of thrills and conspiracies.

Once again, author Bruce Hutchison can be trusted to deliver a fantastic and mysterious tale that takes a good intelligent stab at providing creative solutions to some of the biggest mysteries in history. What I really enjoyed about this novel, in particular, was Clayton’s perception of modern-day Russia and the comparisons to the autocracy and revolution of the Czarist regimes. The characters from history are well-drawn and highly relatable, coming to life just as much as the present dangers and villains which leap off the page. The austere atmosphere of Russia and Siberia is well painted with vivid descriptions and emotive prose that lands all your senses in every scene, keeping readers totally engrossed in the action at hand. Overall, The Romanov Conspiracy: A Clayton Lovell Stone Adventure is another superb work from Bruce Hutchison that fans of historical fiction and murder mysteries are certain to adore.

Deborah Lloyd

When the Romanoff monarchy ended in Russia in 1917, one thousand six hundred tons of tsarist gold was confiscated. It was hauled across the vast country by train. Both the White Army and the Red Army fought bloody battles to control the fortune, but the gold vanished and has never been recovered. The efforts to find the gold continue to the present time. Clayton Lovell Stone, who lives in Annapolis, Maryland, recovers art and treasure. He received word that Marta Russco, a journalist working in Russia, was brutally murdered. Clayton met with a mutual acquaintance, Victor Volnacoff, in St. Petersburg, and the thrilling adventure begins. Soon, Clayton connects with Yana, Marta’s daughter. Their quest to find Marta’s killers, and perhaps the treasure, leads to more harrowing moments. In The Romanoff Conspiracy: A Clayton Lovell Stone Adventure, written by Bruce Hutchinson, the events of 1917 and the current day provide many dangerous scenes.

This story is told from two eras, one hundred years apart. The similarities between the two time periods are intriguing, especially the various political regimes in Russia. The murder of a journalist is a realistic portrayal of the current climate. While St. Petersburg is the main setting, parts of Siberia and a number of small towns are also included in the two eras. The story is fast-paced, and there is a fair amount of terrifying and graphic violence. There is a large cast of characters, with Clayton and Yana being the main ones. Author Bruce Hutchinson has written a thrilling novel spanning two eras in Russia in The Romanoff Conspiracy: A Clayton Lovell Stone Adventure. I really liked the plot and the pace of the book.

Rabia Tanveer

The Romanoff Conspiracy: A Clayton Lovell Stone Adventure is the third novel I have read by Bruce Hutchison and he is now one of my favorite writers. The adventures of Clayton Lovell Stone continue in this new thrilling novel where Clayton is out to find a lost treasure. When Clayton’s friend Marta Russco, a Russian reporter, is murdered in Siberia, Clayton knows that he cannot hang back. However, he soon realizes that things are much more dangerous than he had anticipated. There is political corruption in his path, lies, and a lost treasure that once belonged to the Tsar. Soon Clayton is on the trail to find the lost gold, but there are people who want that gold for themselves and want him dead. Now he is in a race against time as he tries to find the lost treasure, find out who killed his friend, and try to stay alive.

This is yet another masterpiece by Bruce Hutchison. Filled to the brim with action, exceptionally well-developed characters and a plot that gives you an adrenaline rush, Mr. Hutchison has done a splendid job at giving us a mystery thriller novel that begs to fly off the shelves. Clayton is such a strong character; he is determined, reliable and, more importantly, believable. His progress is beautiful, his development is on-point and his arc is just amazing. I don’t even have words to describe the flow of the story; it was smooth but it took its cues from what was happening in the plot. The pace would pick up with the action and it literally had my heart racing with each scene. Another job exceptionally well-done! This book is an absolute gem!

Peggy Jo Wipf

The Romanov Conspiracy: A Clayton Lovell Stone Adventure by Bruce Hutchison is a fascinating novel that weaves actual history with a captivating character, Clayton Stone. The author quickly draws his audience in with the brutal and descriptive death of a journalist that ventured too close to the truth. As a friend, Stone seeks answers that not only draw attention to him but also pique his interest in a mysterious lost treasure. He gains more information about his friend’s death, which brings him closer to the gold that has been missing for over a hundred years. The fall of the Russian Tsar Nicholas comes alive like no history book could convey and the starvation of the Russian people that welcome any ruler who promises prosperity. The lost gold could have made a different Russia, but the question remains, “Where is it?”
I found the author of The Romanov Conspiracy just as remarkable as his character, Clayton Lovell Stone. Bruce Hutchison’s work in psychology and a forensic background allow him to merge his experience into the plot, adding twists and turns you did not expect. He puts his story between the 1900s to the present day so you feel you are getting two separate mysteries until they blend together. Flaws included, Stone is still a compelling adversary that has the grip of a bulldog and refuses to let something go. My takeaways are that this novel fits into several genres and anyone who loves Russian novels, history, action, adventure, or domestic thrillers will find this a gripping read. The ending was perfect and you close the book anticipating Clayton Stone's next adventure.

Steven Robson

Bruce Hutchison’s The Romanoff Conspiracy melds past and present Russia into a gripping story of politics and religion at their extremes. Caught up in this maelstrom of events is Clayton Lovell Stone, a former FBI agent with a passion for arts and antiquities, who is invited to join his trusted friend Victor Volnacoff in St. Petersburg to help investigate the possible murder of a close friend. From the moment Stone arrives, he is swept into an investigation that draws him down a path of ever-increasing danger and incredible discovery; one that may eventually lead to tons of missing Tsarist gold. Given the stakes in this hunt for answers, Stone is pursued by the most powerful elements of Russian society, from the current leader Vladimir Putin through to those wishing to rekindle the era of the Tsars. Who wins this pursuit may determine the future of Russia and change the course of the world's future.

The Romanoff Conspiracy by Bruce Hutchison is a very powerful read. It opened my eyes to incredible aspects of Russian society, both past and present, of which I had little knowledge. The story was laid out in a clever and well-mapped way, switching focus between the two time frames clearly with no confusion between periods. Reading about the fall and execution of Tsar Nicolas Alexandrovich Romanov and his family, and the subsequent fate of his gold reserves, was inspirational to me in many ways. All of the characters were real and could be related to easily. The relationships built with the characters made their fates even more compelling. I had a basic understanding of what Russia had gone through in both World Wars but reading this book opened my eyes to just how bloody and conflicted Russia’s history has been. An extremely worthwhile experience.