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Imprisoned in the Gulags for a crime he did not commit, Benya Golden is doomed to die in the dreaded Kolyma camps until, with the onset of war, he joins a penal battalion made up of murderers and criminals to fight the Nazis. They have been promised their freedom - but in order to earn this they must first shed their own blood in battle.
Benya joins the Russian cavalry, and on a hot summer day in July 1942, he and his band of ruffians are sent on a desperate mission which they are unlikely to survive.
They charge a line of German tanks, breaking through into enemy territory. Lost behind enemy lines where Russian fights Russian and no one can be trusted, Benya struggles in a crucible of hell where renegades and traitors, Nazis, Cossacks and Italians soak the steppes with blood in the most terrifying moments in modern human warfare.
Switching between Benya's war in the grasslands of Central Russia and Stalin's plans in the Kremlin, between Benya's intense affair with an Italian nurse and a romance between Stalin's daughter Svetlana and her much older lover in Moscow, this is an epic, sweeping historical novel in which Stalin and Hitler are both characters.
Above all, it's a story of passion, survival and tragedy in the most unbearable and murderous conditions on the eve of the battle for Stalingrad.
The black earth was already baking and the sun was just rising when they mounted their horses and rode across the grasslands towards the horizon on fire ...'
Imprisoned in the Gulags for a crime he did not commit, Benya Golden joins a penal battalion made up of Cossacks and convicts to fight the Nazis.
He joins the Russian cavalry, and on a hot summer day in July 1942, he and his band of brothers are sent on a desperate mission behind enemy lines.
Switching between Benya's war in the grasslands of Southern Russia, and Stalin's plans in the Kremlin, between Benya's intense affair with an Italian nurse and a romance between Stalin's daughter and a journalist also on the Eastern Front, this is a sweeping story of passion, bravery and human survival where personal betrayal is a constant companion, and death just a heartbeat away."
Series: The Moscow Trilogy
Number Of Pages: 464
Available: 13th July 2017