In the Russian Federation, Novyy Urengoy, Siberia, an American gas company executive is found dead, the apparent victim of a casual robbery or the local mafia. Whatever the truth, Alexei Vorontsyev, chief of detectives, is unlikely to solve the crime, confronted as he is by a town awash with immigrant labour, cheap heroin, organized crime and the uncaring multinationals.
In Washington, the chief executive of the gas company and his wife are murdered in their opulent mansion during an interrupted robbery. John Lock, State Department expert on Russia and former CIA agent, vows revenge on the killers of his beloved sister, Beth, and his brother-in-law Billy Grainger.
There is no possible connection between the two crimes; they are merely two eruptions of modern lawlessness — or are they? Vorontsyev is inexorably forced to explore a connection between the executive’s murder and heroin smuggling. Lock, in his search for the wild justice of revenge, finds himself pursued and challenged at every turn as he moves closer to the heart of darkness and the motives for his sister’s death. Both men seek justice, the price of which, for each of them, becomes almost impossible to pay.
Craig Thomas’s new novel confronts the plague of the modern Russian mafia an its international expansion in an enthralling story of the struggle for justice in an increasingly dangerous and lawless world. Employing all his customary skills of characterisation, narrative and evocation of place he dramatizes a more serious menace to the security of the West than was ever posed by the Soviet Union and its armies — the threat of organized crime in Russia.