THE LATEST NOVEL IN BORIS AKUNIN'S ERAST FANDORIN MYSTERIESAn action-packed mystery in which the stakes are far higher than ever before: can Fandorin capture a renowned criminal, save the Russian Empire and avoid a global war?
When the Tzar's head of security is assassinated, Erast Fandorin is called to investigate: the killer has been overheard mentioning a 'black city' so Fandorin and his trusty companion, Masa, head to Baku, the burgeoning Russian capital of oil.
But from the moment they arrive in the city - a hotbed of corruption and greed by the Caspian Sea - they realise someone is watching their every move, and they will stop at nothing to derail their investigation.
Having suffered a brutal attack and with Masa's life hanging by a thread, Fandorin is forced to rely on the help of an unexpected new ally, and he begins to suspect the plot might be part of something larger - and much more sinister.
With war brewing in the Balkans and Europe's empires struggling to contain the threat of revolution, Fandorin must try and solve his most difficult case yet - before time runs out.
The Erast Fandorin detective novels are always meaty, packed with historical detail, old-fashioned in the best sense and intricately plotted. Readers can expect prime Akunin - ingenious, twisty, at times digressive, exotic - a challenge to which his translator, Andrew Bromfield, rises magnificently. - Daily Mail
One of the most distinctive characters in historical crime fiction... Twenty years after his debut, Fandorin remains a thoroughly engaging hero - Sunday Times
Akunin is a sensation. He has created a popular hero to equal Sherlock Holmes and James Bond - THE TIMES
The most playful, ingenious historical thriller series in modern publishing - GUARDIAN