by Mark Perakh (150,000 words)

A mutilated version of this book was published (as a lead title) under the title MAN IN A WIRE CAGE, in 1988, by Critic's Choice Paperback, a division of Lorevan Publishers and in 1989, again, by Guild Press.

p> A body is found in the building of the University, in the Russian city of Kalinin. The head of comrade Baev, the University's Party Secretary and a former KGB officer, has been smashed by the hammer of an impact tester.

Among the eight suspects is a young Physicist, Boris Tarutin. Boris's former schoolmate and friend, Artamon Sergeev, who is an investigator at the Region Prosecutor's office, is assigned to the Baev's murder case. Artamon and Boris learn soon that the Party is not interested in unearthing the truth. The year is 1983, and nothing yet portends the approaching advent of glasnost. The region's big wheels order to concoct an indictment against Professor Magidov, the only Jew who had been at the University on the night of the murder. The people must believe that the murder was committed by 'Zionist plotters.'

Boris Tarutin discovers that Irina, the girl he fell in love with, is the daughter of the condemned Jew. He sets out to find the real murderer.

As Boris runs against time, elements of a whodunit, a thriller, a male adventure and a love story blend together, and several, seemingly separate story lines intertwine, finally merging in a dramatic denouement, at a border crossing between Czechoslovakia and Austria.

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