By Brent Ghelfi
(Henry Holt and Co., Hardcover, 9780805082548, 320pp.)
Publication Date: June 12, 2007
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The explosive debut introducing Russian gangster Alexei Volkovoy—not since Robert Ludlum’s Jason Bourne has a hero shifted so effortlessly between hunter and hunted
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.
With the high-octane rush and vivid intensity of a feature film, Volk’s Game delivers at every turn, announcing Alexei Volkovoy as the boldest hero of a new generation.
Brent Ghelfi has served as a clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals, been a partner in a Phoenix-headquartered law firm, and now owns and operates several businesses. He has traveled extensively throughout Russia, and lives in Phoenix with his wife, a former prosecutor, and their two sons. Volk's Shadow is due out in July 2008, and Brent is currently working on the third book in the series.