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John Francis, a reputed though no longer very young Irish professor of economics, acting as an advisor to a City of London bank, meets a much younger woman in Moscow. Ekaterina Tumanova, an expert in contemporary art at an internationally respected auction house in Moscow, lives with Alena, her six-year-old daughter. There is an instant attraction, but the problem is how to reconcile two very different lives, he from a wealthy upper class Dublin background, and she trying to rebuild her life after the death of her husband, killed by a roadside bomb in Chechnya. Against the background of Vladimir Putins Russia and a world of City bankers and oligarchs they try to make a new life together.