THE TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT: Narrative that is direct, candid, unpretentious. A member of a highly privileged caste in Soviet society... reduced to a 'mozho' girl mixing with foreigners, with instructions to report on them... the real story is in the simple, graphic and almost entirely persuasive account of her observations - some amusing and others horribly or pitifully gruesome.
In the unforgiving WWII climate of 1940, 21-year old Nora is faced with a perilous ultimatum: Enlist with Stalin's secret police as a honey trap, or face the death of her family. Despairingly she agrees.
Nora finds herself struggling to seduce her target, John Murray, a British Embassy cypher in Moscow.
As two disparate lives intertwine, their desperate escape leads the couple through frozen Arctic wastelands, clutching forged papers and hopes not just for survival but for a future together.