In 1890s Russia, a window of reform opens up in the Tsarist legal regime. Dimitri, a lawyer of Scottish-Russian descent, is just the man to jump through it. First though, there is some business in the courthouse to be got out of the way, because the officials have "lost" a beautiful young woman.
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‘A wily protagonist and racing narrative combine for perfect entertainment’
‘Deceptively merry, but ingeniously imagined and zestfully written, with a plot that would rouse Oblomov from his bed’
Russia in the 1890s, and a window of reform opens up in the oppressive Tsarist legal regime. Dmitri Kameron, a young lawyer of Scottish Russian descent, is just the man to jump through it – but not before he has dealt with the tiresome business of Anna Semenova, a beautiful and well connected young woman who has mysteriously disappeared from the regional Court House. Amazingly it looks as if she has been shipped off by mistake to Siberia, in one of the prison wagons. Is this a beaurocratic bungle of enormous proportions or something more calculated?
Dmitri is the one elected to find out. He reluctantly embarks on a journey to the furthest outposts of Russia only to find his search for Anna become horribly complicated. Where he would have expected support he is met with obstructiveness, and he begins to suspect a sinister cover up – but of what? To unearth the truth in the labyrinthine world of Russian officialdom is a tough task for even the most resourceful of men and Dmitri is forced to make some strange allies, not least among them the redoubtable Milk Drinkers.
This witty, colourful novel marks the start of a new series by the award winning Michael Pearce, who, in Dmitri Kameron, has created a wily protagonist, well equipped to take on the oppressive Tsarist legal regime.
Michael Pearce grew up in the (then) Anglo-Egyptian Sudan among the various tensions he draws on for his award winning Mamur Zapt series. He was trained as a Russian interpreter during the Cold War for military intelligence work, and has retained an active human rights interest in the area ever since. He believes that there was a brief period towards the end of the Tsarist regime and before the coming of the Communists when democratic institutions and an independent legal system might have got off the ground in Russia, and that if they had, the whole course of history would have been different. It is this period, the 1890s, that he makes the setting for his new Russian novel.
He now lives in London and is the author of ten Mamur Zapt novels, including The Mamur Zapt and the Spoils of Egypt, for which he was awarded the Crime Writers’ Association’s prestigious Last Laugh Award for the funniest crime novel of the year.
PRAISE FOR MICHAEL PEARCE’S MAMUR ZAPT NOVELS
“Pearce takes apart ancient history and reassembles it with beguiling wit and colour”
“Pearce’s narrative skill is full of charming period detail”
TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT
“Beguiling, amusing and painlessly informative”
HAM AND HIGH
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Book Description HarperCollins, 1997. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 2326418