“A happy partner to the work of Deighton, Archer, and le Carré... carried on craftily understated prose that approaches cold poetry… a first-class novel." (Booklist, starred review)
Racing between London and Moscow, Kazakstan and the Caymans, The Silent Oligarch reveals a sinister unexplored world where the wealthy buy the justice they want—and the silence they need. Here private spy agencies duel for dominance, governments eagerly defer to the highest bidder, and colossal wealth is amassed through shadowy networks of companies. But where the money actually flows—and who benefits from such corruption—is something necessarily hidden, sometimes in plain sight.
Behind the imposing splendor of the Kremlin rises a run-down office building, home to the Russian Ministry of Natural Resources. A nondescript bureaucrat in a drab government agency, Konstanin 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 is falling apart: criss-crossing the world administering his master’s affairs, he has seen his relationships with his estranged family and highly practical mistress slowly deteriorating. 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 realise 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. Hired by a client to ruin Malin, he discovers that this shadowy figure may have arranged his friend’s gruesome death—to hide a terrible secret buried at the heart of his criminal empire.
Soon Webster realizes that Lock is Malin’s great weakness; and when he starts to apply pressure, Lock’s fragile world begins to crack. His colleagues begin dying mysteriously, his relationship with Malin turns ominously ice-cold. The police begin asking questions, the newspapers smell blood in the water, and Webster’s investigators close in on the truth. Suddenly Lock is running for his life—though from Malin or Webster, the law or his own past, he couldn’t say.
A heart-pounding hunt around the world, through opulent boardrooms and anonymous hotels, The Silent Oligarch is a chilling and unforgettable novel of our time.
Christopher Morgan Jones's newest book, The Searcher, will be published by Penguin Press on March 22nd, 2016.
Jones's smart first novel, a taut thriller about a money-laundering Russian oligarch, invites favorable comparisons to the work of John le Carr . 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.
Customer ReviewsSee All
The silent oligarch
Very easy read from page one to the very last page. This is a book I could not put down.
I highly recommend to all for a good and exciting read.
This story is not your run of the mill spy/action story. The characters are not super-humans who can conjure up miraculous last minute escapes. Its more of a portrait of human emotions going through these tough events in life. You can feel the trouble the author went through to recreate the actual emotions and situations. This story could be real, do not expect Jason Bourne or James Bond here, you could very well imagine yourself in any of the character's shoes. What would you do when you are being faced against impossible odds against an invisible omnipotent power. I wont be forgetting this story any time soon, am glad I took a chance on this story, worth the buy.
The Silent Oligarch
Amazing plot line with 2 appealing characters.