Unnamed Forces
An «Entertainment»
New Edition 2024 • English and German

My way of joking is to tell the truth. It's the funniest joke in the world.
George Bernard Shaw. John Bull's Other Island.

In 1936 Germany and Japan sign a treaty with two oil companies: The two countries divide among each other the oil exploitation in Siberia. The diplomatic courier carrying the German ver­sion of the treaty from Tokyo to Berlin dis­ap­pears while crossing the Soviet Union tra­vel­ing on the Trans-Siberian Railroad.

Nearly seventy years later Jack Boulder, a Ca­na­dian living in the Swiss city of Basel, is asked by the German Foreign Office to trace the ori­gi­nal copy of the treaty.

What is so important about an agreement that is outdated? Why does a German government office offer so much money for this task if they know exactly whom to ask for its whereabouts?

Soon Boulder realizes that certain parts of the puzzle are not foreign to him. Driven by cu­rio­sity he follows the trails he discovers through Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, the Uni­ted Sta­tes and Russia — and others follow him. The circle closes in Siberia. Who gets the Rus­si­an oil? Who finances the pipelines? Who bags the pro­fits?

A novel set in 2002 with a gripping story against both a colorful historical and con­­tem­­po­­ra­ry political background. The plot is full of peri­od detail, rapid, hu­mo­rous, and full of sus­pense — a mixture of intrigue and romance. At the same time it traces the attempts of the cen­tral character to come to terms with the en­tangle­ment of politics, bu­reau­cra­cy, and busi­ness.

The book introduces protagonist Jack Boulder and presents his friends Laszlo Nagy, a former art forger, Annabel Conti, who is working for a Swiss bank — and Dr. Schall, who runs a small German secret service.

This book is part of a cycle of books. The first installment, Unnamed Forces, plays in 2002, the second one, Berlin Export, in 2004, and the third one, Occident Express, in 2006. The story of The Stamp Collector takes place in 2010 (to be published in spring 2025).

Although each work within the cycle presents an inde­pendent, self-contained tale, they are all connected by the characters of the protagonist, his friends and some other persons, and the outcome of the events of earlier plots. Still, each individual installment of the cycle can be read on its own.


Look at the book   Have a look …

Unnamed Forces.
Illu­stra­ted paper­back. 300 pages, 23 co­lor il­lus­tra­tions.
New Edition 2024 | Publishing date: 6 March 2024.
ISBN (Europe): 978-3-7583-6626-0 | ISBN (outside Europe): 978-628-01-2722-4
Order through: Books-on-Demand.

spaceholder new red   Readers' Opinions

spaceholder new blue   "A novel written in a very agreeably lettered style — not mass-market pulp fiction. Pleasant to read, as time­ly as today's newspaper, com­pos­ed with great skill and intelligence, art­ful and en­ter­tain­ing. The story is not nar­rat­ed straight­for­ward; every time you believe the plot is solved, it takes a new turn and a ra­ther un­ex­pect­ed twist at the end."
L.U., Germany.

spaceholder new blue   "Very imaginative fiction set against an ac­cu­rate­ly researched historical back­ground, stretch­ing from the ear­ly days of the Third Reich to the present day. Sometimes one gets the feeling it might not be fiction but reality."
S.M., Berlin.

spaceholder new blue   "The essential thing is that I liked the book and got to bed much too late because of it. And I liked the ab­sen­ce of detailed violence in it. The explicit violence in Mankell's books is some­thing which puts me off rather badly. If you read Mankell's books in the order they were writ­ten you see the escalation of violence probably necessary to sell. But less is better I think. Your cynicism* and dislike of bureaucrats is to me refreshing and the description of them (especially Dr. Engel who reminds of these money boxes of the shape of a man with a hat and equipped with a metal weight in the round bottom who only bounced back and never turned over how­ever many copper coins you put in their belly) is very true. … And your choice of subject, Siberian oil, is very in just now."
A.P., Malmö.
* Cynical: I (the author) am not showing con­tempt for him; I just describe a cha­rac­ter.


© 2024 by Peter de Chamier
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