New York Times bestselling author Simon Mawer returns to Czechoslovakia, this time during the turbulent 1960s, with a suspenseful story of sex, politics, and betrayal.
In the summer of 1968, the year of the Prague Spring with a Cold War winter, Oxford students James Borthwick and Eleanor Pike set out to hitchhike across Europe, complicating a budding friendship that could be something more. Having reached southern Germany, they decide on a whim to visit Czechoslovakia, where Alexander Dubcek's socialism with a human face is smiling on the world.
Meanwhile, Sam Wareham, First Secretary at the British embassy in Prague, observes developments in the country with a diplomat's cynicism and a young man's passion. In the company of Czech student Lenka Koneckova, he finds a way into the world of Czechoslovak youth, with all its hopes and new ideas; now, nothing seems off-limits behind the Iron Curtain. But the great wheels of politics are grinding in the background; Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev is making demands of Dubcek, and the Red Army is massing on the borders.
This shrewd, engrossing, and sensual novel once again proves Simon Mawer is one of today's most talented writers of historical spy fiction.