A Texas businessman travels to the furthest reaches of post-Soviet Russia in search of the country’s new wealth — and finds new dangers as well. Based on true events.
After the demise of the Soviet Union, the newly-established Russian government privatized its industry by issuing vouchers to all of its citizens, allowing them the chance to be shareholders in the country’s burgeoning businesses. The slips are distributed among the population and auctions are arranged where they can be exchanged for actual shares. For the country’s rural populations living in abject poverty, the vouchers appear to be little more than pieces of paper, totally separated from the far-off concept of potential future fortunes.
But for Texas businessman John Mills and his Czech companion, Petr Kovac, the seemingly-valueless chits suggest a lucrative potential, worth much more than what the current owners are willing to sell them for. They travel to the furthest, coldest reaches of the country to acquire vouchers for the country’s national oil company, Gazneft, roving from town to town with suitcases full of cash. But they quickly learn that the plan has complications — for example, the fact that the auctions at which these vouchers are traded for actual shares have been planned at the most remote, inaccessible locations possible to deter outsiders from buying in. And when the Russian mafia and the oligarchs in charge of Gazneft catch wind of their successes, the stakes become suddenly more deadly.
A thrilling adventure inspired by true events, The Siberia Job charts a course through one of the most impactful periods in recent Russian history, whose reverberations continue to be felt in the present day.
About the Author
Before publishing his first novel, Josh Haven was an art critic for magazines & newspapers in the US & Europe and an astrogeophysicist who solved the Saturn-Hyperion density/porosity problem. His seafaring adventure novels are published under the name J.H. Gelernter, and Fake Money, Blue Smoke is his first crime novel.
A breathless, globetrotting thriller that's also a mesmerizing look at Russia's transformation from Soviet socialism to modern-day kleptocracy. Vivid, ingenious, and suspenseful to the last page. — Joseph Finder, New York Times bestselling author of House on Fire
An astonishing story, excitingly told, and all too close to the reality of Russia in the murderous 1990s. — Charles Cumming, New York Times bestselling author of JUDAS 62
The Siberia Job is one of the most original, well-written, and best-plotted post-Cold War stories I’ve read in years. Should be required reading for Washington’s policy makers. A ground-breaking novel that redefines the conventional action/adventure, chase and escape genre.
— Nelson DeMille, New York Times #1 bestselling author of The Maze
A terrific post-Soviet thriller, distinguished by its portrayal of the wild potential of 1990s Russia and the subversion of that potential into pure corruption, the consequences of which continue to reverberate in the present day. — Martin Cruz Smith, bestselling author of The Siberian Dilemma and other Arkady Renko novels
As Russia privatized all state owned companies after the fall of the Soviet Union, a few dozen intrepid Western investors showed up hoping to cash in on the most undervalued investment opportunity in the history of capital markets. Unfortunately, the reality proved to be much more challenging, unpredictable and dangerous than anyone could have imagined. Thrilling and suspenseful, The Siberia Job tells a lightly fictionalized account of a few of those early investors, navigating dishonest and xenophobic officials, and Russia’s enormous geography to claim a stake in what would become the largest and most profitable energy company in the world. Their narrative captures the sense of danger and adventure and is storytelling intrigue at its very finest.
— Bill Browder, New York Times #1 bestselling author of Red Notice
A colorful depiction of recent history wrapped in a comic caper. Think Donald Westlake with a Slavic accent. — Kirkus
Very entertaining and completely satisfying. — Booklist