A debut novel, a sort of thriller but more a passage of time in the company of some strange characters. I confess to having to find a map to see where the action was taking place. Apart from the Bering Straits, I had never heard of all the other outlying places in Russia, so that, in itself, was interesting.
The title suggests this is more about the boy but, frankly, most of the action surrounds a young woman born in New York of Ukrainian parents who is inveigled into travelling to Kyiv to discover the whereabouts of 10 million dollars.
Naturally enough, all is not what it seems. Chernobyl features high on he list of places not to visit but Nadia Tesla finds herself in the midst of this ravaged zone, looking for an uncle previously presumed dead. He's not but almost is when she finds him and from here the story does indeed bring Nadia into contact with the boy, her cousin, with a plan to return to America with a secret formula safely tucked into a locket around his neck. Of course, all is not what it seems!
It's a good story, just realistic enough to believe in the characters, some of whom are positively mental but, through it all, is the charming and determined Nadia. I do hope she returns in another book. She has all the attributes needed for a dogged investigator with plenty of guts and a lot of guile. I liked her. I liked, too, the detail provided about Ukraine, a country which has for decades had a soft spot for the UK. Here, of course, the emphasis is on America, the land of opportunity; Nadia and her cousin, the boy from Reactor 4, fit in very nicely. I only hope in the finished book, there will be a map!