In the first of a U.K. series to be published in the United States, a British journalist in Moscow gets arrested for double murder.
Faith Zanetti, just posted to Moscow as bureau chief of London’s Chronicle, is awakened from her first nap in her new apartment by cops hammering on her door. Is she Vera Sakhnova? “Nyet,” she says, still half asleep, and then immediately corrects herself. Fifteen years ago, she’d married noted black marketeer Dimitri Sakhnova when she was only 19. The marriage ended shortly thereafter, but Faith never got around to the finishing it off legally. Now, she’s told, Dimitri is in a Russian jail, rescinding a confession that had specifically absolved her of any role in the grisly murders of Leonid and Yelyena Varanov, her neighbors. The resulting surge of interest, she insists, is unwarranted, but there’s a complication. She doesn’t really know what she did on the night the double homicide went down in the next apartment because she was dead drunk. Furthermore, the man in Oryol prison claiming to be Dimitri isn’t. So what’s going on? It takes Faith a while to find out, and when she does, it’s a shock, yet not totally a surprise.
A hard-drinking, foul-mouthed protagonist in Putin’s Russia, occupying a landscape nearly as depressing as she is.