Written by 'a sublimely elegant historical novelist as addictive as crack' (Daily Telegraph), the Inspector Troy series is perfect for fans of Le Carré, Philip Kerr and Alan Furst.
Vienna, 1934. Ten-year-old cello prodigy Meret Voytek becomes a pupil of concert pianist Viktor Rosen, a Jew in exile from Germany.
The Isle of Man, 1940. An interned Hungarian physicist is recruited for the Manhattan Project in Los Alomos, building the atom bomb for the Americans.
Auschwitz, 1944. Meret is imprisoned but is saved from certain death to play the cello in the camp orchestra. She is playing for her life.
London, 1948. Viktor Rosen wants to relinquish his Communist Party membership after thirty years. His comrade and friend reminds him that he committed for life...
These seemingly unconnected strands all collide forcefully with a brazen murder on a London Underground platform, revealing an intricate web of secrecy and deception which Detective Frederick Troy must untangle.
Lawton has divided his atypical seventh Inspector Troy thriller (after Second Violin) in two. The first part, "Audacity," spans the years from 1934 to 1946, ranging from Vienna before the Anschluss to the site of the A-bomb test in the New Mexico desert. A straight historical narrative, it includes some powerful scenes, especially those at the infamous Auschwitz concentration camp, where musical prodigy M ret Voytek has been incarcerated, despite her not being Jewish. Robert Oppenheimer's role in developing America's nuclear weapons program proves relevant to the book's second half. In part two, "Austerity," set in 1948 London, Insp. Frederick Troy looks into the gunshot murder in the Underground of Andr Skolnik, a painter suspected of being a Soviet sleeper agent. Voytek, who survived Auschwitz, turns out to have a link to Skolnik. Those expecting a conventional crime novel should be prepared for two distinct stories with overlapping characters, only one of which involves a criminal investigation.