Tom Fox, an Army Intelligence Officer, has been sent to Moscow. About a week after his arrival, the step daughter of the British Ambassador disappears. And Tom Fox gets tasked with finding her.
My impression of Moskva is mixed. On the one hand I found the description of life in the Soviet Union of the 1980s very good. It feels like the author spent some time there at that time. On the other hand I found the plot, with its backstory that goes back to the end of WWII, confusing and I felt a little lost.
Quotes from the book
"Tetris", the bar owner said sourly. "Worse than heroin."
The wrong politics. The wrong public pronouncements. The wrong kinds of religion. The wrong sexual orientation. They put you in a mental hospital for a lot of things in the Soviet Union, although these days it was getting better.
"Moscow is one of the safest cities in the world." - "Provided you're not Russian. Then I imagine it's different."
That was one of Moscow's basic laws. If you see a queue, join it. If you don't want what's being sold, someone will.
"A hard truth is better than no truth."
"We have every word you said to him in that steam room on tape." - "Then why ask me if you already know?" - "To see how often you lie."
"What do you want now?", she demanded. "Who said I wanted anything?" - "You always want something."
"He drinks like an Englishman. For a Russian, he's practically a monk. Look at him, he's been in here two minutes, possibly three and he hasn't even asked for alcohol."
By anybody else's standards, he looked terrible. For Dennisov, he looked good.
"There are people you should kill the first time you meet them. People you do kill but shouldn't have. Both of those will come back to haunt you."
"Your friend in there was a good man, for a bad man. I've known good men who were much worse."
"Ever meet someone called Kyukov?" - "I killed him."