A wonderfully rich and vibrant novel which tells the story of one of Russia's post-Communist Oligarchs and the two women who marry him, from impoverished boyhood, through unimaginable power and wealth, to the moment when he finally overreaches himself.
Pavel Ivanchenko's life begins in poverty and violence, but he is destined to become one of the richest men in the world: one of the post-Glasnost Oligarchs. He starts his business life trading illegal vodka on the freezing, grimy streets of Kargasok, he ends up buying most of the steel in the old Soviet Union, believing that he can buy, sell, or destroy anything or anyone - especially women. This is principally the story of two of those women: one English, one Russian, who become friends as girls in Moscow, and whose lives then become entwined through their turbulent relationships with the Oligarch. From Moscow to London and the French Riviera, back to St Petersburg, from the grinding boredom of extreme poverty, to the surreal stage sets of fabulous wealth, the story leads us deep into the heart of an unknown and fascinating world, with a larger-than-life man - part hero, part villain - at its centre.
“Fast-paced ... a thrilling story about power and love ... A gripping read.”
“A classy and compelling read with an ending that does not disappoint.”
“A refreshingly cliché-free saga of international conspiracy and high-risk love affairs, Blundy's book is excellent at capturing alien cityscapes through an outsider's eyes”
“This wildly romantic and powerfully atmospheric novel takes us from the cramped, steaming kitchens of Nowhereski, Siberia, to the presidential suites of the world's best hotels. Like all rags-to-riches stories, the rags are the best bit. I enjoyed it so much I wanted to read it again, instantly.”