Arts Week

Book Review: Trans-Siberian Express

2271584I’m a sucker for trains, so I was attracted to the Trans-Siberian Express by its title alone. But Adler—best known for his examination of the inner working of human nature—shows here that not only can he handle thrillers, he’s able to combine the genre with his insights into people for a great read that goes deeper than many other similar stories.

It’s the cold war again, and the protagonist holds a secret that could change the geopolitical balance of the world—and cost millions of people their lives. And the protagonist is being watched by—you guessed it—a beautiful and seductive KGB agent, with whom he—yeah, you guessed it again—falls in love. So the story itself is predictable, but the twists and turns the narrator takes to get you there will make you forget the plot predictability.

And the train itself is a major character: I finished reading and immediately looked it up to see whether it is still running (it is) and whether it’s affordable (it’s not). Any author who can give you that kind of atmosphere is doing something very right indeed.

Trans-Siberian Express, by Warren Adler