Red Sky at Noon by Simon Sebag Montefiore
'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 enrols in 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.
Praise for Red Sky at Noon'Mythic and murderous violence in Russia...there are power-drunk Nazis and Soviet traitors, including a particularly memorable villain ...Written with brio & deep knowledge of its fascinating subject matter... a deeply satisfying pageturner.' - The Times 'With his feel for vivid and immediate drama and impressive research, the author evokes the extreme turbulence and violence impacting on individuals. Writing with passion.' - Daily Mail'As a distinguished historian, Montefiore has a keen sense of place and an eye for unexpected details...
this is an exciting, fast-paced adventure.' - Mail on Sunday