1985, a year before the Chernobyl disaster. Hidden away in a wine cellar in the western Ukraine, Chernobyl engineer Mihaly Horvath, brother of a Kiev Militia detective Lazlo Horvath, reveals details of unnecessary risks being taken at the Chernobyl plant. Concerned for his brother and family, Lazlo investigates- irritating superiors, drawing the attention of a CIA opperative, raising the hackles of an old school KGB major, and discovering his brother's secret affair with Juli Popovics, a Chernobyl technician.
When the Chernobyl plant explodes scores of lives are changed forever. As Lazlo questions his brother's death in the blast, Juli arrives in Kiev to tell the detective she carries his brother's child. If their lives aren't complicated enough KGB major Grigor Komarov enters the fray, reawakening a hard-line past to manipulate deadly resources.
Now the Ukraine is not only blanketed with deadly radiation, but a killing ground involving pre-perestroika factions in disarray, a Soviet government on its last legs, and madmen hungry for power as they eye Gorbachev's changes.
With a poisoned environment at their backs and a killer snapping at thier heels, Lazlo and Juli flee for their lives- and their love- toward the Western frontier.
This novel I found on Medallion Press's website. So many factors were the deciding factor of wanting to review this book. My bro-in-law Olexiy is from the Ukraine, Chernobyl's rich & fact based fiction, re-education, cover art.
I contacted Michael about doing an interview and also the reviews for Chernobyl Murders and it's sequel Traffyck. Michael happily sent me both final copies with an autographed thank you letter, as both pooks are post-publishing. The story focuses on a corrupt, paranoid government with power hungry officials inventing a lunatic conspiracy theory involving the Chernobyl nuclear reactor explosion. When the books arrived I briefly thought this is going to be a challenge. I typically read thinner, more "supernatural" based fiction works. After beginning it I was astonished at how Michael forces his readers into wanting to learn more facts about the disaster. It also allowed me to appreciate another countries histor, tragedy and survival instincts. Michael wrote this book based on as many facts as possible. I learned more from his book than I can recall I ever did in history class in school. Even then, we barely even touched upon the event itself. With my brother, Olexiy, being born and raised in the Ukraine made me hungry to learn more of his culture.
This is an intense read and one that I wouldn't recommend to anyone who isn't into history, or this genre of fiction. Michael is a very well acclaimed author and it's easy to see why after reading this fact based work of fiction. I can't wait to begin Traffyck and continue the story, the conspiracy and the deception. Chernobyl Murders is an eye opener and makes you feel grateful for what you have and what you don't have to experience.
Thanks again Michael for the books, the letter and interview.