cover image Provisionally Yours

Provisionally Yours

Antanas Sileika. Biblioasis, $14.95 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-1-77196-285-8

Early in this urbane thriller set in post-WWI Lithuania from Canadian author Sileika (Underground), former White Russian counterintelligence officer Justas Adamonis returns to his hometown of Kaunas, where Michael Landa, a government representative, recruits him to take charge of the newly emerging nation’s military counterintelligence. In the course of his duties, Adamonis carries on an affair with his married distant cousin, confiscates goods destined for the black market in Russia, leads an uprising against the French occupiers in the Klaipeda region, and catches several Polish spies. Sileika humorously portrays the bureaucratic bungling and missteps among those competing for power. Distinctive characters include Konstantin Vasilyev, once a heroic White Russian general who successfully led the Lithuanian army against the Reds, but who now has come down in the world, and estate owner Lukiewicz, a devoted taxidermist who Adamonis suspects is a Polish sympathizer. “We are the trash men,” Landa observes, “and no one wants trash but no one respects the people who take it out.” Readers curious about the small Baltic country and a key period in its history will be rewarded. (June)