Former Soviet Secret Service agent Leo Demidov has built himself a new life as a civilian with his wife Raisa, and their two teenage daughters, Elena and Zoya. The Soviet Union is a country trying to reassert itself after the murderous excesses of Stalin and the chaos of the following years, and as the Cold War continues powers inside Russia seek to topple their great enemy, the United States of America. Communist allies within the United States will prove vital players in this game of intrigue and revolution.
Raisa and their two daughters travel to the United States on a diplomatic mission, but a horrifying tragedy destroys everything Leo and Raisa have built. Exiled from the Soviet Union and separated from his family, Leo's quest takes him through the stark wilderness of Afghanistan, reawakening all his old instincts and forcing him to confront his demons.
Spanning decades, the ambitious final volume of Thriller Award winner Smith's trilogy set in the Soviet Union (after 2009's The Secret Speech and 2008's Child 44) takes former KGB agent Leo Demidov from Moscow to Manhattan via a gripping, relentless whodunit plot. In 1950, the Soviet authorities plan to exploit the arrival in Moscow of Jesse Austin, a Paul Robeson like American singer and dedicated Communist, for propaganda purposes, but Austin's refusal to play along creates complications. The full implications of Austin's behavior don't become apparent until the action shifts to 1965, when Demidov's wife and two adolescent daughters travel to New York City as part of a delegation intended to ease cold war tensions, and tragedy ensues. Most readers will reach the final page with regret and in awe of Smith's uncompromising vision of the realities of a police state and the toll it takes on those caught in its meshes.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Great book, page turner but disappointing ending
Really good book, well written and full of intrigue. Would have been 5* but the ending was blunt and disappointing, almost like the author just felt like stopping one day! Still worth a read though.
3 out of 3 another cracking read