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Trans-Siberian Express    by Warren Adler order for
Trans-Siberian Express
by Warren Adler
Order:  USA  Can
Stonehouse, 2013 (1977)
Hardcover, Softcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Dr. Alex Cousins is a cancer specialist trying to prolong the life of Soviet Politburo Chief Viktor Moiseyevich Dimitrov, who suffers from an advanced stage of leukemia. By accident, Cousins discovers Dimitrov's diabolical plan for a nuclear attack on China that could kill millions!

He and Dimitrov are traveling on the Trans-Siberian Express across six-thousand miles of mostly empty landscape at Dimitrov's insistence, probably to prevent Cousins from circumventing his plans.

Traveling on the Trans-Siberian Express was nothing like riding on the Orient Express. Conditions were most uncomfortable, with men and women sharing roomettes even though they did not know each other. The food left a lot to be desired and stops at stations along the way were few and far between, with little time to mail a letter or make a phone call. Russia put great emphasis on the trains being on time.

Alex Cousins has been assigned the same room where beautiful Anna Petrovna Valentinova has been placed. Interesting goings on in that roomette! The various travelers all have their own agendas including a rotten little kid who annoys everyone.

The plot of this older novel is a solid one with many side steps along the journey. The story could have taken place today, just as easily as in 1977 when this book was first published. What the Russians called the Jewish problem is explored. A crippled man's revenge is understood. A woman married to a Jew refuses to continue on the trip. She wants to go back to Moscow. A multitude of humanity is involved in a very readable novel.

Warren Adler is the author of The War of the Roses as well as countless other books, short stories and plays. Trans-Siberian Express is a very good read.

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