Colonel Aleksandr Talanov – the “ice man” – is married to a woman he wishes he could love. But he can’t, and it’s an ugly consequence of his training with the KGB. Even so, no one should have to experience what Talanov experiences: the brutal murder of his wife in front of his eyes.
Wracked with guilt and suspected of plotting her death, Talanov spirals downward on a path of self-destruction. He should have been killed, not her. He was the one whose violent past would not leave them alone. Months tick by and Talanov hits rock bottom on the mean streets of Los Angeles, where he meets a hooker named Larisa, who drugs and robs him.
But in the seedy world of human trafficking ruled by the Russian mafia, Larisa made the mistake of stealing the ice man’s wallet. In it was Talanov’s sole possession of value: his wedding photo. Talanov tracks Larisa down to get that photo because it reminds him of everything that should have been but never was. And never would be because an assassin’s bullet had mistakenly killed his wife.
Or was it a mistake?
The answer lies in Greco’s Game, a chess match played in 1619 that is famous for its queen sacrifice and checkmate in only eight moves. In an unusual alliance, Talanov and Larisa team up to begin unraveling the mystery of what Talanov’s old KGB chess instructor regarded as the most brilliant example of how to trap and kill an opponent. The question is: who was the target?
About the Author
James Houston Turner is the bestselling author of the Aleksandr Talanov thriller series, as well as numerous other books and articles. Talanov the fictional character was inspired by the actual KGB agent who once leaked word out of Moscow that James was on a KGB watch-list for his smuggling activities behind the old Iron Curtain. James Houston Turner’s debut thriller, Department Thirteen, was voted “Best Thriller” by USA Book News, after which it won gold medals in the Independent Publisher (“IPPY”) Book Awards and the Indie Book Awards. A cancer survivor of more than twenty-five years, he holds a bachelor’s degree from Baker University and a master’s degree from the University of Houston (Clear Lake). After twenty years in Australia, he and his wife, Wendy, author of The Recipe Gal Cookbook, now live in Austin, Texas.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Greco's Game finds Talanov witnessing the brutal murder of his wife. Convinced the bullet was meant for him and wracked with guilt, he spirals downward on a path of self-destruction, hitting rock-bottom on the mean streets of Los Angeles. But in a seedy world ruled by the Russian mafia, all is not as it seems. Was her murder an accident, or was it a carefully-planned strategy? The answer lies in Greco's Game, a chess game played in 1619 that Talanov's old KGB chess instructor regarded as the most brilliant example of how to trap and kill an opponent. The question is: who was the target? Wow! This is an outstanding story! Riveting, intense and full of suspense! You have the CIA, FSB (Federal Secret Service/Russia), LAPD, the Russian Mafia and Aleksandr Talanov, former KGB agent, all coming together in Los Angeles, California. Who killed his wife? Until he knows he can't trust anyone! While clues play out we learn that they are patterning a chess game played hundreds of years ago but you do not need to like or understand chess to follow this story. Just hold on tight you are in for a wild ride. Turner takes us on a journey into the gritty world of human trafficking in a universe where much has changed since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Men Talanov knew back in his time in the KGB could be working for anybody. He can't even trust his former mentor. The author takes us through the clues and strategy at an amazing clip making it impossible to put down. This story would make a fantastic movie. The author has created rich and colorful characters that just seem to leap off the page. We follow them through chilling car chases, cars crashing through buildings, and cars with surprises in the trunks. Gun blazing, bombs blowing, bouncers dishing out beatings and worse. I have not yet read Department Thirteen and had absolutely no trouble loving this deadly game of pawns and queens. I did learn James Houston Turner loves to leave us hanging. He resolves most of the issues but baits us with just a few lines and a bit of book #3, Dragon Head coming in 2013. This is one of those books I want to shout about from the rooftops!! It is amazing! A MUST READ if you like mystery, suspense, action and thrills!!!