One man, many conspirators, a world on the brink of war, A Game of Soldiers is a brilliant, atmospheric thriller, perfect for all readers of Fatherland.
In St Petersburg, beside the glittering court life of the Romanovs, the people are seething. It is not only the Bolsheviks but also the new men, the tycoons grown wealthy in the booming economy and the more vigorous aristocrats who are impatient with their idle, incompetent rulers.
Pyotr Ryzkhov, a government agent, is used to keeping his head down, minding his own business. He is providing a bodyguard for a key member of the government, when he witnesses the death of a child prostitute. The immediate cover up and the vulnerability of the girl drives him to probe into what he is sure is murder. But he suddenly finds his enquiries deliberately hampered. As the investigation widens, financiers, policemen, government officers, foreign diplomats, even the Minister of Justice, seem to be involved in an ever larger circle of fraud and violence.
Then another brutal killing – this time of a leading banker – gives him the final clue and leads to the desperate journey to Serbia and the incident at Sarajevo that was to reverberate around the world.
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