Monday, January 26, 2009

Pg. 69: David Francis' "Stray Dog Winter"

The current feature at the Page 69 Test: Stray Dog Winter by David Francis.

About the book, from the publisher:
Darcy Bright, a hapless young Australian artist, receives a surprising birthday present from his elusive half-sister Fin, ostensibly in Moscow on a prestigious fellowship painting industrial landscapes. Fin sends Darcy a ticket to the Soviet Union housed in a leather money belt, and an invitation to join her—only if he’s willing to bring the money belt and its contents.

Although their relationship has, in the past, swung between passionate attachment and startling disloyalty, Darcy has been drifting in his own life, and sees this as an opportunity for direction and purpose. Or, at the very least, adventure, and decides to put himself in his sister's hands, bringing himself and the belt into the USSR.

Upon his arrival into the bleak Soviet winter of 1984, Darcy is quickly engulfed in Fin’s mysterious life there, and he becomes entangled in an extortion plot designed to change the course of Cold War history. And as Fin’s true intentions for her brother unfold, the intricacies of the bond between the estranged siblings start to unravel.

With Stray Dog Winter, David Francis has entered Graham Greene territory, placing a naïve hero in the center of political intrigue and betrayal at the end of the Cold War. Atmospheric and suspenseful, this novel is pure Soviet noir, a remarkable tale of love, passion, politics, identity, and espionage.
Visit the Stray Dog Winter website.

David Francis is an Australian lawyer and former international equestrian who lives in Los Angeles. He is the author of the acclaimed novel The Great Inland Sea, which was published in seven countries. He has taught creative writing at University of California Los Angeles/Occidental College and in the Masters of Professional Writing program at University of Southern California.

The Page 69 Test: Stray Dog Winter.

--Marshal Zeringue