Friday, May 04, 2012

36 Yalta Boulevard by Olen Steinhauer

In April, I finished 36 Yalta Boulevard by Olen Stienhauer. I read the book on my iPad in the Kindle app. This is really only the second ebook that I have consumed. The first was On the Right Track.

36 Yalta Boulevard is the third book in a five book series of thrillers chronicling the evolution of a fictional Eastern European country during the Cold War. I previously read The Bridge of Sighs and The Confession. Sharon's brother Tom recommended the series almost three years ago.

The Bridge of Sighs was set in post-World War II in the late 1940's, while The Confession was set in the 1950's. 36 Yalta Boulevard moves the timeline forward to the 1960's.

The first two books were essentially murder mysteries with police officers as the main characters. This book is a spy and espionage novel. The main character is state security officer Brano Sev who appeared in the first two novels.

Set primarily in Vienna and the small village of his birth, Sev gets drawn into web of double agents and west versus east plots. One of the most intriguing things about this story is that Sev actually believes in socialism. This is not a sexy James Bond spy novel. It is a gritty story that shows the non-glamorous side of the espionage business.

I enjoyed the book and am looking forward to the next two books in the series. This book may also represent a tipping point for me. While I love the visceral feel of real books, I think that I am going to start reading more ebooks. I like the convenience of having the book available on multiple platforms (iPad and iPhone) and the ability to read under a wider variety of light conditions.

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