A multi-stranded, groundbreaking Russian thriller from the bestselling British author of Messiah and Storm .
In December of 1991 Moscow is a city in chaos, torn apart by gang violence and hyperinflation, its population in terror of a killer preying on children. Into this anarchy comes Alice Liddell, an American banker charged with starting the privatization process crucial to Russia's hopes of reform. But reform means hardship, and surviving the Russian winter is already too hard; Alice has only a short period to succeed before the people lose patience with the progressive government.
Her target is the Red October distillery, Russia's most famous vodka producer, but Alice soon discovers that time is the least of her problems. Red October is the centrepiece of a savage mafiya war between its charismatic boss Lev and his Chechen nemesis Karkadann. Are the brutal child killings terrorizing Moscow connected to their violent conduct? How should Alice handle the discovery that Red October is riddled with corruption? And can Alice and Lev, adversaries across the negotiating table, reconcile their contradictory professional aims with their very unprofessional feelings for each other?
As the characters get sucked into a vortex of violence, passion and betrayal, their struggles are no longer simply for their own aims; they are for the soul of Russia itself. Concentrated over 100 days of a Russian winter, Vodka is an epic thriller of taut suspense, shocking brutality and heart-pounding pace; it is a saga of rivalry and bloodshed, a searing study of addiction and adultery.