cover image The Silent Oligarch

The Silent Oligarch

Chris Morgan Jones. Penguin Press, $25.95 (336p) ISBN 978-1-59420-319-0

Jones’s smart first novel, a taut thriller about a money-laundering Russian oligarch, invites favorable comparisons to the work of John le Carré. British-born Richard Lock, a lawyer and front man for Russian oil minister Konstantin Malin, is being sued by Greek businessman Aristotle Tourna, who believes he has been grievously wronged by the Russian minister. When Tourna hires a London investigative firm, Ikertu Consulting, to get the goods on Malin, Ikertu investigator Ben Webster is eager to take the job because he believes Malin is complicit in the death of his Russian journalist friend, Inessa. This fine character study presents Lock as conflicted and fearful, wanting to escape his position and flee Russia, while Webster comes to realize that justice in this case is not as black and white as he would like to believe. Readers will look forward to the follow-up from the talented Jones, who worked for 11 years at Kroll, the world’s largest business intelligence company. (Jan.)