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The first friend

ISBN: 9781761470431
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Allen & Unwin (UBD)
Origin: AU
Release Date: September, 2024

Book Details

Even the worst person has a best friend. A chilling black comedy, The First Friend imagines a gangster mob in charge of a global superpower. The Soviet Union 1938: Lavrentiy Beria, ‘The Boss’ of the Georgian republic, nervously prepares a Black Sea resort for a visit from ‘The Boss of Bosses’, his fellow Georgian Josef Stalin. Under escalating pressure from enemies and allies alike, never certain who he can trust, Beria slowly but surely descends into dark murderous paranoia. By his side is his driver and right-hand man, Vasil Murtov, Beria’s closest friend since childhood. But to be a witness is the most dangerous act in this world; Murtov must protect his family and play his own game of survival while remaining outwardly loyal to an increasingly unstable Beria. With the action moving between Moscow & Georgia, the tension ramps up as Stalin’s visit and the inevitable bloodbath approaches. Is Murtov playing Beria, or is he being played? The First Friend is a novel in a time of autocrats, where reality is a fiction created by those who rule. Reflecting on Putin’s Russia, Trump’s America, Xi’s China and Murdoch’s planet Earth, it is at once a satire and a thriller, a survivor’s tale in which a father has to walk a tightrope every day to save his family from a monster and a monstrous society. Where safety lies in following official fictions, is a truthful life the ultimate risk?