Oh, Summer...how I love you! So many distractions; BBQs, vacations, gardening. Outdoor activities that lure us outside into the bright sun. And, believe it or not, reading is high up on that list. You wouldn't think it, would you? Reading is a placid activity, despite the fact that our brains are spinning and whirling like little kids in a three-legged race at a company picnic.
And there's nothing better than sitting in a lawn chair (on the sand, on a freshly-mowed lawn, or a shaded porch) and reading a book that takes us away, yet keeps us mindful of what's going on in our 'real' world.
I found it so while reading 'The Romanov Conspiracy', by Glenn Meade. And I'm not kidding, dear reader. It's exciting. It flows, and you cannot put it down. I haven't been so absorbed in a thriller since I read 'The DaVinci Code'. While reading is great accompanied by an icy glass of tea or lemonade and a plate of cookies, the food will soon be forgotten when you immerse yourself in this thrilling tale.
Part fiction, but mostly based on fact (the fun part is trying to decide which is which), 'The Romanov Conspiracy' is the story of the Romanov family execution and the people involved in the plot to rescue them. It opens in our present day, when American forensic archaeologist, Dr. Laura Pavlov, and her team discover a body perfectly preserved in the permafrost of a disused mine shaft on the outskirts of the Russian city of Ekaterinburg. Close by is the house where the royal family was executed in July 1918.
The body is female, and she is holding a locket, something that propels Dr. Pavlov to Ireland, where she finds, and talks to, someone who knows all-too-much about the incident that took place so long ago.
Full of conspiracies, torture, misplaced loyalty, and longing, it will be hard to separate fact from fiction. Many of the participants were real people, and Mr. Meade has done a stupendous job in tracing their footsteps through one of the bloodiest times in Russian history. Author Meade encourages the reader to explore the website www.alexanderpalace.org where they will find a wealth of information for those interested in the history of the Romanov family.
So if you find yourself sitting on a quiet stretch of sand, or relaxing after mowing that thick, green lawn, pick up 'The Romanov Conspiracy' and get ready to spend the rest of your week reading a story that is impossible to put down.
Mosquitoes be damned.
'The Romanov Conspiracy' will be published by Howard Books (a division of Simon & Schuster) in August 2012.