Max Frei, and the Labyrinth of Echo series, is a multi-million copy selling Russian literary sensation appearing in English for the first time in 2009. Intriguing, original, remarkable and wry . . . The Stranger is a piece of absolute enchantment. "Splash a bit of enchantment into my glass" . . . there is no better phrase to describe the state that a reader may find themselves in when exposed to this strong, absolutely legal, literary narcotic which goes by the name of Max Frei." - Stolichniye Novosti. If it weren't for bad luck, Max Frei wouldn't have any luck at all. A self-described twenty-something classic loser', an insomniac, hardened smoker, a glutton and a loafer, there's nothing much going for Max Frei . . . at least not until he arrives in the magical city of Echo. Summoned to the city by the head of the Department of Absolute Order, Sir Juffin Halli, Max's dreams are becoming a reality. But as with all dreams-come-true its not quite the reality Max expected; he's about to become a secret agent, tasked to solve extravagant, impossible crimes with nothing but his wits and a handful of unexplained magical abilities to recommend him. Max is going to be thrown into the fray - and he can't even have a cigarette first . . .