The publisher’s synopsis of Volk’s Shadow reads as follows:
An international cabal drives Volk back to blood-soaked Chechnya, where he confronts an old nemesis and reunites with his lost love in this gripping sequel to the acclaimed series debut.All of the ingredients appear to be there for a bang-up sophomore effort by Ghelfi, whose previous book won widespread acclaim, The Washington Post calling Volk’s Game “State of the art ... an impressive debut.” Henry Holt clearly believes this new book, which is scheduled to reach stores in June, will help cement Ghelfi’s credentials as a best-selling thriller author.
The headquarters of an American oil company hemorrhages chemical-pink smoke into the Moscow night, the aftermath of an apparent terrorist attack. A Russian army captain carrying a priceless Fabergé egg and digital evidence of horrific wartime atrocities is murdered and relieved of both these prizes. And in the snowy mountains of southern Russia, a terrorist named Abreg--who once held Volk captive in a Chechen mud pit--hatches a plan to lure him back into his grasp.
Volk’s Shadow finds Colonel Alexei Volkovoy--covert agent of the Russian army and major player in the Moscow underworld--once again struggling to stay afloat in the swirling currents of Russian political and economic intrigue. This time, however, he is without his sidekick and lover, the ethereal Valya Novaskaya. Aching for the soul mate he pushed away, Volk begins to doubt himself, becoming even more detached from the brutality of his actions. When he takes out his inner pain on the wrong man, he gains a powerful enemy in the highest reaches of the Kremlin, and only after he travels back to Chechnya to eliminate his old nemesis, Abreg, is Volk’s debt finally repaid.
But the question now is, who should receive The Rap Sheet’s five copies? Rather than simply ask that interested readers e-mail us their names and addresses, we’ve decided to make this contest a bit more interesting. So here are the rules:
• Send us the titles (and author names) from one or more Russian-set crime novels/thrillers that you’ve enjoyed in the past, along with a sentence or two about what you found appealing in those books. It doesn’t matter whether your picks are recent works, or others with a bit of age on them.
• All entries should be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include your full name and snail-mail address in the body of the note. And in the subject line, write “Book Contest.”
• To be eligible, entries must be received by this coming Monday, April 14. The cutoff time is midnight. Once we have all the entries in hand, we’ll pick the five winners at random and announce them here on Wednesday, April 16.
We await your entries and Russian-backdropped book suggestions.
UPDATE: At the publisher’s request, this competition was originally open only to U.S. residents. But I’ve since been given permission to invite readers in the United Kingdom to participate, as well. So let’s hear from all of you out there.
READ MORE: “Interview with Brent Ghelfi.”