The Silent Oligarch
By: Christopher Morgan Jones
Deep in the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources sits a nondescript bureaucrat named Konstantin Malin. He draws a nominal government salary but from his shabby office controls half the nation’s oil industry, making him one of the most wealthy and feared men in Russia. His public face is Richard Lock, a hapless money launderer bound to Malin by marriage, complacency, and greed. Lock takes the proceeds of his master’s corruption, washes them abroad, and invests them back in Russia in a secret business empire. He knows little about Malin’s true affairs, but still he knows too much.
Benjamin Webster is an investigator at a London corporate intelligence firm. Years before, as an idealistic young journalist in Russia, Webster saw a colleague murdered for asking too many hard questions of powerful people; her true killers have never been found. Hired to ruin Malin, Webster comes to realize that this shadowy figure might have ordered her gruesome death, and that this case may deliver the justice he has been seeking for a decade.
As Webster peels back the layers of Malin’s shell companies and criminal networks, Lock’s colleagues begin dying mysteriously, police around the world start to investigate, and Malin begins to question his trust in his increasingly exposed frontman. Suddenly Lock is running for his life- though from Malin or Webster, the law or his own past, he couldn’t say.
I received an advanced reading copy of this book recently thanks to GoodReads so I decided to read this book as soon as I could in order to provide a review before the novel is formally released next month.
The Time In Between
By: Maria Duenas
Suddenly left abandoned and penniless in Algiers by her lover, Sira Quiroga forges a new identity. Against all odds she becomes the most sought-after couture designer for the socialite wives of German Nazi officers. But she is soon embroiled in a dangerous political conspiracy as she passes information to the British Secret Service through a code stitched into the hems of her dresses.
I received an advanced reading copy of this novel from GoodReads, which is pretty exciting considering this book has been on my want-to-read pile since I first heard of it back in April thanks to the Guardian‘s New Europe series. It’s always cool to find out about what’s new and generating buzz in different countries. Spoilers ahead!
The Paris Wife
By: Paula McLain
No twentieth-century American writer has captured the popular imagination as much as Ernest Hemingway. This novel tells his story from a unique point of view – that of his first wife, Hadley. Through her eyes and voice, we experience Paris of the Lost Generation and meet fascinating characters such as Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound, and Gerald and Sara Murphy. The city and its inhabitants provide a vivid backdrop to this engrossing and wrenching story of love and betrayal that is made all the more poignant knowing that, in the end, Hemingway would write of his first wife, “I wish I had died before I loved anyone but her.”
I was quite thrilled when I learned that I won an advanced reading copy of The Paris Wife on GoodReads. The story intrigued me despite knowing almost nothing about Ernest Hemingway (save for the biographical bits here and there from the 1996 movie In Love and War with Sandra Bullock and Chris O’Donnell) and having read nothing by him (though to be fair I haven’t really read very many books by authors from this era). So this book was really a nice introduction to the life and figure of Ernest Hemingway but also a pleasant reading experience. Some Spoilers Ahead!