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 prostitution and human trafficking ruled by the Russian mafia, this hooker made the big 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?



“Don’t start this book in an airport. You’ll miss your plane.”
Samela Harris, News Ltd

“Dark, sexy hero for the new millennium.”
National bestselling author, Jordan Dane

“Masterful … a maze of danger and deceit.”
Abigail Ortlieb, RT [Romantic Times] Magazine

“The deadliest chessgame ever played.”
Charles S. Faddis, former CIA counter-terrorism Department Chief
and author of Codename Aphrodite

“Emotional … gritty … a masterstroke.”
Film and book critic, Daniel Cann

“A mind-blowing ride that grabs and never lets go.”
Norm Goldman, BookPleasures

“The most memorable character we’ve come to know.”
Ehsan Ehsani, The Mystery Tribune

Talanov-logoComfort Publishing, 2012
ISBN 978-1-936695-48-5 | ISBN 978-1-936695-84-3

Book #2 in the Aleksandr Talanov thriller series
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