When Nikolai Volkov finished his military service in Chechnya, he expected a calm civilian life. But life in post-Soviet Moscow was more turbulent than he had ever experienced outside a war zone. With the new business opportunities brought about by the budding Russian democracy, Moscow saw an unprecedented spike in violent crime. From car bombs exploding in the middle of a busy street in broad daylight to shoot-outs between competitors to murders for political motives, Moscow was nothing but calm. As Nikolai looked for a way to fit into this new life, he discovered that the new risks and dangers brought with them an urgent need for a new paramilitary profession of a bodyguard. When he had first heard the term, Nikolai's mind conjured up a movie image of a tough muscular guy in a leather jacket, armed to his teeth and ready to use his body to shield his client. That image, like many of Nikolai's other perceptions of the new Russian life, was wrong. "You've been watching too many action movies," a bodyguard friend told Nikolai. "Isn't that the kind of bodyguard we're used to seeing?" Nikolai asked. "Seeing," his friend replied, "is the problem. Real bodyguards are gray shadows, unseen, unheard, and unnoticed. Professional bodyguards are both warriors and investigators, investigating the crimes before they get committed." After a few months of bodyguard training and a job offer, Nikolai quickly became one of the best bodyguards in the prestigious Centurion Personal Protection agency. In Gray Shadows, the mystery starts as Nikolai is assigned to a new client, a young attractive woman, and travels to a small town north of Siberia to provide protection for her, on her dad's request. At first, both Nikolai and his boss see the assignment as a whim of a rich overprotective father. But the more Nikolai learns about the small town, the oil company that the young woman is working for, and the people involved, the deeper the mystery gets. As he investigates a series of suspicious events, he encounters secrets, lies, and threats. In an unexpected and frightening twist, Nikolai's easy assignment becomes one of the toughest and the most dangerous. Gray Shadows is a modern suspense thriller set in post-Soviet Russia that presents a glimpse into Russian life of the turbulent 1990's, when the birth of a democracy was accompanied by violent collisions of political, social, and economic forces that made daily life in Moscow dangerous and unpredictable. There are two suspense/mystery novels in the Russian Bodyguard series: GRAY SHADOWS and IN THE CROSSHAIRS. Each book is a complete story and can be read on its own.