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Description - White Blood by James Fleming

The son of an English father and Russian mother, Charlie Doig is a big man - big in stature and big in spirit. A naturalist, he roughs it around the world collecting birds and insects for museums. In 1914 he is on a mission for the Academy of Sciences in Russian Turkestan when war breaks out. His pay is stopped and his companion goes off to enlist. Doig, however, has no intention of volunteering to be killed. He returns to the Pink House, his family's home near Smolensk, and to the woman he loves, his cousin Elizaveta. At first the Pink House remains untouched by outside events, and the familiar ways continue as before. But Imperial Russia is doomed and with in all the old certainties. Trapped by the snow with Doig and Elizaveta are a motley collection of old aristocrats, their servants and hangers-on - and the two soldiers, one of whom Doig is convinced is a Bolshevik out to destroy them all.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780099497080
ISBN-10: 0099497085
Format: Paperback
(198mm x 128mm x 23mm)
Pages: 368
Imprint: Vintage
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Publish Date: 5-Apr-2007
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Book Reviews - White Blood by James Fleming

US Kirkus Review » The outbreak of the 1919 Russian Revolution engages the considerable energies of a globe-trotting explorer-adventurer in the English author's third historical novel (The Temple of Optimism, 2000, etc.).Fleming (nephew of the late Sir Ian) has created a womanizer whom James Bond might envy. Compared with protagonist Charlie Doig, Tom Jones was a cub scout and the lustful aristocrats of Les Liaisons Dangereuses harmless upper-class twits. He's a sexual athlete who might today be suspected of steroid use; a vainglorious priapist obsessed with the size and potency of his testicles; a romantic who confides, "There was an uncontainable head of pressure inside me...To get inside a woman and ram her to hell was all that could save me": the kind of macho man whom Englishmen would pronounce a cad and feminists call out as a clueless sexist pig. Oh yes, the novel's plot. Son of a Scots father and Russian mother, Charlie is schooled in England, then apprenticed to celebrated German naturalist Hartwig Goetz, with whom (in the book's most interesting pages) he travels the far east collecting specimens for museums. Upon returning, following his father's death, to Russia and his maternal family's mansion the Pink House (near Smolensk), Charlie encounters a country in turmoil, and the opportunity to wed his gorgeous cousin Elizaveta (whose highborn fiance Andrej has, conveniently, been assassinated). Then, as if we were lost in War and Peace, Reds and Whites begin slaughtering one another, and the billeting of two distressed soldiers at Pink House sows the seeds of the ultimate challenge to Charlie's imperturbable will. The action sequences virtually sing with energy, and the novel's blistering pace never lets up for a moment.Fleming is indeed skilled, and the book is a pulse-pounding read. But, like Charlie's innumerable paramours, you may hate yourself in the morning for having enjoyed it so much. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - James Fleming

James Fleming, the nephew of Ian Fleming, was born in London in 1944. He is the author of four previous novels, all of them good: The Temple of Optimism, Thomas Gage, Cold Blood and Rising Blood. He writes in Scotland. Visit him online at www.jamesfleming.com.

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