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When Citizen Orlov, an unassuming fishmonger and upstanding citizen, answers a mysterious phone call, he is catapulted into a web of espionage and political maneuverings. Not every fishmonger can be a secret agent, but Orlov will certainly try.
Not every fishmonger can be a secret agent.
Journey to an unnamed mountainous country in central Europe at the end of the Great War. Enter Citizen Orlov, a simple fishmonger and an honest, upright citizen, who answers a phone call meant for a secret agent and stumbles into a hidden world of espionage and secrecy. Recruited by the Ministry of Security, he is sent on assignment to safeguard the king.
But Orlov soon discovers that his ministry handler, the alluring femme fatale Agent Zelle, is planning not to protect the king but to assassinate him. Caught in a web of plot and counterplot, confusing loyalties, and explosive betrayals, Orlov finds himself on trial for murder. Given the opportunity to clear his name, he finds that the lives of his friends, mother, and fellow citizens hang in the balance.
“A triumph—and an answer to that age-old question of what would have happened had Gogol, Kafka and G. K. Chesterton collaborated on a thriller. A timeless work which will, I fear, be forever timely.” —Dixe Wills, author of Places to Hide and New World Order
“Jonathan Payne's Citizen Orlov is a stunning debut! A page turning, down-the-rabbit-hole delight, told with equal measure of wit and suspense. A timeless classic for our current moment; a paranoid and comic thriller with a surprise on every page. I loved it!” —Don Scardino, Producer/Director, 30 Rock, New Amsterdam
“Highly engaging, and written with an engaging lightness of touch, Citizen Orlov marks the debut of a comic novelist to watch for the future.” —Dr. Adam Lively, Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing & Programme Leader, MA Novel Writing, Middlesex University