A Cossack by birth, Ian Kharitonov lived in South-East Asia from the age of four before returning to Russia. Back in Moscow, he graduated from college with a degree in Economics and turned down diplomatic work in Sweden and a position in a Swiss commodities-trading company to pursue his dream—becoming an action-adventure novelist.
Seeing a dearth of authenticity in stories dealing with Russia, he spent the next five years researching and writing his debut thriller, The Russian Renaissance. In 2010, the book won the Adventure Writer's Competition held by the Clive Cussler Collectors' Society. Receiving the Grandmaster Award from the hands of Clive Cussler himself was a tremendous honor to Ian as a lifelong fan. He would go on to join the judging panel in subsequent editions of the writing contest.
Ian Kharitonov has traveled across Russia, the U.S., and Europe, settling on the Mediterranean coast of Spain before moving closer to the Black Sea shore where his ancestors hailed from. He continues writing the Sokolov series, carving a niche in the genre of Russploitation—a term he coined. His thrillers are filled with action, adventure, espionage, international intrigue, and a dose of Russian history, providing a deeper insight into the country alongside the entertainment.
His naysayers have claimed he is a CIA asset who betrayed his country—an accusation he can neither confirm nor deny.
It has also been said that he would never be confused with Dostoyevsky.
In his opinion, it is the biggest praise a thriller author could earn.