The new Russia, 2015: Nationalist forces have finally defeated the Anarchist rebels, but it is an uneasy peace. Provincial police inspector Constantin Vadim is plucked from backwater Murmansk to head up a murder investigation in the decaying, crime-ridden Red Presnya district of Moscow. His task: to solve a succession of unspeakable crimes committed by a serial killer who has become a terrifying local legend, almost a cult symbol: Monstrum.
In the suspenseful tradition of Gorky Park and Fatherland, Donald James's Monstrum is a political thriller that also features a hunt for a brutal murderer. And, in Inspector Vadim, James has created a cynical but all-too-human hero, who navigates across a Russian terrain at once familiar and frighteningly new.
Vadim unwittingly discovers governmental intrigue and conspiratorial deceptions so terrible they threaten to undermine the revamped Russia. And when his past--in the form of his estranged wife, Julia Petrovna, a general in the defeated Anarchist army--collides with his ongoing current hunt for the killer, these two forces threaten to crush the detective and Russia itself.
Replete with vivid characters and an audacious, unforgettable plot, Monstrum is the sort of thriller that redefines the genre.