The Good Angel Of Death by Andrey Kurkov (vintage)
This was a random buy in a bookshopo as I liked the cover and the blurb on the back sold it to me. I’m very glad I took the chance as this is a superb book and makes me want to find more of Kurkov’s novels.
This book is about Kolya who moves into a new flat in Kiev where the last resident has left a bookshelf of books behind. When Kolya opens the big version of Crime And Punishment he finds another book hidden inside a copy of The Kobza Player by Shevchenko, that book has some rather obtuse notes in the margins that set Kolya on his way to a quest to search for the meaning of these notes and the treasure map he ends up thinking they are.
This then leads him on a journey to Kazakhstan’s most inaccessible parts that he gets to on a factory ship that makes canned herring before he goes wandering in the desert for weeks where he picks up a wife and all sorts of odd stuff happens that in places is a bit Indiana Jones but with a serious russian drug smuggling twist to it.
I won’t give away what happens or the eventual end of the journey, but will say it is one hell of a ride and I would never have guessed what happens. It also makes me need to get a copy of The Kobza Player to read now too.