Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Inspector Pekkala # 4 - the Emerald Eye

Re-published with modification.

Inspector Pekkala is an enigmatic fictional character invented by Sam Eastland. I read 5 novels (6th has just been released), out of which book #1 (Eye of the Red Tsar) and book #4 (The Red Moth) are the most interesting from a historical perspective providing wealth of information about people, time period (though highly superficial).

Pekkala is a Finn. At the beginning of 20th century, Finland was part of Russian Empire under Romanovs. It appears that Russians had developed a particular "opinion" of Finnish people. They thought of them capable of supernatural acts. According to novels Pekkala was born indeed with a special skill of having a photographic memory. After undergoing vigorous training in the clandestine or non-clandestine methods, he is recruited and appointed by the last Tsar Nicholas II as his private "eye" tasked to investigate range of top priority criminal or non-criminal activities. He was given a special ID badge known as an Emerald Eye. He is feared by all who have heard about it. He has access to everything and to everyone. His prestige grows so far that many even doubt that such a person really exists.

After Russian revolution of 1917, Pekkala is captured by Reds and after brutal interrogation, sentenced to prison camp in Siberia. However, he manages to survive against all odds and later is summoned back to Moscow by Josef Stalin, Soviet leader, to use his famous skills to help newly established Soviet Union.    

In "the Red Moth" Pekkala is tasked to recover famous "amber room" lost during Red Army's retreat in early days of German invasion of Soviet Union in 1941. The novel provides some interesting background information for what it was like living in Soviet Russia during WWII. Of course, original amber room was lost without trace and here the author speculates how that could have happened.

posted by David Usharauli    

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