The Soviet Union 1956: after Stalin's death, a violent regime is beginning to fracture. Stalin's successor Khrushchev pledges reform. But there are forces at work that are unable to forgive or forget the past. Leo Demidov, former MGB officer, is facing his own turmoil. His adopted daughters have yet to forgive him for his part in the brutal murder of their parents. They are not alone. Leo, his wife, and their family are in grave danger from someone with a grudge. Someone transformed beyond recognition into the perfect model of vengeance. Leo's desperate mission to save his family will take him from the harsh Siberian Gulags, to the depths of the criminal underworld, to the centre of the Hungarian uprising - and into a hell where redemption is as brittle as glass.
Tom Rob Smith was born in l979 to a Swedish mother and an English father and was brought up in London where he still lives. He graduated from Cambridge in 2001 and spent a year in Italy on a creative writing scholarship. Tom has worked as a screenwriter for the past five years, including a six-month stint in Phnom Penh storylining Cambodia's first ever soap. His first novel, CHILD 44, was longlisted for the 2008 Man Booker Prize, shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award and the inaugural Desmond Elliott Prize, and won the Crime Writers' Association's Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award for best adventure/thriller novel of 2008, and the American edition won Best Debut at the International Thriller Awards and Best Debut at the Strand Magazine awards.