The Death Of Achilles, by Boris Akunin, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, €15.
The bleak detective novels of the Moscow-based writer Boris Akunin hold up a prism to the Slavic soul. Set during the Tsarist regime's final years, Akunin's whodunnits critique a Russia that has long since vanished.
At the same time, they appear, slyly, to address the Russia of today, the crumbling post-Soviet imperium scrabbling for a place in the world.
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