Orphaned and destitute as a teenager, Kat has made a new life for herself in London. Now she’s determined to reclaim her father’s vodka business in the former Soviet Union.
Birmingham businessman Marty wants to stop her. That alone isn’t why Kat hates him – she blames him for her parents’ deaths. But when she’s taken hostage by freedom fighters, only Marty can help her survive.
~ Slick and Entertaining ***** (5 stars) ~
The Vodka Trail is a slick and entertaining crime thriller, with believable characters and plenty of plot twists, taking place in Birmingham, London and the former Soviet Union. It is the second book in the Trail series (the first being the Bride’s Trail), but can easily be read as a standalone, for although it does feature some characters from the first novel, it contains a brand new plot.
Kat travels to the former Soviet Union to reclaim her family’s vodka business. At the same time Marty, a Birmingham businessman, also finds himself there on what is to turn out to be an ill-fated business trip. The two protaganists have a history going way back, to when Kat was a child, and they are both as stunned as each other when they discover that they are both held captive by freedom fighters. They know that their situation is precarious and that they will be lucky to escape with their lives. Kat in particular finds that she has to rely on Marty to maintain her sanity and recognises that the man she blames for so many past events in her life may be the one man who could save her life.
As Kat and Marty spend time in captivity together they are compelled to confront events which took place in the past, little realising how much of the past and present have collided in their current predicament. Their situation also impacts on family and friends in the UK and it is an anxious time as they await their, fate hoping for the best, yet fearing the worst.
The read is a realistic and harrowing portrayal of kidnapping and of the contrasting lives of those who live in the former Soviet Union and the UK. Not only was I on pins to see if Kat and Marty would survive their ordeal, but also how they would endure their close proximity given their animosity towards each other. Scenes expertly pan from their desperate situation to the lives and motivations of their captors and friends and family (including Kat’s fiancé) in the UK. Their existence is far removed from the shenanigans of some characters and the contrast makes for an entertaining read. I enjoyed both the two main characters as well as the insight into the political situation which has prompted their kidnapping.
The author has a gift for scene setting and I particularly liked her descriptions of Birmingham and London’s business community and those of the former Soviet Union, which I found very insightful. I particularly enjoyed the complex relationship between Kat and Marty and how this develops throughout the novel.
A super crime thriller, which is a thoroughly entertaining read.
PLEASE NOTE: The book is available in e-book and paperback. The author has published this series in a dyslexia free format. See the author’s blog post Fun, Fast Thrillers and Dyslexia Friendly Too
Reviewed by Tina Williams