HarperCollins UK, London, 2007

ISBN 978-0-00-719123-9

Moscow in the summer of 1918.

After a series of harrowing experiences on the Western Front, Pyotr Ryzhkov is working for French intelligence in Moscow. Arrested by agents of the newly formed Cheka, the Bolshevik secret police, he is certain that he will be executed in a blood-splattered Lubyanka courtyard. Instead he finds himself being pressured into working with this old Okhrana boss, Velimir Antonovich Zezulin who has changed his identity and rehabilitated himself as a Cheka controller.

What Zezulin wants to know is the exact whereabouts and condition of the Imperial family. The Romanovs, exiled to Tobolsk for the winter, have suddenly been moved to a far more militant region – Yekaterinburg, home to the “ultra-loyal” Ural soviet. But Yekaterinburg is a city under attack. All along the Trans-Siberian railroad former Czechoslovak prisoners of war have joined with White forces and now they approach the outskirts. Ryzhkov’s mission: travel to Yekaterinburg, penetrate Czech lines if they have already taken the city, find out and report back on the situation of the Romanovs.

The events in July of 1918 in the Ipatiev house will be mired in confusion for nearly a century. Rumours will be repeated as history. But the true fate of the Romanovs will be the most closely held secret in the Kremlin.