THE RUSSIAN SINGER by Leif Davidsen

THE RUSSIAN SINGER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Though billed as a mystery, Davidsen's second novel (following The Sardine Deception) works better as a political romance between Jack Andersen, a divorced Danish diplomat posted to Moscow, and Lilli Smuul, cabaret-singer sister of prostitute Vera Smuul, who's been strangled in the apartment of an embassy secretary who lies dead in the bath with her wrists slit. Soviet investigator Vladimir Basov seems satisfied that the case is a sordid but otherwise ordinary lesbian murder-suicide, but Jack, ignoring hints from his friendly ambassador C. W. Mogens and officious bureaucrat Castesen, follows hints about Vera's connections with the military to revelations of sex and blackmail--and to Lilli's bed, though he'll spend only a few weeks there before the Chernenko regime expels him. Four years pass before Basov comes after Jack in Denmark to enlist his help in exposing the killer, in a long, disappointing epilogue. The mystery is a bust, then, but Davidsen's Moscow is flavorful, and Jack's East-West dialogues with Russians from brass hats to pimps are worth the price of admission.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0-394-58502-X
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Random House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 1991