In the storyline of The Silent Oligarch by Chris Morgan Jones, English lawyer Richard Lock owns a company, but the Russian oligarch Konstatin Malin owns Lock. The company is a front to launder money in a complex web which enables Malin to control the Russian oil industry.
When a competitor tries to destroy Malin, Lock finds himself stuck in the middle. For the first time in his life he is being pushed to the edge in a very dangerous game with sinister people who control it.
1: government by the few
2: a government in which a small group exercises control especially for corrupt and selfish purposes; also : a group exercising such control
3: an organization under oligarchic control
Filled with great detail about London, Moscow, and Berlin, as well as the lifestyle of rich Russians, Jones’ debut novel is an interesting thriller filled with atmospheric nuances about the new Russia.
The Silent Oligarch is somewhat complex, and reading it was like walking through a maze, calling on the reader to pay attention. Jones writes like an insider, not only in the complex details of shell companies but also into the mindset of those who control them and those who are being controlled. The reader can feel the boss’ calm, collected, reserved yet menacing demeanor while being able to relate to the genuine panic of others.
What I liked about The Silent Oligarch is that the bad guy, Konstatin Malin, is a very sinister fellow and even though he doesn’t have a big role in the book, his presence is certainly felt on almost every page. The novel moves forward at a decent pace and seemed, at least to me, very close to reality.
There are no big battles, heroic acts, or moral absolutes. The opposite actually — just like in real life there is plenty of moral ambiguity for every character in this story while keeping the actual violence to a minimum.
While The Silent Oligarch is about Russia, one can draw parallels to the U.S. when it comes to oligarchy. I certainly don’t think it’s as bad as it is, or was, there, but we can all see who pulls the purse strings in Congress. Whatever the case, there may be a little dough for pizza as a vegetable, but if you require more than tomato paste (never mind that a tomato is a fruit), watch how quickly that purse closes up.