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Sam Eastland (pseudonym of Paul Watkins),
Author of the Inspector Pekkala Mystery Books,
Set in Stalinist Russia
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Literary Novelist Turns to Crime
Sam Eastland is the pseudonym of literary novelist Paul Watkins. Watkins, the grandson of a London police detective, decided to write the Inspector Pekkala series under a pen name at the suggestion of his publisher.

The Pekkala books were inspired by a very special belt buckle, decorated with the double-headed eagle of Imperial Russia and found in Belorus on the corpse of a World War I era soldier, whose grave was uncovered accidentally. The buckle sparked Eastland's literary imagination and the character Pekkala was the result.

In the Preface to The Beast in the Red Forest (2014, Inspector Pekkala Mystery Books #5), Eastland sets out some of the challenges particular to Russian history:
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 Author Sam Eastland (pseudonym of Paul Watkins)
Above: Author Sam Eastland (pseudonym of Paul Watkins)

Sam's Crime Series

Inspector Pekkala Mystery Books

Paul Watkin's Non-series Thrillers

Archangel (1995)

The Story of My Disappearance (1997)

The Forger (2000)

The Ice Soldier (2005)

Paul's Other Fiction

Night Over Day Over Night (1988)

Calm at Sunset, Calm at Dawn (1989)

In the Blue Light of African Dreams (1990)

The Promise of Light (1992)

Thunder God (2004)

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Russian history, perhaps more than that of any other country, is layered with so many lies, denials, discreditations and rehabilitations that there is no one version of that country's past. The only reliable stance to take is that nothing about it is reliable. And yet you know that the truth is in there somewhere, woven into the fabric of these deceptions.