A nondescript bureaucrat in a drab government agency, Konstantin Malin secretly controls a vast business that dominates the nation's oil industry, making him one of the most feared and wealthy men in Russia. Over the years, Malin has siphoned billions from the state and poured them into his private empire, hiding what he owns offshore.
The man who has done the hiding is Richard Lock, a diffident English lawyer whose life in Moscow if falling apart. Crisscrossing the world administering his master's affairs, he has seen his relationships with his estranged family and highly practical mistress slowly deteriorate. Lock is bound to Malin by marriage, complacency, greed, and most of all, by a complex lie that neither can escape. But slowly, Lock is beginning to realize that the lie will not always hold.
Once an idealistic young journalist, Benjamin Webster now works as an investigator at a London corporate intelligence firm, a mercenary spy for the rich and powerful. Webster's cynicism and anger were born when he witnessed a colleague murdered in Russia for asking too many tough questions; now, ten years later, he may finally be able to avenge her unsolved murder.
Malin is actually the Minister of Natural Resources in Russia and Richard Lock is the lawyer who buys and sells companies for him, mainly in the oil industry. Unfortunately, for both of them, greed gets the better of someone else who wants it all. Richard Lock is the weak link because although he is a lawyer, most of the deals he put together or is involved with are illegal.
The company's objective that Webster works for is to ruin Malin thru Richard Lock. Webster starts talking to several people who know Malin and they start turning up dead. Webster knows he must contact Lock and then keep him somewhere secure so that he does not end up dead also. On the day that Webster and Lock meet though, someone must have been following Lock or Webster, because Webster gets knocked out and Lock is taken away by 2 Russian men.
Somehow, Lock manages to get away with only the money from his ATM. He had to throw away is credit cards and phone so he could not be traced. It takes awhile and finally after alot of different channels, Lock and Webster finally do get to meet. Webster finds out that Lock has important papers that they could use to get Malin to meet them. Plans are made and they meet in Berlin at a library. Malin is very smug and says the papers that Lock has in his possession is not enough to bring him down. He tells Lock that it would be in his best interest to return to Russia with him.
Unfortunately, for Lock, he does not go with Malin. When Lock goes to leave the library he is shot dead. No one seems to know where the bullet came from.
I am going to leave it there because I don't want to spoil the ending for you. It is a fast paced real spy drama that will have you wondering if and when can Lock ever break free of the hold that Malin has on him. I almost was not gonna tell you that he does in deed get killed but the real story starts to get interesting for Webster after Lock is killed. Get the book and read it! You won't be sorry. Happy Reading.