VOLK’S GAME (Suspense-Volk-Russia-Cont) - VG Ghelfi, Brent – 1st book
Henry Holt and Company, 2007, US Hardcover – ISBN: 9780805082548

First Sentence: “What do you know about art, Volk?”

Alexei Volkovoy, “Volk,” must balance between to masters; Maxim, a Russia mafia kingpin, and The General, to whom Volk is indebted. They command Volk to steal a painting newly found behind another in the basement of the Hermitage. But the theft quickly goes bad. Men are killed, Volk’s lover kidnapped and being tortured. Still Volk must retrieve the painting before they kill his lover.

Ghelfi draws a picture of Russia and Red Square that has changed my way of looking at those areas. Alexei Volkovoy, “Volk,” is an interesting protagonist. Ghelfi has also done an excellent job in creating Volk, making him a fully-developed character in spite of brutal nature of the story. Volk may not have many scruples, but he does have them. Volk, and his ladyfriend, Valya, are what life, war and survival have made them. The story is unrelentingly dark and does include torture of women but the characters are not nice, law-abiding people. This is not a pleasant book, but it is a good one and I’m not sorry to have read it.

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