The sequel to Night Falls on the City, Sarah Gainham's masterpiece novel of WWII Vienna, finds her striking heroine Julia caught up in the aftermath of war and the incipient tensions of the Cold War.
In the aftermath of the Second World War, Vienna is a crucible of fear and superstition, tense with the beginnings of the Cold War and rife with double agents. Robert Inglis, a young British army officer, has been posted to the ruined city to assist in restoring order and control. In the bitter cold of that post-war winter, a mystery railway wagon arrives from the east carrying a cargo of starving, half-dead men, among them the talented journalist Georg Kerenyi. Inglis forms an uneasy friendship with Kerenyi, and it is through him that he meets and is captivated by Julia Homburg, once the star of Vienna's theatre and now hidden away in the Austrian countryside, engaged in her private struggle to overcome the sorrow and devastation of the war.
There are no heroics; instead Sarah Gainham offers a scrupulously detailed story of individuals forced through barbarism into chaos - Helen Dunmore
Sarah Gainham is a master storyteller - Jewish Chronicle - David Herman
Sarah Gainham was born in London in 1915. She moved to Germany in her early thirties, shortly after WWII, and then to Austria, where she remained for over fifty years. It is in central Europe that her early thrillers such as Cold Dark Night, The Stone Roses and Silent Hostage are played out.
Night Falls on the City was first published to worldwide acclaim in 1967. She later wrote two further novels set in Vienna, A Place in the Country and Private Worlds. Gainham reported regularly on central European affairs for the Spectator, Encounter and the New Republic. She died in Austria in 1999.