Quiller Balalaika (Otto Penzler Books)

Quiller Balalaika (Otto Penzler Books)

Adam Hall

Language: English

Pages: 288

ISBN: 0786712651

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


It's Quiller's most dangerous mission yet, and is also his last for the British intelligence agency so secret that it has no name. No matter that its orders originate at the Prime Minister level; if detected, it would be denied at that and every other level of the government. Quiller's orders this time take the pseudonymous operative to post–Cold War Russia to infiltrate the powerful and omnipresent mafiya that controls every sector and ruble of the country's fragile economy. More ruthless than the Sicilian brotherhood and as conscienceless as the Colombian drug cartels, the mafiya owns top politicians, judges, generals, bankers, and the police. Those it doesn't own it can buy, and those it doesn't choose to buy, it eliminates. Chief among the lawless mafiya lords stands a criminally brilliant British national, whom the agency wants taken out of play. Quiller learns that the one man who can help him achieve his goal is impounded in Gulank, the most infamous of all the gulags. Quiller must sneak his way into Gulank, and from a gulag that no prisoner has ever escaped, rescue the only person who can save his last, internationally vital mission.

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minister?' 'In a towering rage. He told me in effect that while the US is pouring billions of dollars into the Yeltsin economy and the UK is doing its rather more limited best in the same direction, the Russian mafiya is threatening to destroy that same economy and bring the country to its knees.' His narrow head was turned to watch me suddenly from the shadows. 'We may remember that quite recently the head of Russia's Analytical Centre for Social and Economic Policies warned Yeltsin that the

made up my mind, so the only thing left was to try ducking the fallout. 'Be that as it may,' I said, 'I'm going to ground.' And left it. You've heard, my good friend, of throwing the gauntlet down. That is the sound it makes. The man who'd brought the shovel in from the street was going across from the counter to the table with his tin tray loaded with potato pancakes and a mug of vasti, and the tart moved in on principle, though her expression was not sanguine. Headlights swept the window

The huts full of steaming men, the ringing of the shovels over for the day, the pathways cleared, a feeling of good work done, someone singing in the wash rooms, singing, in this place, My life, Igor had said, I took his point. The gruel filthy in its tin bowl, but we spooned it up with gusto, blowing on it, searching for the end of a carrot, a lump of potato, a few black beans. I thought of something that Alex could do for me, yes. Perhaps tomorrow, whatever news midnight would bring.

answered, didn't want to say yes because of his pride, so he compromised: 'Maybe for sixty seconds.' 'Don't rush it.' In the wind I heard his pick clinking against the granite. 'And don't drop anything.' Eventually the guards would search the terrain below the massif. They would search everywhere. There was a lot of noise going on below us now: the klaxon horns still sounding the alarm, the dogs barking, engines starting up, the PA system relaying orders to the guards as the big gates swung

Croder said flatly. 'That's a bloody shame,' I told him, 'because that's the deal.' 'There's no provision in the constitution of the Bureau to take human life. You know that.' 'Then you don't get Balalaika.' Croder's claw hand hit the arm of his chair as he got up to face me. 'Why do you want him hit?' 'What else would you do with him?' 'Get him to London and slam him into jail for a start.' 'You'd never keep him there.' 'In solitary confinement during the investigation.' I swung away,

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