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Roped into helping her socially inept‚ émigré stepfather‚ Nikolai‚ escape the clutches of a blackmailer‚ Jo must enter a world where criminals enforce a 19th-century code of honor‚ threats arrive inside not-so-traditional Matryoshka (nesting) dolls‚ and fashion models adorn themselves with lewd prison tattoos. And even as she helps Nikolai — who claims to have been framed — to evade the police‚ Jo can’t help wondering if her client is as innocent as he claims.
In this fast-paced, suspenseful novel, performance poet and private investigator Jo Epstein uses her New York street smarts to outmaneuver a master Russian criminal on his own turf.
Roped into helping her socially inept, émigré stepfather Nikolai escape the clutches of a blackmailer, Jo must enter a world where criminals enforce a nineteenth-century code of honor, threats arrive inside not-so-traditional Matryoshka (nesting) dolls, and fashion models adorn themselves with lewd prison tattoos. And even as she helps Nikolai—who claims to have been framed—to evade the police, Jo can’t help wondering if her client is as innocent as he claims.
From Vladimir Central Prison to the brooding Russian forest, from Moscow Criminal Police headquarters to the monasteries of Suzdal, Jo Epstein investigates the world of the vory—a criminal subculture as brutal as it is romanticized—while racing against the clock to solve crimes committed on two continents.
The Last Matryoshka is a thrilling mystery that explores the age-old relationship between justice and revenge while delving into the complexities of family relationships forged in vastly different cultures.