Roy Doliner

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Roy Doliner

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juny 10, 2008, 1:02pm

Is anyone familiar with the books of Roy Doliner?

I've just started his book The Twelfth of April, a cold war espionage thriller published in 1985. I picked this one up recently basically at random at a San Francisco Goodwill Store (the one on Third Street in Bayview for you Bay Area denizens) because sometimes it's just fun to pick a book that way. At any rate, it's quite well written and very engaging.

I was wondering whether anyone in this group was a fan of his or even knew of his book.


juny 10, 2008, 6:20pm

I haven't heard of the author before, much less that book. Tell us more about it; maybe you can reproduce the back-cover copy or something? Thanks!

Editat: juny 11, 2008, 3:18pm

Well, the back cover is mostly covered with blurb's for Doliner's other books. Here's the beginning of the inside jacket cover, though:

"It is early spring 1945. The tide of the war has turned. . . . Roosevelt and Churchill secretly agree to ally themselves against Stalin to ensure that the Russions do not take over Eastern Europe once war with Germany is over. In retaliation, the Russians insttigate a conspiracy so treacherous it could plunge the superpowers into World War III.

In New York, a small group of Russian emigres learn the details of this plot. . . . "

The main character is a Russian emigre who came to France and then the U.S. after the Russian Revolution, to escape the excesses of Leninism. She gets involved with the Russian ex-pat community and begins doing some spy work against the Lenin and then Stalin regimes. The plot in question, which we are told very early on so this is not a spoiler, is the murder of FDR. So you need a little suspension of disbelief (that FDR was not really that sick, but instead was assassinated; in reality, he was quite sick and very exhausted). Otherwise, I'm definitely not doing the plot or the characterizations any justice. The story line is very interesting, as are the characters. It's not great writing, but it is good writing, and it's not a great espionage book, but it is a good one, and, about halfway through, I'm enjoying it a lot.

I haven't been able to find any online reviews of the book. Although the dustjacket claims the NYTimes said that Doliner's book "On the Edge" was "as good as they come," I did find a Times review of his earlier novel "The Thin Line," which was not very favorable.

btw: Amazingly, it looks like there are two Roy Doliners, as the author of "The Sistine Secrets: Michaelangelo's Forbidden Secrets in the Heart of the Vatican" is clearly a different fellow than the Roy Doliner who wrote spy novels and plays in the 1980s.