Author(s): Boris Akunin
The reactionary Adjutant General Khrapov, newly appointed governor-general of Siberia and soon-to-be minister of the interior, is murdered in his official saloon carriage on his way from St. Petersburg to Moscow. The killer, disguised as Fandorin, boards the train at Klin, where it has been delayed by snowdrifts on the line. He leaves a knife bearing the initials "CG" (Combat Group) thrust up to the hilt in his victim's chest and escapes through the window of the carriage. Fandorin is first arrested for the crime, but quickly released when the train pulls into Moscow and the General's staff realise their blunder. The murder threatens the career of Prince Dolgorukoi, Moscow's elderly governor-general, and Fandorin's greatest fan. He asks Fandorin to investigate, even though someone new, Prince Pozharsky, has been sent from St. Petersburg to head the investigation. The head of the CG is a man named Mr. Green, the son of a Jewish pharmacist whose family suffered very badly from the pogroms. He bears a grudge and, together with his fellow revolutionaries, seeks vengeance. He is a man of steele, who has toughened himself so much that he is a worthy, and daunting, adversary. First published in Russian 1999; this translation 2008.
The first Fandorin book in the series is being filmed, starring Dan Stevens. Fabulous James Bond-esque narrative, complete with sex, stunts and a dashing hero. Great plot, full of intrigue and twists and inventive sluething. A real get-your-teeth-into narrative -- a solid and captivating read.
Boris Akunin is the pseudonym of Grigory Chkhartishvili. He has been compared to Gogol, Tolstoy and Arthur Conan Doyle, and his Erast Fandorin books have sold over eighteen million copies in Russia alone. He lives in Moscow.