One man living a double life in the treacherous world of revolutionary Russia. One chance to save those he loves.
2 April 1879, St Petersburg. A shot rings out in Palace Square. The Tsar is unhurt, but badly shaken. Cossack guards tackle the would-be assassin to the ground. And in the melee no one notices a pretty, dark-haired young woman in a heavy coat walk purposefully away from the scene.
Russia is alive with revolutionaries and this is just one of many assassination attempts on the unpopular Tsar Alexander II. For Dr Frederick Hadfield, part of the Anglo-Russian establishment with a medical practice dependent on the patronage of the nobility, politics is a distraction. But when he meets the passionate idealist Anna Petrovna, he finds himself drawn into a dangerous double life.
Set in a world of stark contrasts, from glittering ballrooms to the cruel cells of the House of Preliminary Detention, from the grandeur of the British Embassy to the underground presses of the young revolutionaries, To Kill a Tsar is both a gripping thriller and a passionate love story.
Williams contrives an appealing blend of Doctor Zhivago, Conrad's Under Western Eyes and Boris Akunin's 19th-century crime fiction. His ability to bring a past world to life matches Furst's - John Dugdale, Sunday Times
This is a dense, meaty affair which pulls off the trick of gripping the reader and bringing a complicated, alien world to life - Guardian
He blends historical fact and fiction in a vivid recreation of the world of The Idiot and Crime and Punishment - The Times
Elegantly serpentine plotting and finely etched characters confirm his place in the front rank of the new English thriller writers - Daily Mail
A very accomplished novel which can be enjoyed as a gripping and moving thriller. Yet it is more than that, for it invites us to reflect on questions of morality, and on that age-old question of when, if ever, violent means may be held to justify worthy ends; whether, indeed, such ends can ever be achieved if the means are inescapably criminal - Allan Massie, Scotsman
Exciting . . . an important book for devotees of the spy story - Shots Magazine
A gripping thriller set in a world of treachery - British Fantasy Society
To Kill a Tsar . . . had me biting my fingernails with the suspense - Andrew Roberts, Daily Telegraph