'Historical fiction of a high order' The Times
'Original and compelling... The fear enveloping Kyiv as the Soviets flee radiates from every page' Financial Times
On Sunday 22nd June 1941 at 03.05, three-and-a-half million Axis troops burst into the Soviet Union along a 1,800-mile front to launch Operation Barbarossa. The southern thrust of the attack was aimed at the Caucuses and the oil fields beyond. Kyiv was the biggest city to stand in their way.
Within six weeks, the city was under siege. Surrounded by Panzers, bombed and shelled day and night, Soviet Commissar Nikita Krushchev was amongst the senior Soviet officials co-ordinating the defence. Amid his cadre of trusted personnel is British defector Bella Menzies, 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 a higher toll on the city's inhabitants than the invaders. As the noose tightens, Bella finds herself trapped, hunted by both the Russians and the Germans.
As the local saying has it: life is dangerous – no one survives it.
'Tense, absorbing and faultlessly plotted, this thoughtful thriller weaves it all together' Sunday Times Crime Club (Star Pick).
'Liked this. Went someway to plugging the ginormous hole that Philip Kerr sad passing has left in my life' Dermot O'Leary.
'Hurley brings an almost noirlike sensibility to the surprising finale' Booklist.
'So well-written you can smell the sweat and taste the fear' Peter May.
'Beautifully constructed, the result is compelling and richly entertaining' Daily Mail