William Boyd


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She continued her cross-examination and watched Romer's pleasure grow; he was enjoying this, she saw, and his enjoyment began to anger her. This wasn't some pastime, some idle flirtation — her brother was dead.
Eva Delectorskaya, a beautiful Russian émigrée living in Paris, is recruited for the British Secret Service by the mysterious Lucas Romer. Under his tutelage she becomes the perfect spy — trusting no one, even those she loves most.
Since the close of the Second World War, Eva has carefully rebuilt her life as a typical English wife. But once a spy, always a spy. Now she must complete one final assignment, and this time Eva can't do it alone: she needs her daughter's help…
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    Daniela Henschelhas quoted7 years ago
    Chapter 1

    Into the Heart of England

    When I was a child and was being fractious and contrary and generally behaving badly, my mother used to rebuke me by saying: ‘One day someone will come and kill me and then you’ll be sorry’; or, ‘They’ll appear out of the blue and whisk me away – how would you like that?’; or, ‘You’ll wake up one morning and I’ll be gone. Disappeared. You wait and see.’

    It’s curious, but you don’t think seriously about these remarks when you’re young. But now – as I look back on the events of that interminable hot summer of 1976, that summer when England reeled, gasping for breath, pole-axed by the unending heat – now I know what my mother was talking about: I understand that bitter dark current of fear that flowed beneath the placid surface of her ordinary life – how it had never left her even after years of peaceful, unexceptionable living. I now realise she was always frightened that someone was going to come and kill her. And she had good reason.

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