Moscow Bound

He fights for the powerless. Can he win when his enemy is the Russian state?

Human rights lawyer Scott Mitchell believes no one – not even the government – is above the law. Fresh off winning a war crimes case against the Kremlin, he’s approached by a beautiful Russian woman begging for help finding her father hidden in the Gulags. And when she narrowly escapes a brutal car bombing, Mitchell senses bad actors already have her in the crosshairs and jumps into action.

As the two stumble upon disturbing clues, an old photo and dead bodies, they are continually thwarted by a powerful GRU officer. And when his client and her baby vanish, Mitchell fears she’s become a pawn in a Cold War secret that could bring them both to an untimely end.

Can the idealistic lawyer rescue the woman and her missing father before he’s the next to disappear?

Moscow Bound is the first book in the gripping Puppet Meisters political conspiracy trilogy. If you like bold heroes, buried secrets, and sinister villains with twisted loyalties, then you’ll love Adrian Churchward’s pulse-pounding thriller.

Buy Moscow Bound to unravel a web of lies today!

Chapter Excerpt


Moscow: 2013 

Yuri Vladimirovich Sokolov was in his living room polishing the frames of his photograph collection when strains of the battle hymn Johnny I Hardly Knew Ye invaded the evening’s silence on Mosfilmovskaya Street.

  They’re rolling out the guns again, hurroo, hurroo
  They’re rolling out the guns again, hurroo, hurroo
  It was a male voice, singing in English. 

  Sokolov’s heart missed a beat. 

  A frame slipped through his arthritic fingers and smashed into pieces on the oak floor. 


 They’re rolling out the guns again 
  But they never will take our sons again
  He shuffled over to the window and peeked between the curtains. A sodium street light in the car park cast an eerie haze over the snowflakes as they floated to the ground. 


  No they never will take our sons again 
  Johnny I’m swearing to ye- 

  He edged the curtains wider apart and craned his neck, looking left and right, and left again. 

  A man wearing a fur ushanka with the earflaps pulled down over his cheeks appeared from around the corner.  

  No they never will take our sons again 
  Johnny I’m swearing to ye –

  Despite the slippery pathway, the singer was marching towards Sokolov’s building.

  Sokolov released the curtains, switched off the light and took to his armchair, where he waited in the darkness.   

  The singing stopped. 

  He heard the wooden double doors in the building’s lobby being yanked apart, scraping the floor and forced shut again. The residents had been complaining to the maintenance engineer for months to secure the locks.

  He tensed.

  The buzzer to his apartment sounded.

  Sokolov fought back a reflux of stomach acid in his throat. 

  The buzzer sounded again, this time longer. 

  He shivered.

  The noise continued.   

  Sokolov cupped his head in his hands and closed his eyes. 

  The buzzing stopped. 

  His palms began to sweat; he’d forgotten to put the security chain on the door for the night.

  He heard jingling followed by prodding and clicking sounds; he imagined keys and metal prongs struggling to open the lock.

  His breathing was shallow and fast.  

  The door creaked open.

  They’re rolling out the guns again, hurroo, hurroo 
 The singing was louder.

  The door creaked shut.

  They’re rolling out the guns again, hurroo, hurroo
  The volume increased.

  The intruder was walking down the hallway towards the open study area.

  Sokolov’s breathing quickened. He was conscious of rasping sounds as the air rushed in and out of his mouth.

  They’re rolling out the guns again 
  But they never will take our sons again

  The voice was louder. The man had reached the study area.

  Sokolov’s legs began to quiver.

  No they never will take our sons again 
  Johnny I’m swearing to ye –

  The man was leaving the study and heading down the corridor, towards the living room.

  No they never will take our sons again

  Sokolov began reciting the second verse of the 23rdpsalm. 

  Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
  I will fear no evil: For thou art with me;
  Thy rod and thy staff, they comfort me.
  Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies;
  Thou annointest my head with oil; My cup runneth over.


  Sokolov opened his eyes.

  ‘So many years, so many winters, Yuri Vladimirovich.’ The intruder was standing in the half lit open doorway, smiling. He spoke fluent Russian.  Sokolov didn’t recognize the face.

  ‘Who are you?’ Sokolov gripped the arms of the chair to stop his hands from trembling. ‘What do you want?’ There was no need for an answer. Sokolov knew what he wanted.

  ‘I’m the ghost of Christmas past.’ The man grinned. ‘I’ve come to give you your present.’ 

  He unzipped his jacket and pulled out a gun.

  No they never will take our sons again

  Johnny I’m swearing to ye-