Released September 21, 2007
Russian-born Nikolai Luzhin is a driver for one of London's most notorious organized crime families of Eastern European origin. The family itself is part of the Vory V Zakone criminal brotherhood. Headed by Semyon, whose courtly charm as the proprietor of the plush Trans-Siberian restaurant masks a cold and brutal core, the family's fortunes are tested by Semyon's volatile son and enforcer, Kirill, who is more tightly bound to Nikolai than to his own father. But Nikolai's existence is jarred once he crosses paths at Christmastime with Anna Khitrova, a midwife at a North London hospital. Anna is deeply affected by a young teenager who dies while giving birth to a baby. Anna resolves to try to trace the baby's lineage and relatives. Anna's mother Helen does not discourage her, but Anna's irascible Russian-born uncle Stepan urges caution. By delving into the diary, Anna accidentally unleashes the full fury of the Vory. With Semyon and Kirill closing ranks and Anna pressing her inquiries, Nikolai finds his loyalties divided. The family tightens its grip on him; who can, or should, he trust? Several lives--including his own--hang in the balance as a chain of murder, deceit and retribution reverberates through the darkest corners of both the family and London itself."