Published by: Head of Zeus
A stunning WW2 Thriller
On Sunday 22nd June 1941 at 03.05, three-and-a-half million Axis troops burst into theSoviet Union along a 1,800-mile front to launch Operation Barbarossa. The southern thrustof the attack was aimed at the Caucuses and the oil ﬁelds beyond. Kyiv was the biggest cityto stand in their way.Within six weeks, the city was under siege. Surrounded by Panzers, bombed and shelled dayand night, Soviet Commissar Nikita Krushchev was amongst the senior Soviet officials co-ordinating the defence. Amid his cadre of trusted personnel is British defector BellaMenzies, once with MI5, now with the NKVD, the Soviet secret police.With the fall of the city inevitable, the Soviets plan a bloody war of terror that will extort ahigher toll on the city’s inhabitants than the invaders. As the noose tightens, Bella ﬁndsherself trapped, hunted by both the Russians and the Germans. As local saying has it: Life is dangerous – no one survives it
Firstly many thanks to the publisher for kindly sending me a copy for review and inviting me to be part of the blog tour
This books looks at Operation Barbarossa and the German invasion of Russia, There are two story lines running through out, Isobel Menzies (Bella) and Tam Mancrieff, both of whom work for British Intelligence, with a slight twist that Isobel also works for the Russians, with Kim Philby also central to the plot.
Tam on British soil has been abducted and drugged with much of his memory a blur
Meanwhile, Bella is sent on a mission to Moscow, however fearing for her life she decides to head to Kiev instead, and this for me is where the story really took off, as the Germans start to invade, pro soviet agents plant bombs in the major city centre buildings
This is a meticulously told story showing the horrors inflicted by the Germans on the Jewish community. At times it makes you wince, however, these scenes and passages enhance the story it does not try to wash over the events, the book is wonderfully plotted and researched, the drama heightens as you read on and the tension mounts
I did find the story involving Bella far more engaging and what a story, in part a love story, in part the suffering and human endurance of one woman, packed with grit.
This is adrenaline filled and as the story proceeds to the climatic ending the author holds nothing back in telling the harsh realities of the times.
The characters sing on the pages, instantly believable rich and well rounded, Kiev itself oozes and drips in atmosphere, the author conjures up scenes where you can feel yourself there.
The book is absorbing and immersive, the author hooks you in, as thrilling as it is entertaining.
I have long been a fan of the authors particularly the Faraday and Winter crime series, however the author has proved himself to be a master at the war thriller, this will appeal to all who like a story superbly told, characters that you can find yourself invested in and who just want to absorb themselves in a gripping read
About the Author:
Graham Hurley is the author of the acclaimed Faraday and Winter crime novels and an award-winning TV documentary maker. Two of the critically lauded serieshave been shortlisted for the Theakston’s Old Peculier Award for Best CrimeNovel. The ﬁrst Wars Within novel,Finisterre, was shortlisted for the Wilbur Smith Adventure writing prize.