Ekaterina Romanova, wife of a Russian oligarch, asks Scot Mitchell for help. Scott, a Moscow based English human rights lawyer, has just come back from a great success and had a nasty encounter with Russian authorities who eye his doing with suspicion. Ekaterina wants to find her father whom she has never seen and whom she suspects to be hidden in one of the forbidden secret cities. At the same time, General Pravda is also on a tricky mission and when their ways cross and several murders are committed, Scott’s life is threatened from different sides because he is about to reveal one of the best hidden secrets of the Cold War.
A crime novel of the Cold War set many years after but nevertheless playing with classic oppositions. Churchward manages to portray a realistic situation which could happen every day in modern Russia and which is deep into international politics and the helplessness of the individual caught within the Russian system of espionage, threat and secret government ordered mission. It also shows that nobody, not even high-ranked generals, are safe from losing their position and their bosses’ favour and being shot. The plot itself is quick-paced and convincingly constructed, what I liked especially was the protagonist Scott who was drawn in an authentic way and acted not like a superhero but in a believable human way.