*Longlisted for the 2017 CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger for best thriller*
'Even better than Child 44' Daily Telegraph
'Given that the definitive thriller in 1980's Moscow already exists (Gorky Park), Moskva looks like a crazy gamble. But it's one that comes off' Sunday Times
'A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma . . .'
January, 1986. A week after disgraced Intelligence Officer Tom Fox is stationed to Moscow the British Ambassador's fifteen-year-old daughter goes missing. Fox is ordered to find her, and fast. But the last thing the Soviets want is a foreign agent snooping about on their turf. Not when a killer they can't even acknowledge let alone catch is preparing to kill again . . .
A Cold War thriller haunted by an evil legacy from the Second World War, Moskva is a journey into the dark heart of another time and place.
'Mesmerising, surefooted, vividly realised . . . something special in the arena of international thrillers' Financial Times
'A compulsive and supremely intelligent thriller from a master stylist' Michael Marshall, author of The Straw Men
'A blizzard of exciting set pieces, superbly realized' Daily Telegraph
At a New Year's Eve party held at the British embassy in Moscow in December 1985, British Army intelligence officer Tom Fox, the hero of Grimwood's entertaining thriller debut, meets the ambassador's unhappy 15-year-old stepdaughter, Alex Masterson. After Tom notices suspicious scarring on the girl's wrists, he jokingly gives her advice on how to properly commit suicide. His words come back to haunt him a week later when Alex disappears. Her stepfather, Sir Edward, is reluctant to tell the Soviet authorities she's gone missing, hoping she'll return on her own. Tom's feelings of guilt about his possible part in the family's trauma, as well as his guilt over his daughter Becca's recent death in a car crash (which may not have been an accident), lead him to search for Alex on his own. Grimwood (The Last Banquet) eventually ties that plot into the gripping opening teaser the discovery of the corpse of a preteen boy with a severed finger near Red Square. Despite many improbable narrow escapes and an underdeveloped lead, Martin Cruz Smith fans will be pleased.
I don't understand so many glowing reviews of this book. Maybe it reflects the lack of high quality books in this spy genre in recent times. While readable and with a promising plot, there are too many unrealistic scenarios and turns dotted throughout the book.