RUSSIAN TREASURES

A historical novel

They came from nowhere and smashed the glorious Russian Empire into pieces, their first victim in a long chain of coups and civil wars around the globe. They called themselves the Bolsheviks (or communists), and at the beginning of the twentieth century, they started building a new type of state, the Soviet Union, that would change the course of history.

And it sure has. God help those who would stand in its way.

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RUSSIAN TREASURES SERIES. BOOK 1

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The year is 1917.

Ten years after leaving his home on bad terms, Klim Rogov returns to Russia to claim his inheritance after his wealthy father’s death. As a famous journalist now holding Argentinean citizenship, he wants nothing to do with the ongoing Great War, Tsar Nicholas II, or the collapsing Russian Empire.

Klim knows that he should leave the country as soon as possible, but then he meets Nina, a young businesswoman, and falls in love with her. She is, in some ways, an “immigrant” too—a brave soul who dared to enter the hostile, man-dominated world of business and succeeded despite the odds. But all of her achievements are ruined during a gloomy October night when the Reds seize power and ban all private property.

People like Klim and Nina suddenly become public enemies.

As a foreign citizen, Klim has a chance to escape the civil war unleashed by the Bolshevik revolution, though now he feels like a first-class passenger on the Titanic, who has to save only himself or die.

Time is running out, and Klim must make a fateful decision that will cost him dearly either way.

CHAPTER 1. THE PRODIGAL SON

When Klim Rogov ran away from home, he took what his father cherished most—his dreams of Klim’s bright future. At the time it felt gratifying.

Did you seriously think I would want to follow in your footsteps and become a Public Prosecutor, a man who preys and profits on others people’s misfortunes? Klim had thought. No way, Father. No way.

Ten years had passed, and Klim found himself once again standing indecisively on the threshold of his family house on a balmy summer’s night. It was shabby and overgrown with lilac and ivy but still luxurious with two marble bears guarding the entrance and a white balcony protruding like the drawer of a dresser.

There had been a time when Klim had dreamt of his triumphant return to his hometown as a successful foreign journalist, whose writing had made him famous all over Argentina. But in the Russia of the summer of 1917, this would not have been the safest guise to travel in. Klim’s home country had been at war with Germany for three years now, its economy had collapsed, and the railroads were packed with armed deserters. Foreigners with their fancy suitcases were easy pickings for them, and Klim decided it would be wiser to melt in with the local population. He grew a layer of dark stubble, acquired a soldier’s uniform and a shabby trunk for his belongings, and arrived in Nizhny Novgorod looking more like an opera villain than an heir to a fortune.

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OTHER BOOKS IN THE SERIES

A prequel

to the Russian Treasures Series

Book 1

A novel about the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917

Book 2

A novel about Shanghai in the turbulent 1920s

Book 3

A novel about foreign journalists in the USSR

CONTRIBUTORS

Text by Elvira Baryakina

Translation by Rose France, Simon Geoghegan, and Elvira Baryakina

Book cover design by Elvira Baryakina

Illustrations by Ivan Vladimirov

Website design by Taras Karpyak