Book of the Week, February 2nd 2019

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The Wolves of Leninsky Prospekt

Sarah Armstrong

Set in the early 1970’s this is a spy novel with a difference. It begins when Martha, a feisty Cambridge student, is sent packing for bringing the university into disrepute. Her gay friend Kit is a junior diplomat posted to Moscow and over a few New Year drinks they agree to a marriage of convenience. Marriage would help Kit fit the diplomatic community conventions while for Martha it would bring the chance to escape her middle-class suburban roots and explore an exciting and exotic new city.

She is not disappointed. The beauty and strangeness of Moscow enthrals her. She dodges high teas and choir practices with the embassy wives to learn Russian and explore Moscow. But her movements are tracked and she is drawn into a web of intrigue that she does not understand.

Without high-level intelligence leaks, car chases or fight scenes, this story is still gripping and full of suspense, concentrating firmly on character and the disturbing impact of the tensions, secrecy and claustrophobia of cold war Moscow.

Sandstone Press, hardback, £12.99