Published on the 1st November 2014, the second book in the trilogy moves the time on to 1952, and the principal location to a Moscow steeped in subversion and paranoia.
An aging Stalin, mistrustful of even those on the newly-formed Presidium, is not long for this world, and the vultures are gathering. It is a time of fear and confusion and political machination; a time harking back to the terrible purges of the nineteen thirties. It is the time of The Leningrad Affair, and Joseph Stalin’s last great crime against the Soviet Union.
Within the Presidium, two warring factions vie for succession. On one side sits the ineffectual Georgy Malenkov and the formidable Lavrenti Beria; the consummate politician, and the degenerate mass-murderer. Opposing them are old-school Chekist, Nikolai Bulganin, and a poorly-educated miner’s son from Kalinovka in the Kursk Oblast; Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev.
Uncomfortably straddled between these two factions, newly promoted MGB General Stanislav Ivanovich Paslov sits in his second floor corner office in the Lubyanka. On his desk is evidence of treason; evidence linking an unnamed member of the Presidium to a high-level conspiracy. But is the evidence genuine, or the work of disinformation artists in the west, and if genuine who is the conspirator, and which of the Presidium’s warring factions should Paslov trust and enlist?