THE SING & SHOUT THRILLERS
The second half of the twentieth century gave us the Cold War, and it brought us to the brink of destruction.
It also gave us rock ‘n’ roll.
In this series of gripping adventures, young people caught in the crossfire of the Cold War discover the power of music to fight oppression and feed the human spirit. Tackling mysteries and unraveling conspiracies, they find the sources of our common humanity concealed in unexpected places.
"If you enjoy a little espionage set in romantic cold War locations populated with upstanding heroes who make delightfully dangerous decisions, you will like these books."
- Strong Sense of Place podcast
This is a prequel to the first in the Sing and Shout series. 'Back in the USSR' is a gripping historical thriller set in Moscow. It featured political repression, action, musical references, and the much-desired intrigue to obtain the illegal Beatle's White Album. Rock music was considered decadent, and the Beatle's music symbolized freedom. Both books were well-researched and informative, with appealing characters. There is a vibrant sense of place.
This story is set in Czechoslovakia more than a decade earlier. Josie, a young rookie reporter, arrived in Prague in 1968. She was sent by the Toronto Post because of her ability to speak the language. She learned the Czech language from her grandmother, who now lived in Canada, but told Josie stories about life in the old country. She recounted running through fields of strawberries outside of Prague as a child.
No sooner does Josie arrive in Prague when Russian tanks thunder into the city. This begins a tense, exciting story that is fast-paced and breathtaking.
I wish to thank the author, Patrick D Joyce, for this thrilling historical book. I will look forward to more of his compelling political stories enhanced with references to Beatles music.
What a fun read! Especially delightful for Beatles fans, but a lot here for non-fans to enjoy, too (and a treasure trove of music for them to discover.) The author did such a great job describing the wide cast of characters that you never lost track of who was who. The plot was sometimes manic, sometimes fantastical, and always engaging. Loved the authentic glimpse into day-to-day life in Russia in the last days of the cold war. Highly recommend!
Light reading. Well written. Good story
This was an amazing and very exiting book about friendship and trust! This book was very adventurous and I couldn’t put it down! I would highly recommend!
"Back in the USSR" was riveting from start to finish. Between the setting (Moscow), the era (the 1980s), the theme (The Beatles), and the teenage characters, I seriously couldn't put this book down. With lots of intrigue and excitement, I kept thinking to myself, "I'd love to see this made into a movie!". Seriously.
Cleverly written, well-paced, maybe a bit fantastical in places, this book is geared for adults and young adult readers who're a bit more sophisticated, I think.
Excellent read that drew me in and kept me entertained. Highly recommend it!
I'm not usually drawn to thrillers but I really enjoyed reading Back in the USSR. The author does a nice job of weaving a young adult perspective, diplomatic life, and Beatles song lyrics to create a fast-moving plot that I found hard to put down.
Exciting story with lots of twists and turns. Whole family enjoyed this book!
This is a well-plotted, briskly paced YA spy thriller set in Soviet Moscow during the 1980s. Harrison George, visiting his American diplomat parents for the Christmas school holidays, and his friend Pru, the daughter of journalists, become inadvertently involved in a web of complex machinations involving the Beatles, obsessive collectors, artists and poets, Russian mobsters, and the KGB. The time and place, including the experience of being young and American observing a strange and repressive regime, are richly drawn. The music of the Fab Four provides a unifying motif for this tale of clashing ideologies and personal loyalties
This was a page-turner! If you are mature adult, don’t be deterred by the designation of this novel as YA fiction. It is an intriguing, creative and thoroughly entertaining story with endearing protagonists. Bonus if you are a Beatles fan! I am looking forward to the next one in this series, Mr. Joyce.
Back In The USSR is a pleasure from cover to cover! A Dan Brown-esque thriller, the book kept me turning the page to see what happened next, all the while delighting with easter eggs, lyric references and the pure joy that The Beatles bring to the world. As a young adult this would have vied for one of my favourite books, but, even as an adult, I thoroughly enjoyed it. May there be many more Harrison and Prudence adventures to come!
To start off, Patrick Joyce, knows what he is doing! I love every single part of this book and it just got me off of my seat and kept me pumped on what was on the next page. The book itself is written so constructively and thoroughly, with the main characters Harrison and Pru, I feel in my opinion they were written so whole-heartedly and in depth with passion. I also love the intertwining of the history of the USSR, Cold War, and The Beatles were put in perfectly with each other inside the book. As a pianist and ever since a young age, a fan of The Beatles, reading about them and the little easter eggs and twists about The Beatles brought me more forwards into reading the book. To be honest, this has been an uplifting, emotional, and one of the best books I've seen in a while.
book of twists, rock, and reconnaissance. Harrison and Prue are in deep. 'Back In The USSR' is a fantastic book that includes all sorts of angles at life under soviet rule. I liked how everyone in this book was different, diverse, and realistic. A well-weaved story.
My middle school daughter and I read Back in the USSR and both loved it. Rich characters, exciting plot, and unexpected twists. Great read for both young adults and adults, fun to discuss with teens. Highly recommend!
Back in the USSR is a love letter to Beatles music, and just as Harrison lands in the Soviet Union we too are transported into a universe of intrigue, mystery, danger, and excitement. The fast pace is engaging and makes for a great read. I really enjoyed the consistent theme of music that permeates the novel and the mystery which adds a layer of excitement and fun. I only wish that I were a bigger fan of the Beatles since a few references went over my head. I'd absolutely recommend this book to anyone looking for a good mystery or young adult novel and especially to lovers of The Beatles music. (Also, I listened to The Beatles in the background while reading, and I highly recommend it.)
The Double-White Dossier
Do you want to know a secret?
Pull back the Iron Curtain…
This companion story to Back in the USSR unearths top-secret documents that reveal what was happening behind the scenes, out of view of the main characters.
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