ShareThis Page
Books

'Hidden Account of the Romanovs' banks on action

| Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014, 8:00 p.m.

Every dictator has a Swiss bank account, or so we assume, his insurance policy against what he really deserves — the boot.

Maybe even a legitimate ruler, the last Russian tsar, stashed away rubles and rubies in Switzerland before being murdered by Communists in World War I with his queen and all their kids, which left no heirs to all that compound interest piling up like snow in the Alps.

But wait. Was every last princess actually slaughtered in that orgy of bloodletting perhaps ordered, but without fingerprints, by Lenin himself?

Such is the mystery that triggers John Browne's novel, “Hidden Account of the Romanovs.” The title perhaps suggests a tale too bankerly. In fact, it's packed with action.

Fictional hero Alex Fanshawe dodges shrapnel (but not all of it) in the horrors of the trenches, then again in the bullet-spitting skies of the early Royal Flying Corps. Just the resourceful fellow for British Intelligence to send to St. Petersburg to assassinate Grigory Rasputin. The sinister monk schemed to get Russia out of the war with Germany, thus an obvious threat to the Brits. A younger Churchill and Stalin take supporting roles in Browne's reconstruction of bloody 1914-20, a time frame that correctly grafts Russia's civil war onto the “war to end wars.”

How ironic that Browne's novel, close, personal and suspenseful, seems more real and even more informative than most histories of those infuriatingly futile conflicts.

The author should be no stranger to Trib Total Media readers. He's the retired soldier and parliamentarian who, as Sunday business columnist, warns of land mines ahead if central banks (like our Fed) keep cheapening their countries' currencies.

Jack Markowitz is a columnist for Trib Total Media.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me