My 7th novel, THE HOUSE OF SPECIAL PURPOSE, will be published in the UK on May 21st 2009.
Here’s what it’s about:
Russia, 1915: At the age of 16, Georgy Daniilovich Jachmenev steps in front of a bullet intended for the heart of a senior member of the Russian Imperial Family and is proclaimed a hero. Before the week is out his life as the son of a peasant farmer has changed dramatically when he is escorted to St Petersburg to take up his new position as bodyguard to Alexei Romanov, the only son of Tsar Nicholas II and the Empress Alexandra.
Sixty-five years later, visiting his wife Zoya as she lies dying in a London hospital, memories of the life they have lived together flood his mind. Their marriage, while tender, has been marked by tragedy, the loss of loved ones, and experiences of exile that neither can forget.
THE HOUSE OF SPECIAL PURPOSE is a novel about an inexperienced young man thrust into the heart of a dying empire. Privy to the secrets of Nicholas and Alexandra, the machinations of Rasputin, and the events that led to the final collapse of the autocracy, it is also a story of love across more than half a century, of a husband who finds it impossible to live in the present and a wife who cannot reconcile herself to the past.
Part love story, part historical epic, part tragedy, the novel moves from revolutionary St Petersburg to Paris after the First World War, and from London during the Blitz to the eastern coast of Finland during the 1980s, before returning to a quiet hospital bed where Georgy and Zoya’s story is finally resolved in dramatic fashion.
The novel will first be published in the UK and Ireland in May by Transworld; so far, rights have also been sold in Spain, Holland and Catalan. You can pre-order the novel from both Amazon and Waterstone’s.