Spanning two continents and three decades, this is an epic tale of love, murder and revenge.
Police stand ready to make an arrest as the Ile de France liner docks at New York Harbour in 1929. The passengers assume that it is notorious bootlegger Paul Mantilini who is to be taken away. But Mantilini walks down the gangplank a free man and instead it is Esko Vaananen the police arrest - a celebrated architect, and by all accounts a shy and mild-mannered young man.
Born a peasant in rural Finland at the turn of the century, Esko, the son of an outcast Bolshevik, dreamed of skyscrapers and of a beautiful and tragic Russian aristocrat named Katerina. His entire life has been spent pursuing and protecting these twin passions, no matter how great the cost. It is a journey that has led him into the battlefields of the Bolshevik revolution and the jazz-age nightclubs of New York City, and finally, to strike a Faustian bargain with a ruthless gangster - all in pursuit of artistic perfection and impossible, unattainable love. And now he stands accused of murder . . .
A grand and unashamedly romantic literary epic, The Cloud Sketcher' moves from the battle of Tampere to the incredible danger of working on "the high steel" of skyscraper shells, from Prohibition to the remarkable intersection of organised crime, finance and the arts in 1920s New York, powerfully evoking an era gone by.