Moskva, published by Jack Grimwood in 2016, deserves the hype on its cover. It’s a very well done Cold War thriller about an English army intelligence officer who is asked to find the missing daughter of the British ambassador in Moscow. Not only is it set in 1986; it also has lengthy flashbacks to the Battle of Stalingrad and World War II Berlin, and some bits about the English conflict in Ireland and the Russian’s fighting in Afghanistan.
The marvelous achievements of modern technology make it hard to set such a stirring tale in the here and now, when cell phones and surveillance cameras make it nearly impossible for a hard-working criminal or terrorist to have any privacy. The writer has either to be very knowledgeable about computers in all their manifestations, or to set his thriller in a remote part of the world (remote from most of his readers, that is), which has its own challenges.
The Cinderella Murder, published in 2014 by May Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke, is a murder mystery that also deals with a crime that took place in the past. The premise is that a television true crime documentary brings back the cast of characters involved in the twenty-year-old unsolved murder of a pretty young actress on her way to an audition. There are plenty of possible motives for murder among the assembled company, including an actress competing with the murdered girl, the unscrupulous leader of a mega-church and his followers, and a couple of silicon valley types who own a lucrative company with murky origins.
Clark and Burke do a plausible job of describing the Silicon Valley company, without going into great detail. Maybe one of them has enough expertise for this, and maybe the way to go for authors who aren’t very conversant with the latest in technology is to have a technical consultant on hand.
Summary: Both books were good reads.