Adrian Churchward is an English solicitor who has worked in commercial law practices for over thirty years in London, Los Angeles and Eastern Europe. He holds an M.Phil. from Essex University in Comparative International Law. His hobbies include writing and film- making.
He first acquired a taste for Russian culture in his early teens when he immersed himself in the works of Dostoyevsky and Gogol, rather than the school’s curriculum of Shakespeare and Chaucer. A sight-seeing visit to Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) followed in 1973 and laid the foundations of his life-long interest in the Russian people and language.
In the latter years of the 1970s he worked as European counsel to a Los Angeles firm whose senior partner had been a US Airforce pilot in the Vietnam War and whose stories sowed the seeds of Adrian’s fascination with the US-Soviet proxy conflict. Within a few years of his return to the UK Adrian was on his travels again. From the mid-1980s until the end of the 1990s he worked in Moscow, Budapest and Prague as an East-West trade lawyer, helping EU and American corporations operate in the fast-disintegrating communist economies and then in the anarchy of the Yeltsin years, when state assets were auctioned off at rock bottom prices to the “new-Russian biznizmeni“, some of whom survived to become the powerful oligarchs we know today. During this period he learnt Russian and became proficient in translating Russian commercial and legal texts into English
He has co-written and co-produced a short film called Paranoia which was shown at the Budapest Film Festival in September 2013.
He is now based back in London where semi-retirement allows him the time to develop his writing career.
Moscow Bound is the first book in a trilogy of novels dealing with state abuse of power. All three novels find Scott Mitchell, an English human rights lawyer, constantly fighting the all-pervasive corruption of the power elites, not only in authoritarian Russia, but closer to home in the so-called transparent liberal democracies of the European Union and the United States.
Fabulous story of intrigue, suspense, and courage.
Excellent! The author’s grasp of the geography and culture …
Is the author a spy himself?
Spellbinding! Accused of money laundering and betrayed by his government, can Scott Mitchell’s life get worse? Yes.
As in the first novel in this series, Moscow Bound, the pace is breathtaking. We travel between London, Russian cities, Budapest, and Malta trying to prove that Scott was not involved in a 250 million dollar money laundering scheme with the Chechens. The staples of power--powerful Russian oligarchs, information hacking techniques, business investments designed to produce information and influence, and brutal treatment of those who get in the way--have become known worldwide and Scott encounters them all. Combined, they nearly overwhelm the reader but, the author anchors the reader with the inclusion of well-developed supporting characters and by incorporating beautiful old cities, well-known buildings and hotels, tempting food and drinks, and Scott’s nine-year-old cat.
Reading Dancing with Shadows is a compelling experience. It is hard to resist the drive to keep turning pages. When the end comes, the reader is already anticipating the next book in the series.
Scott is the lead in this story but many characters we came to know in the first book are re-introduced and play important roles: Ekaterina, Gravchenko and Pravda. Ms. Churchward doesn’t shy away from introducing multiple new characters also. The plot has multiple threads to follow that need our attention and can be overwhelming but the author set the stage expertly by including a group of well-developed players, beautiful surroundings and a touch of gastronomy delights. No doubt, this gripping tale filled with unexpected twists and turns is well worth reading. If you enjoy a thriller rifles with conspiracy and danger and have a soft spot for some Anglo-Russian shenanigans, give this one a try.
My thanks to NetGalley and to Silverwood Books for the opportunity to read this book
The story is full of twists and turns and just when you think you are piecing it all together, there is another surprise twist. The author does a great job of maintaining a complex plot with interesting and somewhat mysterious characters and plenty of action. The story is also very topical, with mention of events that actually happened in 2016, as well as references to doxing, use of Twitter as a source of breaking news and a source for personal attacks and defamation, and the Panama Papers. The story focuses on Russia and the powerful people around Putin, as well as issues involving Ukraine, Chechnya, Russian oligarchs, corruption, and money laundering.
I want to read the previous novel, as well as the third book in the series.
I received a copy of the e-book from Netgalley in exchange for a review.