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Why Russia is still a good source for thriller-writers


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The end of the Cold War seemed to throw many thriller writers into a state of panic. For forty years they found a perfect setting for stories of espionage and treachery, not to mention world domination, nuclear holocausts and even the end of the world. Suddenly, with glasnost and perestroika, the Soviet Union disintegrated and Russia ceased to be 'the enemy'. Thriller writers searched around for an alternative background for their plots: some ventured into the world of drug wars and cartels; others explored the possibilities of the Middle East; others delved into terrorism on their own doorstep. Only a few ventured back into Russia.

A key problem was that, while Russia remained closed to the West, it was easy enough to base a novel there because no one was in any position to judge the validity of the scene settings or the operations of the KGB (as it was in those days) or even the way of life. With the opening up of the country, suddenly there were pictures all over the internet, thousands flocked to Russia as tourists or to work, newspapers and dissidents started carrying stories about 'real Russia'. All this made Russia far more treacherous ground for writers unless they really knew what they were talking about.

However, for those well versed in Russia, the region remained a great background for a thriller. To find out why, read the rest of my article on http://judgingmorethanjustthecover.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/why-russia-is-still-good-source-for.html