After seeing a film called Gorky Park with a Russian detective named Arcady, I read a few more in the series that feature him, and one of those had a reference to three stations.
These three stations are the Leningrad station, the Kazansky station, and the Yaroslavl station.
The latter was the one that interested me the most.
The story has Susan having a Russian father, a KGB agent who had an affair with her mother, and a man who had roots in the imperial past, from a rich family pre-1917 revolution, who lost everything after the revolution.
I needed a place for the ruined palace, and that was Yaroslavl. It is tucked away off the main road on the banks of the Volga River, and according to legend, was once visited several times by the Tzar himself.
Legend also has it it was given to the family by Catherine the Great for services rendered.
Anyway, David gets himself to Moscow, does his version of the Cook’s tour, thanks to an obliging taxi driver, and then to the station to catch the train. Why not drive? Well, that’s an interesting question.
But ensconced in his hotel making plans for the next day to visit the ruins, an unexpected visitor lands on his doorstep.