Six months after the dramatic conclusion of Moscow Rules, Gabriel has returned to the tan hills of Umbria to resume his honeymoon with his new wife, Chiara, and restore a seventeenth-century altarpiece for the Vatican. But his idyllic world is once again thrown into turmoil with shocking news from London. The defector and former Russian intelligence officer Grigori Bulganov, who saved Gabriel’s life in Moscow, has vanished without a trace. British intelligence is sure he was a double agent all along, but Gabriel knows better. He also knows he made a promise.
Do you know what we do with traitors, Gabriel? Many things have changed in Russia since the fall of Communism. But the punishment for betrayal remains the same.
Promise me one thing, Gabriel. Promise me I won’t end up in an unmarked grave.
In the days to come, Gabriel and his team of operatives will find themselves in a deadly duel of nerve and wits with one of the world’s most ruthless men: the murderous Russian oligarch and arms dealer Ivan Kharkov. It will take Gabriel from a quiet mews in London, to the shores of Lake Como, to the glittering streets of Geneva and Zurich, and, finally, to a heart-stopping climax in the snowbound birch forests of Russia. Faced with the prospect of losing the one thing he holds most dear, Gabriel will be tested in ways he never imagined possible. And his life will never be the same.
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"When Grigori Bulganov is missing in London, Gabriel Allon is called in to help with the search. While Gabriel is destracted, Ivan Kharkov kidnaps Gabriel's wife Chiara. The ransom is simple. Kharkov's children, who have defected to the west in exchange for Chiara. Historically we learn about the poisoning of defector Alexander Litvinenko and the elimination of anyone who opposes the Kremlin and Russia's elite. Forty nine Russian journalists (at this books publishing in 2010) have been murdered or disappeared."
Laura (4 out of 5 stars)