Anna Berseneva, writer
What comes to mind when you read on the first page of the book: “On May 25, one thousand eight hundred and forty-nine, the three-masted passenger schooner Isabella entered the bay of Erba Buen and, after a short maneuver in the uncomplicated channel, ran aground one mile from the coast” ? And when the chapter ends with the words: “Consider yourself and pass it on to your people in the port. If you see Morgan Chelsea, do not try to arrest him, just shoot without warning. Is that the only way to delay him? ”
Of course, you immediately remember that wonderful time when you were twelve years old and you opened the “Children of Captain Grant”, or “The Headless Horseman”, or “The Diamond Thieves” - how long and wonderful this list is! I was sure that time — or rather, then a sinking heart in anticipation of exciting adventures — would never return. But she began to read the book by Alexei Zarevin, “Gold is under my feet” (M .: Gorodets-Fluid Publishing House. 2020) - and here it is, you will not confuse anything!
The action takes place in the middle of the XIX century in America. The gold rush, attempts to join California, where this rush is burning, to the North American United States, political intrigues and shooting all kinds of weapons in harsh reality, sheriffs, Indians, tomahawks, fights in saloons - all this is amazing fireworks sparkles on every page. This is a very masculine story - women are present in it not as psychological units, but as plot characters necessary for a more vivid development of the action. But the amazing thing is, such a dotted designation of love lines does not at all primitivize the narrative. Although why, in fact, be surprised? After all, this is exactly the way it is in all the books that I listed at the beginning. Have even the most romantic girls read Captain Grant's Children for the sake of love? No, not everyone loved them for that.
Another thing is surprising: with such a distinctly manifested adventure matrix, the book by Alexei Zarevin is not a cold stylization of numerous "source codes". She is stylistically independent, and this is a living style of a smart modern author, who also found, apparently, her own bright mark. What it is, it’s clear from the title of the series - “Historical Detective: Russians in America”. And, in addition to all the other pleasures, like solving the riddle of who the Black Devil is and why he makes terrible murders, reading this book brings a pleasure quite unexpected for the current state of our country - to realize that now there is an author here who is ready to dive with such undisguised rapture in the vicissitudes of US history right in his debut novel. The world is united not only because of common misfortunes and problems, but also because really interesting events, even fictional ones, are interesting at any point in it - that’s what you are joyfully convinced by reading “Gold Underfoot”.
Judging by the text, Alexei Zarevin combined his fiction with thorough historical research. True, it seems to me that he still has to fully acquire the skill that allows him not to lose suspense due to the desire to tell the reader a variety of historical facts. However, already in this, his first book, one can see how this skill is acquired by the author literally in front of the reader as the action develops, which becomes more dynamic from page to page. The further you go, the more expressive and lively the characters become - you stop confusing them with each other, you start to worry about them. Most of all, of course, for Sam Johnson, the young assistant to the sheriff, whose parents call him Semyon, because, although he was born in America, he is a real American, but his origin is Russian, and his upbringing is also largely. The family is Russian, of which there were many in California at that time. Sam guesses that all the chilling murders that he is investigating take place “according to a unified plan, according to a grandiose plan, the goal of which is to have the Golden State” ... So there’s also a political intrigue in the novel “Gold Underfoot”, and even what!
Many probably have wonderful volumes of the Adventure Library on the shelves. With a pure heart, I would add to them the first book of Alexei Zarevin. And certainly I will wait for his next books about the adventure of Russians in America.