MASKIROVKA - The Russian Science of Deception

MASKIROVKA - The Russian Science of Deception

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It may have changed its name, but the KGB is up to its old tricks, only this time with a new puppet—the American Public!

Steve Nguyen, a newly minted homicide detective with the San Francisco Police Department, is cut loose on his first solo case—the mysterious death of a young accountant with a public-interest foundation. Everything points to natural causes, but Nguyen, to the dismay of his chief, isn’t ready to close the book. With no motive, means, or opportunity, the anxiety-racked law school dropout starts digging anyway.

Nguyen’s tortuous investigation leads through the halls of Congress, the gritty oil fields of the Siberian tundra, stately Black Sea palaces of the petro-czars, and the mean streets of San Francisco. Aided by his misfit cousins, Tina Ngo, an attorney with a special practice in feral law, and Tommy Tran, a computer geek straddling the tightrope of legality, Nguyen unearths a malevolent alliance among a billionaire Russian oligarch, a duplicitous foundation director, and a renowned philanthropist hell-bent on tightening Russia’s monopoly on the European energy market by choking-off American exports. If it means corrupting the American electoral system through illegal campaign contributions, political blackmail, and a few dead bodies, so be it.

In this dark world of Russian deception, Nguyen unravels of a complex tangle of illegal offshore accounts, shell corporations, and front companies, all while ducking the crosshairs of the SVR’s most skilled assassins. He may solve a murder and maybe save a republic.


A native of Flint, Michigan, Richard Meredith moved to California while serving in the US Navy and remained to finish college. After obtaining undergraduate and graduate degrees in Biology, he worked as a marine scientist and wildlife biologist for the federal government and the private sector. His work has taken him to the Eastern Tropical Pacific Ocean, the Amazonian rainforests of Ecuador, the tundra and taiga of the Yukon Flats, the coral reefs of the Caribbean, and St. Lawrence Island in the Bering Sea. Maskirovka draws heavily on his work as an analyst in the petroleum industry. Mr. Meredith’s experience on commercial fishing boats in the Pacific formed the backdrop of his recent thriller, The Crow’s Nest, which won the Silver Falchion Award for the best Action-Adventure novel at the 2021 Killer Nashville Mystery and Thriller Writers Conference. His first thriller, Sky Dance, was based on his ecological restoration work in the oil fields of Ecuador. When not writing or reading, he enjoys travel, bird and wildlife watching, scuba, guitars, and most sports. He is on the board of Capitol Crimes, Sacramento’s Sister-in-Crime chapter. Mr. Meredith is married with two children and four grandchildren.