Publication Date: June 6, 2023
A Texas businessman travels to the furthest reaches of post-Soviet Russia in search of the country’s new wealth — and finds new dangers as well. Based on true events.
After the demise of the Soviet Union, the newly-established Russian government privatized its industry by issuing vouchers to all of its citizens, allowing them the chance to be shareholders in the country’s burgeoning businesses. The slips are distributed among the population and auctions are arranged where they can be exchanged for actual shares. For the country’s rural populations living in abject poverty, the vouchers appear to be little more than pieces of paper, totally separated from the far-off concept of potential future fortunes.
But for Texas businessman John Mills and his Czech companion, Petr Kovac, the seemingly-valueless chits suggest a lucrative potential, worth much more than what the current owners are willing to sell them for. They travel to the furthest, coldest reaches of the country to acquire vouchers for the country’s national oil company, Gazneft, roving from town to town with suitcases full of cash. But they quickly learn that the plan has complications — for example, the fact that the auctions at which these vouchers are traded for actual shares have been planned at the most remote, inaccessible locations possible to deter outsiders from buying in. And when the Russian mafia and the oligarchs in charge of Gazneft catch wind of their successes, the stakes become suddenly more deadly.
A thrilling adventure inspired by true events, The Siberia Job charts a course through one of the most impactful periods in recent Russian history, whose reverberations continue to be felt in the present day.
Take a journey back to 1994 when two men hatch a plan to profit as Russian companies shift from state to private ownership. Think venture capitalists on an international scale.
Based on a true story, author Josh Haven tells the story of how these early investors were able to claim stakes in one of the world’s most powerful and profitable companies—a Russian energy company.
The Siberia Job is a smooth read, effortlessly taking readers through the early partnership between American John Mills and Russian Petr Kovac. Post-Soviet Russia is described as the Wild Wild West of the East. Whether it is danger from the Russian mob or the numerous bribery schemes, the storyline brings the time period to life.
Even though the author points out in the introduction that some key facts have been changed since people close to the story have ended up dead, it is an eerie feeling to read a story that is actually true instead of being a made-up techno-thriller.
The Siberia Job captures the momentum of early investors waiting to cash in after the fall of the Soviet Union, only to find themselves caught up in a treacherous and unpredictable adventure.
Before publishing his first novel, Josh Haven was an art critic for magazines & newspapers in the US & Europe and an astrogeophysicist who solved the Saturn-Hyperion density/porosity problem. His seafaring adventure novels are published under the name J.H. Gelernter, and Fake Money, Blue Smoke is his first crime novel.