blurb from goodreads.com
During WWII, young Russian spy with divided loyalties, under deep cover in Nazi Germany, uncovers an assassination plot that could change the course of history
Aleksi Ivanovich Smirnov, an orphan and a thief, has been living by his wits and surviving below the ever-watchful eye of the Soviet system until his luck finally runs out. In 1936, at the age of 16, Aleksi is caught by the NKVD and transported to Moscow. There, in the notorious headquarters of the secret police, he is given a choice: be trained and inserted as a spy into Nazi Germany under the identity of his best friend, the long lost nephew of a high ranking Nazi official, or disappear forever in the basement of the Lubyanka. For Aleksi, it’s no choice at all.
Over the course of the next seven years, Aleksi has to live his role, that of the devoted nephew of a high Nazi official, and ultimately works for the legendary German spymaster Wilhelm Canaris as an intelligence agent in the Abwehr. All the while, acting as a double agent—reporting back to the NKVD and avoiding detection by the Gestapo. Trapped between the implacable forces of two of the most notorious dictatorships in history, and truly loyal to no one but himself, Aleksi’s goal remains the same—survival.
In 1943, Aleksi is chosen by the Gestapo to spearhead one of the most desperate operations of the war—to infiltrate the site of the upcoming Tehran conference between Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin, and set them up to be assassinated. For Aleksi, it’s the moment of truth; for the rest of the world, the future is at stake.
Very good spy novel with some history of the Second World War in Russia and Germany, among others, with great character development, detailed and very enjoyable. It has been a long time since I have read a spy novel. It goes back and forth with snip its of the past life of Alexsi and how he arrives at the current time in his life and all the training he has to go through to survive in life. Good details and I really enjoyed the book and the ending.
William Christie is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and a former Marine Corps infantry officer. He is well into middle age, and is the author of eight novels, five under his own name and the latest two under the pen name F.J. Chase, which was basically a publisher’s marketing ploy. He also wrote SEAL Team Seven: Direct Action, for Berkley Books, under the name Keith Douglass, because he needed a new car at the time.
And yes, he does think that referring to himself in the third person is more than a little pretentious.