Chernobyl: the Zone of Exclusion. A ghostly place, deserted and forgotten for almost two decades; now inhabited by militia, shady scavengers, a few reckless scientists, and some elderly Ukrainian peasants . . . This is the eerie and dangerous world Inspector Arkady Renko must navigate if he is to find out the truth behind the death of one of Russia's richest oligarchs. Pasha Ivanov has been found dead on the pavement outside his luxury high-rise apartment in Moscow. It seems like a straightforward suicide, but Renko, never one to take evidence at face value, refuses to drop the case, and there is something puzzling him: a mountain of salt found in Ivanov's wardrobe . . . Determined to look deeper into the circumstances of Ivanov's demise, he acquaints himself with this wealthy businessman's powerful and corrupt circle, until his investigations lead him to Chernobyl's notorious Zone of Exclusion, where the body of Lev Timofeyev, Ivanov's former research partner, has been discovered in a contaminated cemetery . . . Masterfully crafted and told with extraordinary insight and imaginative breadth, the bestselling author of GORKY PARK brings us Renko's most beguiling and unusual adventure to date.