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A vodka-soaked tragicomedy of bribes, backhanders and a certain ex-president of Russia going catastrophically awry. Former Russian president, Vladimir P, is going senile, marooned in a world of memories from his years in power. To get him out of the way, he has been exiled to his luxury dacha, where he is served by a coterie of bickering house staff. Only Sheremetev, the guileless nurse charged with Vladimir's round-the-clock care, is unaware that everyone else is busily using every means at their disposal to skim money from their employer's inexhaustible riches. But when the nurse suddenly needs to find cash for a bribe or see his nephew rot in jail, the dacha's chef lets him in on the secret world of 'commissions' going on all around him. Yet surely Sheremetev wouldn't think to steal from his ailing patient? And surely, in the upstanding modern Russia that Vladimir P created, one would actually let him...
Michael Honig is a former doctor and the author of one previous novel, Goldblatt's Descent (Atlantic 2013). He lives in London with his wife and son.