In the summer of 1990, Davey and Camilla spend a carefree month in a Tuscan villa with Rachel and her enigmatic Russian friend Igor. Sharing food and drink and sex and talk, the four become very close. If anything is slightly amiss, they ignore the signs. It's an enchanted summer they will always remember.
And then the nightmare begins. Igor flees back to Moscow and repudiates his friends, attacking them viciously and publicly on Soviet television. Rachel will never recover from his betrayal, and Davey has reasons he cannot admit for taking it hard.
One year later, the Soviet Union collapses. Igor drops out of sight. Rachel tries to forget him, but seven years later Camilla picks up his trace in, of all places, Samarkand. Igor has moved to Central Asia and opened a bar.
The Café Maracanda attracts a wide range of clients. Tourists enjoy the charms of the old khanates in the fine tiled courtyard, while drug lords negotiate the price of heroin in the inner rooms. Samarkand is the centre of the world, and everyone goes to Igor's. Islamic fundamentalists come to buy arms, Igor's old KGB cronies drop in to chat.
It's the new Great Game, and Igor is a star player. But then Camilla walks in, intent on the truth. Rachel is close behind, intent on revenge. Igor's luck has run out. There's a guy from the CIA sitting in the courtyard, the Minister who used to protect him has cut him loose, the KGB is baying for his blood.
Café Maracanda is the final part of a trilogy of Soviet-era thrillers. Like The Angels of Russia and Music at the Garden House, it examines the toll taken on the individual by life in a totalitarian society.
Also by Patricia le Roy on obooko:
Author's Website : www.patricialeroy.com