In June 1995, a young woman’s car is illegally parked in Soho, inside the police find two handguns, tear gas and flares, together with a large quantity of ammunition. She also had a communications scanner tuned to German police frequencies. The car is towed away and when the woman returns to reclaim the car she is arrested but refuses to speak. ‘The British authorities can congratulate themselves. They have successfully captured a professional assassin. Or perhaps a terrorist. Or could it be a major international criminal?’
Adam Chodzko uses a press cutting taken from The Observer as a starting point for Romanov, the book presents two texts that run concurrently − the first is a transcription of the court case where the woman, christened ‘Romanov’ by the judge, is tried and eventually imprisoned for two and a half years, the second text is a narrative recreation of Romanov’s actions that attempts to make sense of the woman’s motives and in doing so to relocate her voice and identity.