The Malinovsky Papers

The Malinovsky Papers


Professor Nicholas Malinovsky is contacted by a dying Russian man in 1986 . The man, Dmitri Korshunov tells him a story about the fate of the two youngest Romanov children. The man is very convincing but is his tale true?

Our Review

The Malinovsky Papers by H. Jones is a brilliant historical mystery centred around the Romanov family.

I chose to request an advanced copy of this book because I learnt a small amount about it as part of a module on Russian Politics and Literature as part of my Politics course at university. In particular, I was interested in the continued conspiracy theories surrounding the fate of the Romanov family.

Whether you choose to believe the theory outlined in this book or not, there is no doubt that this is a thoroughly researched and highly entertaining book.

The Malinovsky Papers begin with a foreword by Hannah Jones explaining how she came to be in possession of the papers and why she believes them to be authentic and chose to publish them. They were sent to her by the son of a professor she had held in high esteem when he was alive, Nicholas Malinovsky.

In the event of his death Nicholas had left the contents of the papers to his son Andrei and Andrei had contacted her for her professional opinion.

The Malinovsky papers comprised of the following material:

  1. One Sealed box not to be opened until after the first manuscript has been read
  2. 27 Audio Tapes
  3. Two Manuscripts
  4. A covering letter from Nicholas to his son

“My dear son,

                          How did it all start? Well, you may remember that in the 1980’s, while you were at medical school, I was Professor of 20th Century European History at Yale and I had published a book on The Russian Revolution in 1985. The book attracted some publicity and it was that which prompted an elderly Russian émigré, Dmitri Korshunov to write to me in 1986, through my publishers, and offer his story to me.”

Korshunov claimed to have worked in The House of Special Purpose in Ekaterinburg where the Bolsheviks had imprisoned the Romanov’s.

Initially Nicholas dismissed him as one of many people trying to cash in or become famous by claiming to be part of a historical event but when a year later he was contacted by him again and told he was dying Nicholas felt guilty and decided to go and find out what he had to say.

Korshunov began by talking about his childhood in the well-off mining town of Ekaterinburg. He spoke about the return of Russian men from the war and how disillusioned they were with those in charge.

His own father returned from the war as an unpleasant stranger who lodged at our house. They had never been particularly close but the distance between them deepened on his return.

His mother on the other hand was a religious woman who was highly devoted to both her husband and her son despite her husband’s ill treatment of her.

Despite only being 15 Korshunov was told by his father that he had to leave school and get a job. Dmitri agreed but said he would choose what job he would take. He chose to apply to work as a servant in one of the big houses in the town and ended up working in the Impatiav house where the Romanov family would eventually end up.

Korshunov’s tale centred around a very different ending for the two youngest Romanov children, an ending he played a key part in.

The details within The Morinovsky Papers are well-thought out and researched. I liked the details of every day life as well as the details about The Romanov’s themselves. I loved the details of Korshunov’s life in general.

This was a brilliant read, I loved it.

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