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(Jacket design by Vitali Golev
MOSCOW 1991 to 1996. Following the collapse of Gorbachev’s Soviet Union, Londoner Norman ‘Nobby’ Jackson, a Moscow-based failed business ‘consultant’ and amateur-Classicist-turned-private detective, joins forces again with his old sparring partner Colonel Lev Alexandrovitch Shcheglov, head of Moscow’s CID (see ‘Nobby’s’ previous adventures in ‘Moscow Ain’t Such A Bad Place’), to disentangle a Byzantine plot that links the murders of London gangsters attending an international criminal convention in Moscow to carve up territories and ‘spheres of interest’ in the former Soviet Union, and the serial killer who has been slaughtering and mutilating local prostitutes over a five-year period. The labyrinthine investigation leads ‘Nobby’ — ably assisted by Anzhelika, his ‘clairvoyant’ lover and business partner — through the cut-throat post-Soviet milieu of gangster-capitalism, the mafiya, political conspiracies, would-be putschists, and an international terrorist plot to destroy Moscow, provoke a nuclear war and the break-up of the Russian Federation.
BARRY JONES, Moscow’s own Arthur Dailey, was a scholar, raconteur and Mr Fix-it, well known for his ability to arrange almost anything in the city that he made his home town from 1976 until his expulsion — in chains — from the Russian Federation in 2001. Moscow Ain’t The Place It Used To Be, the second and last of his ‘Moscow’ thrillers, is a compelling story peopled by extraordinary characters, and provides a sympathetic and uniquely well-informed insider’s view of the grittier side of life in Yeltsin’s ‘New Russia’.
(Barry Jones lived and worked in Moscow for twenty-five years (1976-2001) as a translator, translating over sixty books in a variety of specialist and non-specialist subjects, eg. economics, philosophy, politics, sociology, taxation, customs documentation, music, sport, art, philately, circus & entertainment, and much else.
From 1991 to 1994 he was Head of Legal and Business Translation at the INTERFAX News agency in Moscow where he translated the Constitutions of the Russian Federation and those of each of the former Soviet Republics. He also translated dozens of laws, statutes, presidential decrees and other legislative and legal documents as well as a continuous flow of articles on oil and gas, agriculture, mining and minerals, finance and banking, and commerce in general.
In 1995 he began work on a two-year project to translate the archives of more than 100 Russian museums for the US Library of Congress, part of which can be viewed on “ArcheoBiblioBase: The Archives of Russia” (www.iisg.nl)
From then until his expulsion in chains on trumped up charges in 2001 he worked as a freelance translator. His biggest projects were “The Celestial Garden” – by the playwright, Azat Abdullin — on the life of Rudolf Nuriyev — and a series of learned articles on medieval Georgian astronomy.)