How do you bring down a President who will stop at nothing to stay in power?
Olympic hero turned peace campaigner Ruslan Shanidza sets out on his most ambitious undertaking, leading a campaign to unseat the brutal strongman who rules his post-communist homeland.
He assembles a fractious coalition of rivals and former enemies. But they must confront some very dangerous people: men who can never allow their grip on power to slip because they have blood on their hands.
The conflict quickly escalates as the President and his henchmen plot a murderous crackdown. Ruslan soon learns that he has placed himself and his family right in the firing line in an increasingly desperate fight to the finish.
This third Ruslan Shanidza novel can be enjoyed without reading the other two. It is a political thriller rooted in time and place that draws upon real historical events as it races to its denouement.
"Clark uses real events as inspiration, weaving history into an engaging narrative…told through the story of Ruslan and his family alongside a cast of other (many unsavoury) characters. It’s a style I enjoy. It’s also engaging in a way that I found myself thinking about it while I wasn’t reading it… Although the last in a trilogy (and I haven’t read the others), that didn’t hold me back and it can be read as a standalone."
Lachlan Page, author of Magical Disinformation and The General of Caracas
"the quality of the characters depicted in this book was superb. The author did an amazing job at comprehensively developing the characters by giving them really strong personalities that will stick with the reader till the end of the story.
"gripped my interest throughout the entire book due to its powerful message of freedom from tyranny. The political and military aspects of the book were very intriguing...
"I recommend this book to lovers of historical fiction and thrillers...if you seek a great read, Day of the Long Knives by Paul Clark is the book for you."
OnlineBookClub.Org Official Review
"this one captivated me since I have a history with Russia particular during some of the transition from the USSR. While this is fictional, much of what he writes smacks of a true-life adventure…The characters come alive and are well developed as he weaves into their personal lives a most credible backstory…will keep you engaged and attentive to discover the next twist in the script."
BM Goodreads Reviewer
THE Security Police came just after dinner. A dozen of them, led by a man with bushy, frowning eyebrows that met in the middle, raided Ruslan Shanidza’s house and arrested him. All the shouting and the chaos terrified his little two-year-old, and Ruslan could see that his wife Tamara was very frightened too.
‘Don’t worry,’ he told her as they led him away. ‘I’m not afraid.’
In fact, he was very afraid, in spite of having spent the best part of a month preparing for this moment.
He soon found himself in the back of a black Volga, handcuffed to a member of the Security Police, escorted by four motorbikes, jumping all the lights as they bounced along the pot-holed streets of Ksordia’s bankrupt capital, sirens blazing.
Once inside Security Police headquarters, he was taken down into the bowels of the building. Ruslan knew the place well enough, as the KGB had held him there when they arrested him some 13 years earlier.
He also knew the routine they would follow. He wouldn’t see daylight again until his interrogation was over. They would keep him awake and fight him with tiredness, hunger and thirst.
They would interrogate him in shifts, and he remembered all too well how good they were at their job. He knew how easily they had outwitted him last time and was determined not to make the same mistakes again. He would refuse to answer their questions with anything but abuse. He would barely engage with them in conversation, even the so-called good cops. Especially the good cops. They were the most dangerous of all.
This was a risky strategy. After all, if they couldn’t defeat him by exhausting him and tripping him up during his interrogation, then they might resort to physical force. That would be the real test. Ruslan hoped he was ready for it.
They made him strip in front of half a dozen officers. As a former athlete, Ruslan was used to taking his clothes off in front of other men, so this was no big deal. If anything, he was more self-conscious about the mass of scar tissue on his back than about being naked below the waist.
They gave him a prison uniform: old dirty-white underpants, ill-fitting black trousers and a blue shirt. No socks, no shoes, no pullover. They took his fingerprints and photographs. They let him piss and frogmarched him into a room where the man with bushy eyebrows was waiting for him, a thick file on his desk, a younger officer by his side.
‘You know my bloody name.’
‘I’m not playing your stupid games.’
‘What’s your surname?’
‘Go fuck your mother.’
‘It’s for the record. It’s procedure.’
‘Look in my file then. I’m sure it’s got it there.’ Ruslan could see that he had given his interrogator a surprise. ‘What about you?’ he asked. ‘What’s your name?’
‘That’s for me to know and you to find out.’
‘Have it your way. What’s the charge?’
The interrogator grinned. ‘Drug smuggling and racketeering.’
‘Drug smuggling and racketeering. You’re facing up to fifteen years in prison, so I suggest you co-operate.’
‘Who the hell came up with that?’
‘We’ve got rather a lot of evidence against you. So, let’s start at the beginning. What’s your surname?’
Ruslan stared at him. He couldn’t believe it. Drug smuggling? Where had that come from?
Ruslan shook his head to bring himself back to the present. ‘You’re joking, aren’t you?’
‘I’ve never been more serious.’