The Twelfth Department

The Twelfth DepartmentThe Twelfth Department by William Ryan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Series: Book #3 of Captain Alexei Dimitrevich Korolev series
Publisher:  Minotaur Books
Category: Mystery, Thriller
Setting: 1930’s Russia
Author Website:

About this series:

I met William Ryan on Twitter (@WilliamRyan_).  Ryan is the reason that social media was invented so that people across the globe could connect and share their ideas. Luckily, Ryan has taken the time to pen his ideas into thought provoking and entertaining novels surrounded in history. Reading the Captain Alexei Dimitrevich Korolev series is part history lesson, part Hill Street Blues  but set in Russia. If you are watching recent TV News in America and wondering how Russian President Vladimir Putin came to power it wouldn’t hurt to go back as far as 1930 to see how we got to where we are today. Things aren’t always black and white, in fact, in Alexei’s world there is a whole lot of gray and that makes Ryan’s book both thrillingly entertaining and frighteningly realistic.

About this book:

I highly recommend reading the first two books in this series, not because you’d be lost if you don’t read them, but you’d be missing out on some great stories. But if you find yourself in a bookstore with The Twelfth Department in your hand, pick it up and take it home. Ryan will quickly introduce you to his leading and supporting characters. Alexei, our hero and Moscow homicide detective, is quickly roped into solving another murder that steps a little too close to political circles he’d rather avoid. If that didn’t add enough danger to his life, his son appears to be in the middle of this one and Alexei soon finds himself looking outside his department for assistance.

This is page-turner indeed. The Twelfth Department is well… creepy.  Dexter creepy. I actually read this book while in the hospital myself, and I have to say I found that Ryan made me a little nervous of doctors in white coats. But it is true to its detective roots and delivers a good story with a very satisfying ending. As dark and dreary as Ryan is able to describe life in 1930’s Russia, Alexei still tells a story of hope and truth. That is what is so rewarding about this series and endearing about the human experience. No matter your surroundings, how different your upbringing, political thinking, etc. hope and the human experience is universal. We all want to survive. We all want to love. We all want to be what is right. Alexei is a hero worth following because he is a common man doing his job. His job just happens to be solving murders.

Looking forward to the next installment!

Learn about other books in this series:

Book #1: The Holy Thief

  • Published: August 31, 2010
  • Alexei Dimitrevich Korolev, a Moscow homicide detective, is called to a church where a young woman is murdered on the altar. This murder is on display for all to see, but it is a warning. In 1936 Russia no one trusts anyone. Everything has a double meaning. Stalin’s Great Terror has begun. How can Alexei discover the truth about this girl’s death when everyone lives in fear?

Book #2: The Darkening Field

  • Published: January 3, 2012
  • Alexei’s previous cases have proven that he can solve homicide cases without shining a light too brightly on Russia’s political elite who too often find themselves close to the recently departed. In this book Alexei is called in knowing that he has to tread lightly. It could be a suicide or it could be murder, but he knows from the beginning that the victim has a friend in high places. One mis-accusation and Alexei could be tossed into a dark cell never to see the light of day again. He’s solving someone else’s murder but it always seems he is fighting for his life, too.