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"Stalin's Door" by John St.Clair (Book Review)

Updated: Oct 23, 2021

Genre: Historical Fiction

Book Description:

In the dangerous time of Russia’s Great Terror, a knock on the door late at night could mean only one thing!

Moscow, 1937. As mortal fear engulfs the capital city, a singular man cements his lethal grip of absolute power over an entire nation. Accusations, mass arrests, executions, and deportations become de rigueur. Stalin’s cult of personality is so fearsome, that even a simple question could get you killed—or worse. Stalin’s dreaded secret police, the NKVD, would pit neighbor against neighbor in the insatiable hunt for the spies and saboteurs which threaten the supreme leader’s tyranny. The crisis will irrecoverably overwhelm the body politic—just on the eve of World War II!

Stalin’s Door is the unforgettable story of three extraordinary individuals who lived during the time of Russia’s Great Terror. They share a terrible fate which will forever intertwine their lives. Zhenya is the strong young daughter of an important government official, who is growing up fast in a privileged government enclave. Sava is a devoted husband, unceremoniously dismissed from the Soviet Navy, who considers a new opportunity. Lera is a wise grandmother who bears a crucial responsibility, while forced into exile in the outland of Siberia.

All will discover the heinous secret of Stalin’s Door!

Review: I will admit, I hesitated to pick this book up. I've never had much of an interest in Stalin era Russia and therefore knew very little about it. I'm happy to say that this novel is one of the best historical fiction novels I've read in years.

St. Clair did his research and it shows. As someone who knows next to nothing about this era in history, I appreciated the thought and care that went into the details of this novel. However, it was the focus on the characters–the everyday people suffering through Stalin's regime and how their lives intertwine–that really makes this story shine.

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