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Could have been the blown business deal with the Italians. Could have been the unauthorized office party, which ended with the cops—and then an arrest. No matter what finally got him fired, Mikhail never expected to find himself at Red Star Industries’ office again.
So down-and-out Mikhail is surprised to be called in by old boss Pavel Petrovich, who offers Mikhail easy money and the Land Rover of his dreams to teach his son, Sergei, how to “be a man”—and to spy on him.
Of course, Sergei’s not the Internet-obsessed recluse his father believes. He’s hiding a relationship with the beautiful Marina, who Mikhail himself can’t help but fall for as well. To keep it all together, Mikhail finds himself lying to Petrovich about his son’s activities, lying to Marina about Sergei’s intentions, and lying to Sergei about his love for Marina. So when Sergei’s father invites them all to Italy, the web of lies holding their world together begins to fall apart, and about the time Mikhail finds himself held hostage at gunpoint, he realizes he’s gotten in way over his head...
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Marian Schwartz is an award-winning translator of Russian literature. She is the recipient of two translation fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and a past president of the American Literary Translators Association. Her translations include the New York Times bestseller The Last Tsar by Edvard Radzinsky, Andrei Gelasimov’s Thirst, Olga Slavnikova’s 2017, and Ivan Goncharov’s Oblomov.
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