An upmarket, well informed and incredibly topical novel that marks the return of the spy thriller, in the vein of John le Carre and Robert Harris.
At the dawn of the new millennium, Finn, an MI6 spy, and Anna, a colonel of the KGB, have been sent to spy on each other. Instead they find a love that becomes the only truth they can trust. A source deep within the Kremlin tells Finn of a plan, hatched in the depths of the Cold War, to dismantle the edifice of the communist state and to bring about the rise of a new imperium within Russia: a plan to control the whole of Europe. Finn's masters in London are blinded by the new wealth pouring out of Russia and he must leave the Service and work in secrecy to uncover the deadly threat it poses to the freedom of every one of us.
Alex Dryden's brilliant and unforgettable novel has told me more about the making of modern Russia than I could learn from all books of journalism and contemporary history combined. That it has done so in the form of a compulsively readable spy story, love story and moral fable is nothing short of miraculous - Stephen Fry
Alex Dryden is the real thing. If he got any realer, he would step out of the pages and physically punch you, with both elegance and regret - Hugh Laurie
... terrifying, quite frankly ... chillingly unputdownable - everything you didn't want to know about Putin but were afraid to ask - Emma Thompson
...could not be better timed... [Dryden] is grimly authoritative on the power plays of Putin and the new Russia - Daily Express
Alex Dryden is a pseudonym. He worked for many years in intelligence specialising in Russian matters and is now a writer and journalist. When the Berlin Wall came down in 1989, Dryden watched the statues of Lenin fall across the former Soviet Union. Since then he has charted the false dawn of democracy in Russia as the country morphed into the world's most powerful secret state.