This is a very long story, about 1750 pages in paperback form. Writing started one summer’s day in 1996 in a Russian dacha, with the lady in Chapter 1 beside me on the divan as I scribbled freehand in an exercise book which had those graph square pages. The writing was finished in 2007 and then came ten years of editing.
It certainly started as an account of my time in Russia, but by the 2000s, it was obvious you can only write on Russian snow and roads a certain number of times. That’s when it went third person, he was now called Hugh and while the first four chapters were accurate in description, for it to become a book though, other experiences, stories told by Russians [all the killings for example] and various world events were thrown in, which seemed a good time to turn it into a psych-thriller.
This “Hugh” had many of the author’s experiences, although things like him being in charge of a government department or in security were so much tosh … but not completely so. He actually was in that ministry office in the third book … but on the other side of the desk – the description of the room was accurate, as were all the women in the story, all based on someone.
By the middle of the third book, it had become almost entirely fiction, which you’d expect, considering it was set in the ‘then’ future, today’s dystopia.
An early middle-aged head teacher meets two youngish Russian ladies and follows them back to Russia where he finds himself drawn into other people’s agendas and as with quicksand, the more he tries to extricate himself, as well as those who’ve become attached to him, the further enmeshed they all become. The killings have already started.
The story moves to France, south of Paris and now even society is heading into a downwards spiral, courtesy of the powers-that-be; it gets so bad that this small ragtag must flee for their very lives in a fugitive chase across Europe, punctuated by gruesome deaths each time the PTB catch up with them.
Initially back in Britain, the elected government falls to the shadow elite, a large contingent flee to one of the dependencies but even that is bombed, they end up scattered across various islands, bombed out of existence one by one, until the surreal takes over and they find themselves under a hill called Megiddo.
What can one say? Unlike later books such as Dark Logic, in which the dalliance is toned down as befits someone in later age, this trilogy, Masquerade, is virtually one piece of nooky after another, as befits healthy specimens in early middle age and younger.
Therefore, the story might be called an erotic psyche-mystery action adventure thriller, with rather grim humour from time to time. The few people who have lasted the 1750 pages, bless them, have reported that it wasn’t too bad a read.
Good luck, should you try it.