Dutton, Feb 2005, 25.95, 480 pp.
In 1991 Moscow, Russia struggles with the transition from communism to democracy as economic reform means increasingly difficult hardships in the short run and an increase in influence by the already powerful Mafia. Children are murdered and kidnappings are a way of life while food shortages have become dangerously normal.
International Monetary Fund advisor Alice Liddell is in Moscow to privatize the Red October Distillery, makers of vodka. Alice naively thought a lack of time and selling the concept of privatization were the problems she would face. However, Alice soon learns that vodka flows in every Russian's blood and the Russian mafia is involved. Alice is tugged in two directions both involving the Red October Director and parliamentary deputy Lev, who some insist is the biggest crook in Moscow. As Alice fights her attraction to her boardroom opponent, she finds Red October corrupt and run by the Mafia. Lev also battles with his attraction to the visiting American while he wars with his Chechen archenemy.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner