The Holmes Factor

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The second in the successful Sebastian Holmes series, following The Holmes Inheritance. It's just weeks from the outbreak of the First World War, a conflict few expect to erupt. If it does, Russia is pivotal. But Russia, having survived one abortive revolution, seeths with unrest. Lenin, Trotsky and Stalin plot a second. The hypnotic monk, Rasputin, has ingratiated himself sufficiently with the Tsar and Tsarina to dictate government policy. Will Russia fight? Will the Romanov dynasty be overthrown? If they are, will Britain accept them in exile? To answer such questions upon which British war policy depends Sebastian Holmes, son of the legendary Sherlock Holmes, is despatched to St Petersburg, where he infiltrates the revolutionaries and the imperial court. There, the unpredictable chief of the Tsar's secret police tries to manipulate Sebastian for personal reasons. As does his contact in the British embassy in which Sebastian discovers spies for both Russia and Germany and by whom he is betrayed into giving a false assurance that threatens his own life.