MOSCOW 1991 to 1996. Following the collapse of Gorbachev’s Soviet Union, Norman ‘Nobby’ Jackson, Moscow-based failed business 'consultant' and amateur Classicist turned private detective, joins forces again with his old sparring partner Colonel Lev Alexandrovitch Shcheglov, head of Moscow’s CID (see ‘Nobby’s’ previous adventures in ‘Moscow Ain’t Such A Bad Place’), to disentangle a Byzantine plot that links the murders of London gangsters prior to an international criminal convention seeking to carve up territories and ‘spheres of interest’ in the former Soviet Union, and the serial killer of Muscovite prostitutes over a five-year period. The labyrinthine investigation leads ‘Nobby’ — ably assisted by Anzhelika, his ‘clairvoyant’ lover and business partner — through the cut-throat post-Soviet milieu of gangster-capitalism, the mafiya, political conspiracies, would-be putschists, and an international terrorist plot to destroy Moscow, provoke a nuclear war and the break-up of the Russian Federation.
BARRY JONES, Moscow’s own Arthur Dailey, was a scholar, raconteur and Mr Fix-it, well known for his ability to arrange almost anything in the city that he made his home town from 1976 until his expulsion — in chains — from the Russian Federation in 1998. MOSCOW AIN’T THE PLACE IT USED TO BE, the second and last of his ‘Moscow’ thrillers, is a compelling story peopled by extraordinary characters, and provides a sympathetic and uniquely well-informed insider’s view of the grittier side of life in Yeltsin’s ‘New Russia’.