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Extended Audio Sample Volk’s Game: A Novel, by Brent Ghelfi Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (156 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Brent Ghelfi Narrator: Stephen Hoye Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2007 ISBN: 9781400174515
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The explosive debut introducing Russian gangster Alexei Volkovoy delivers at every turn, announcing Volk as the boldest hero of a new generation.

A firefight reverberates through Moscow’s dark, rain-soaked streets; shattered glass and screams echo in the air. In the lawless ways of Russia’s capital city, the gunmen melt away into the night. Two men are dead, the targets not what they seem. A shadowy figure lopes along the riverbank outside the Kremlin walls. Known to all as Volk, a battle-hardened veteran of Russia’s brutal war in Chechnya, he prowls Moscow’s grim alleyways, a knife concealed in his prosthetic foot at all times.

As both a major player in the black market and a covert agent for the Russian military, Volk serves two masters: Maxim, a psychotic Azeri mafia kingpin with hordes of loyal informers; and a man known only as the General, to whom Volk is mysteriously indebted. By his side is Valya, an exotic beauty charged with protecting her lover from his unsavory associates. Valya is the most dangerous weapon in Volk’s arsenal. Together they are commissioned to steal a long-lost da Vinci painting called Leda and the Swan from St. Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum. Leda’s ethereal radiance is undeniably captivating and incalculably dangerous. Volk must choose which powerful man he will betray in order to escape with the painting—and with his life.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Brent Ghelfi writes like Dostoevsky’s hooligan great-grandson on speed. Volk’s Game is hard, fast, and a truly excellent debut. Highly recommended.”

    Lee Child, New York Times bestselling author of the Jack Reacher series

  • Volk’s Game is no ordinary thriller: it’s a 500-horsepower Mercedes blasting through the Moscow night…I’m ready to read the next installment NOW.”

    Greg Iles, New York Times bestselling author of Turning Angel

  • “Everything we look for when we read—freshness of setting, intriguing characters, vivid prose, new understandings—is well and truly here. Brent Ghelfi may not know Vincente Huidobro’s work, but in his own he does exactly what that poet counseled: invent new worlds, and be careful what you say.”

    James Sallis, author of Drive

  • Nominated for a Barry Award

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mom | 2/16/2014

    " Violent, dreary Russian story where the theft of immensely valuable art and jewels is worthless to anybody and the hero's dearly held but mostly misplaced values lead him to reject his only love for no reason I could comprehend. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shaunna | 2/11/2014

    " A good Russian mystery. Volk gets around for having a prosthesis foot. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Wendroz | 2/4/2014

    " Thriller about a Nazi plan in the war to infiltrate American troops "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephanie | 1/19/2014

    " Another book I thoroughly enjoyed. While it is a dark novel & at times a little confusing I really enjoyed it & have already checked out the next book in the Volk series. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ami | 12/7/2013

    " It is really messy to kill someone. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris Bryant | 12/2/2013

    " This book stands out by virtue of the quality of the writing. I am not sure that the story itself rises to the level of the writing. There is a dark, depressing, Russian ethos woven throughout the story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gxh281 | 10/31/2013

    " Gritty and violent but a great suspense mystery. It moves and there is always a new twist on the next page. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Raymond | 10/23/2013

    " It's a big yawn, but I can see the movie franchise now. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karie | 10/2/2013

    " Obviously not a lot of Quentin Tarantino fans read this book. I didn't find it that violent but I did find the story intriguing. As someone else said, I found myself liking a very unlikable character. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brian | 4/27/2013

    " Gritty, nasty crime novel. Just mean all the way through. Pretty good! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Christopher | 3/30/2013

    " Volk's Game is a weird animal. Part mystery, part thriller, part love story, part history lesson. I'm just not sure all those parts meshed tremendously well. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kyle | 3/22/2013

    " Good book, dragged out at some points though. Very explicit and in-depth. I don't if a sequel is such a good idea. Ended well with very few questions unanswered. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Justin | 9/1/2012

    " Think a more fucked up, russian version of "24." with a lot more thought and history behind it. plus, like, lots of torture and killing "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Renee | 12/16/2011

    " Amount of extreme violence and vivid descriptions not necessary . "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jessica | 12/8/2011

    " Violent, brutal, and cold - this is what being a thug is really about (or closer, anyway). Volk's not exactly the guy you'd bring home to mom, but he is the guy you want at your back in a fight. Especially a fight with someone you want to see suffer. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chris | 10/13/2011

    " ouch. harsh. Fast moving, brutal. I was intrigued with my sympathy for this rather unsympathetic character. Little too blody for me. probably will not read the next one, but that's just because I don't like the unremorseful killer attitude. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Veach Glines | 9/3/2011

    " A wonderfully entertaining action & suspense thriller. The magic metaphors bound and leap! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rob | 8/15/2011

    " Not a book for the squeamish. Alexei Volkovoy, former Russian Spetsnaz and decorated war hero, now a one-legged producer of porn movies, dealer in stolen personal information and other illegal enterprises. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karie | 4/17/2011

    " Obviously not a lot of Quentin Tarantino fans read this book. I didn't find it that violent but I did find the story intriguing. As someone else said, I found myself liking a very unlikable character. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kyle | 11/7/2010

    " Good book, dragged out at some points though. Very explicit and in-depth. I don't if a sequel is such a good idea. Ended well with very few questions unanswered. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mom | 5/11/2010

    " Violent, dreary Russian story where the theft of immensely valuable art and jewels is worthless to anybody and the hero's dearly held but mostly misplaced values lead him to reject his only love for no reason I could comprehend. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Rob | 5/7/2010

    " Not a book for the squeamish. Alexei Volkovoy, former Russian Spetsnaz and decorated war hero, now a one-legged producer of porn movies, dealer in stolen personal information and other illegal enterprises. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chris | 4/8/2010

    " ouch. harsh. Fast moving, brutal. I was intrigued with my sympathy for this rather unsympathetic character. Little too blody for me. probably will not read the next one, but that's just because I don't like the unremorseful killer attitude. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gxh281 | 3/15/2010

    " Gritty and violent but a great suspense mystery. It moves and there is always a new twist on the next page. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Raymond | 1/21/2010

    " It's a big yawn, but I can see the movie franchise now. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Renee | 8/8/2009

    " Amount of extreme violence and vivid descriptions not necessary . "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Veach | 7/9/2009

    " A wonderfully entertaining action & suspense thriller. The magic metaphors bound and leap! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Christopher | 7/28/2008

    " Volk's Game is a weird animal. Part mystery, part thriller, part love story, part history lesson. I'm just not sure all those parts meshed tremendously well. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Wendroz | 3/15/2008

    " Thriller about a Nazi plan in the war to infiltrate American troops "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Justin | 1/6/2008

    " Think a more fucked up, russian version of "24." with a lot more thought and history behind it. plus, like, lots of torture and killing "

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