About the Book
When Doctor Fyodor Dyatlov accidentally discovers a hidden piece of paper within a ruined frame of a painting, he immediately becomes entangled in an international criminal conspiracy. It’s the Soviet Union, 1977. Decades before the incredible adventure of Giles, Michael, and Francis, the story of Vasily’s youth in the Ural Mountains begins. The Dyatlov family, central to his early days, departed the city of Perm to move east for a better life. Fyodor Dyatlov successfully secures this transfer and transports his family to an ancient cathedral town on the slopes of the eastern Ural Mountains, Verkhoturye. Instead of the cramped concrete sprawl of the city, Fyodor hopes to bring a more pure, wholesome life to his family. It is a dream come true for his eldest daughter, Galina. Being a strong, young spiritual girl, she often dreams of the far-off magical forests filled with elusive wonders and strange beings that stretch endlessly across the Soviet Union.
Verkhoturye was laid down centuries ago and was meant to be the springboard to the far Russian east. Still a frontier town, the locals are hardy people. Forged to endure the hardships of the land. The town remains secluded and relishes being forgotten by the outside world. As outsiders, the newly arrived Dyatlov family finds it initially challenging to adjust and find their place in a rural society, split three ways between the farming community, town folk, and the mysterious Woodlanders. Bit by bit, they become accustomed to their new life, and Galina sparks up a new friendship with a local Woodland boy, Vasily Ivanov.
Week by week, a remarkable relationship between Galina and Vasily grows stronger. The two spritely youths share many adventures. Great love and a lifelong bond are established between them as they spend many days together exploring the mountain forests, searching for relics of mythical dwarves and elves while cementing Galina as a dearly cherished friend to the Woodland community.
For Fyodor, the mystery of the discovered piece of paper leads him to follow a trail of questions that leads to the irrefutable conclusion that the fatal demise of the previous Doctor was not an accident, but murder. The suspense grows as Fyodor uncovers chilling coincidences, one at a time, as he edges perilously close to revealing a dark local conspiracy whose hidden, unseen chain stretches globally. So close he gets to exposing the truth that his investigative endeavours are quickly discovered, and his very life is threatened to keep the clandestine operation undiscovered.
As a hidden stalking doom closes in on her father, Galina uncovers a secret scheme from the Local Council, which wants to profit from a vast deforestation plan. Her mother, Viktoriya, is promoted to the Council and is personally placed in charge of executing this secret plan. Appalled by the fate awaiting their beloved forests. As an unbearable suspense grows within Galina, she joins forces with Vasily to stop the wanton assault on the forests. As a result, Galina is presented with a terrible choice thrust upon her, ultimately compelling her to choose between the forests and her family. Either choice leads to appalling ends, and her tortured final decision results in even darker ends for the Dyatlov family.
About the Author
Born in Canada, Mark now lives in London, UK. Mark is currently working on books four and five of the series.
Mark lists his literary influences as:
John le Carré