Moscow is destroyed, but who was responsible?
On October 7, 2022, during President Putin’s 70th birthday celebration, Moscow was obliterated by a gigantic hydrogen bomb hidden there many years earlier by Ukrainian nationalists in retaliation for all the horrific abuses and suffering Ukraine had endured under Russia.
The long-forgotten bomb was supposedly discovered and detonated by a rogue FBI agent of Ukrainian descent, Peter Kanowsky, in support of their cause.
But what if Peter didn’t do it? What if Ukraine wasn’t even involved in the catastrophe?
What if someone else was responsible, and if so, who would commit such an appalling crime and why would they do it.
That is what DESPOT is all about. It is the story of the people trying to establish who actually was responsible for setting off the bomb that assassinated Putin, killing those many millions of innocent people, and to prove it so they can stop those responsible before they can use nuclear weapons again. And most importantly, to assure whoever was guilty pay for their dreadful crime.
This thriller is a follow-on to my previously published novel, The Forgotten Bomb.
DESPOT is essentially a novel about proving Premier Alexandr Orlov, the new Russian Premier, was the person actually responsible for obliterating Moscow with a huge hydrogen bomb on Putin’s 70th birthday, and not Ukraine as everyone had blamed.
This novel takes place over a two months’ period starting in late May 2023 and the majority of the events occur in Washington DC, Ashgabat Turkmenistan, St. Petersburg Russia, and Tampere Finland.
Richard Knox, the main protagonist, is a retired Russian CIA Chief of Station pulled back out of retirement and given the responsibility of assembling a team to prove Orlov’s complicity. His challenge is to prove that within less than one month’s time. That is when an event in Central Asia, they learned of, is scheduled to occur which they believe will be so provocative to Orlov that he most likely will use nukes in retaliation. The impending event is that five of the smaller Stan countries are planning to unite forming the Shariah Law governed, Independent Islamic Union (IIU), join NATO and expel the Russian military troops and support staffs from their countries.
Richard forms two teams, the first consisting of himself and an old friend, the current Russian Deputy Chief of Station, Paul Burnett, to prove Orlov was responsible. They not only verify Orlov was responsible but also learn the new Ukraine President, Arkady Petrenko, was intimately involved and his son Boris Petrenko was the actual person who detonated the bomb. To prove these accusations, they must find Boris and make him testify.
Richard also puts together a second team consisting of Lydia Djeporov, a genius female NSA analyst assigned to him, and George Elliott a James Bond-like CIA agent. Their responsibility initially is to confirm that the event in Central Asia is actually going to happen and later to track down Peter Kanowsky, the rogue FBI agent falsely accused of setting off the Moscow bomb, who they learned is still alive and in hiding in Tampere. Their close proximity during the missions, surprisingly to both them and Richard results in a very heated relationship.
When Premier Orlov learns of the ongoing CIA’s investigation, he decides to have everyone outside his inner circle, that can prove his involvement, eliminated.
Does he succeed? I can promise you he tries, but you just will have to read the book to find out the ending.
One thing I can tell you is that ending could lead to a follow-on novel, maybe named Tsarina?