Author: Ivan Vibing
Born in London to German mother and British father, the freelance journalist Stephen Clarke is searching for work, love and identity in a world that on the political as well as on the personal level turns increasingly hostile. His work takes him to Moscow, and love brings him to Siberia where he marries. The newly-wed couple settle down in Southern Germany, but after a few years, his wife brings their child to Russia. An exhausting fight begins in court. The judicial system is working slowly. Time is the father’s worst enemy: If he for some time doesn’t have contact with his son, he will never see him again. As the situation gets hopeless, Stephen decides to take the law into his own hands: He travels in secrecy to Siberia with the aim of bringing back the abducted son. This is difficult. And dangerous. Will he succeed, be arrested or even die trying?
The book is available is available as e-book: ASIN: B07D9382PQ and as paperback: ISBN-13: 978-1982989170.
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1 ARRIVAL IN CHELYABINSK
On an early October morning before sunrise, the plane from Moscow landed on time at Koltsovo International Airport in Yekaterinburg, 1445 km east of Moscow. Caused by the severe turbulence during the flight, Stephen Clarke had not been able to close his eyes all night. Although a headache started rumbling around in his head, it could not restrain his feeling of excitement of meeting Varvara Alexandrovna Nikolaeva, the young Siberian economist, whom he met at a conference in Moscow six month earlier.
Still sitting on board the plane, taxiing to the gate, Stephen wrote her in an SMS that he had arrived and couldn’t wait to get out and see her. Instantly she responded that she had been waiting for his plane to land for several hours. Not to be late, she had hired a car with a driver, and for security reasons, she had brought her stepfather too. They were both looking forward to meeting him.
As one of the first passengers to disembark from the plane, Stephen hurried through the newly renovated terminal, occupied only by looking for his girlfriend, and forgot to get his suitcase at the baggage reclaim. Just as he would turn a corner, someone approached him, calling his name.
‘Stephen! I am here!’
She was right; there she was, standing in front of him, wearing the modern white jacket she bought last month and wrote about in an email. She was elegantly dressed and extraordinarily beautiful. The colour of her eyes was difficult to describe precisely because it was very rare, but it reminded most of all of amber transilluminated by sunlight. For a moment they were standing speechless, watching, recognising, remembering their first meeting. She was a slender East-Asian woman with dark, almost black hair of medium length and approximately fifteen cm smaller than Stephen, not much above 160 cm.
‘Welcome to Siberia, Stephen.’
‘Varvara Alexandrovna! Thank you. I’m happy to see you again. It feels like one hundred years. I have missed you.’