By Robert Littell
A riveting mystery approximately crime and punishment in Soviet-era Moscow.
Like the Arkady Renko novels of Martin Cruz Smith, Robert Littell's masterful Mother Russia transports readers again in time and in the back of the Iron Curtain to adventure the extremes of Soviet society. Robespierre Pravdin is a black marketeer who prowls Moscow's streets and alleys hustling wristwatches. Wishing in basic terms to outlive in a urban suffocated through paranoia and schizophrenia, Robespierre manages to make a tidy revenue and remain lower than the state's radar-until, someday, he meets the lady referred to as "Mother Russia" and turns into ensnared within the Byzantine and profoundly risky video game of politics. this can be one other darkly engrossing pageturner from the bestselling writer of The Sisters and The Defection of A. J. Lewinter.
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It most likely used to be a code or anything. It acknowledged, ‘The louse will lose. ’ What does that suggest, the louse will lose? ” “It’s an outdated Talmudic saying,” Pravdin explains, “that capacity, It’s the bosses who’ll watch the bosses. ’ “ “Who’s Talmud? ” Ophelia asks. Pravdin merely shakes his head, dips into his briefcase, comes up with a Beatles checklist that he deals to Ophelia. “How a lot? ” she asks suspiciously. “A current is what it is,” Pravdin says. ahead of she will be able to now not protest, he melts into the gang hurrying up the stairs to the Bolshoi for a functionality of the ballet Don Quixote. on the 3rd balcony he squeezes previous 4 extreme younger women and takes his seat because the apartment lighting fixtures dim. the enormous curtain opens, the song swirls via Pravdin’s head. His lids shut. In his mind’s eye he sees Frolov, a strong guy in his seventies, sitting simply the place the unsigned be aware he chanced on lower than his door acknowledged he will be: within the first row of the orchestra, his eyes glazed with loss of curiosity. the 1st act ends and he makes his means, in addition to a number of women and men tucked round his heels like fowl canines, towards the bar for a cognac his health practitioner has forbidden him to drink. protecting courtroom within the shiny mild of the room the place refreshments are bought, Frolov is unexpectedly faced through a light, fragilely skinny guy with wild purple hair. “Honored Artist of the Soviet Union Frolov? ” the skinny guy calls for. pondering he's being requested for an autograph, Frolov reaches for his fountain pen. the skinny guy with the wild crimson hair going off in all instructions rears again and slaps the getting older Nobel laureate around the face. Thwak. each person within the room is quickly and completely silent. To Pravdin it seems like a statue vivante entitled “After the Slap. ” Even beverages appear to solidify in midair, in everlasting pour among bottle and cup. Tears (of frustration, of anger, of soreness, of worry even; who can say? ) good in Frolov’s eyes. Pravdin’s voice rivets all people: “Honored Artist of the Soviet Union Frolov is a plagiarist. ” The intensest of the serious younger ladies faucets Pravdin at the arm. His eyes open; the houselights have come on, the track has stopped. “I’ve by no means obvious somebody watch a ballet along with his eyes closed,” she reviews scornfully to her comrades. “Attention,” Pravdin cautions her in a stern voice, “those who're now not with us are usually not with us. ” He climbs awkwardly over knees, makes his approach all the way down to the well-lit room the place refreshments are offered. Frolov, a robust guy in his seventies, is status close to the bar, his again towards Pravdin, sipping fruit juice. Pravdin, his pulse pounding in his temples, his eyes feverish, pushes in the course of the crowd, inflicting one lady to spill wine at the gown of one other. “Honored Artist of the Soviet Union Frolov? ” Pravdin addresses the man’s again. He turns, takes in Pravdin’s basketball footwear, his trousers frayed on the cuffs, his Eisenhower jacket with the 4 medals overlapping above the breast pocket, his crimson hair going off in all instructions. “So it really is you,” he says. “Honored Artist of the Soviet Union Frolov is a—” Thwak.