After helping Scotland Yard expose the Russian Mafia’s operation in the UK, Callaghan returns to Australia after being released and declared innocent of the murder charges he had been accused of. Vasily, the head of the Russian Mafia, decides on an unconventional solution to avoid the authorities looking for him, in an attempt to get his former life back. Dr Sternmacher calls Callaghan pleading with him to return to Europe to visit him about something that can’t be discussed over the phone.
Reluctantly Callaghan accepts, only to discover that Vasily has adopted a new, foolproof identity and that, during his absence, Vasily has ordered his wife Samantha to be abducted. In exchange for her release, Vasily demands Callaghan’s immediate presence in Paris, to which Callaghan has no choice but to accept.
Then unexpected exterior forces change life for both of them, eventually resulting in Vasily and Callaghan sitting through a night of philosophical exchange before they go separate ways to never meet again.
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The Final Facedown
“A gangster seeks vengeance on Matthias Callaghan in the grand finale of Ekemar’s psychological-thriller series.
“After wriggling out of a murder rap and exposing the Russian mob in the United Kingdom, Callaghan heads back to Australia, where he feels safe building a new home for his family. However, his vengeful machinations, which involved taking on multiple identities over the course of the series, have had consequences that won’t allow him to rest quite yet. Back in England, former mob boss Vasily Ivanovich is on the lam due to Callaghan’s revelations to the Metropolitan Police. He’s dead-set on revenge and in need of a new identity of his own, so he blackmails Callaghan’s plastic surgeon, Dr. Sternmacher, into giving him a new face. Sternmacher manages to complete the procedure while also creating a way for Callaghan to find Ivanovich. Then the Russian stages a kidnapping to force his quarry out into the open. Ekemar’s solid character construction renders even the wildest plot twists wholly plausible. In addition to the main narrative, there are various side plots and personalities that add spice or complications as well as a number of inept crooks that lend the narrative some comic relief. It all leads up to a final confrontation between Callaghan and Ivanovich that’s exciting, poignant, and up-close and personal. Ekemar explores themes of identity as skillfully as a maestro, sounding notes of existential angst and potboiler-y excitement throughout. This final episode also nicely ties up the series’ loose ends in a satisfying climax.
“A thrilling ending to a multilayered seven-book saga that’s sure to be a hit with fans.”
– Kirkus Reviews