Monday, June 12, 2023

Katherine Reay: A Shadow in Moscow

By Kelly Bridgewater

A betrayal at the highest level risks the lives of two courageous female spies: MI6’s best Soviet spy and the CIA’s newest Moscow recruit. As the KGB closes in, a compromise must be struck if either woman hopes to survive.

Vienna, 1954

After losing everyone she loves in the final days of World War II, Ingrid Bauer agrees to a hasty marriage with a gentle Soviet embassy worker and follows him home to Moscow. But nothing deep within the Soviet Union’s totalitarian regime is what it seems, including her new husband, whom Ingrid suspects works for the KGB. Upon her daughter’s birth, Ingrid risks everything and reaches out in hope to the one country she understands and trusts—Britain, the country of her mother’s birth—and starts passing along intelligence to MI6, navigating a world of secrets and lies, light and shadow.

Washington, DC, 1980

Part of the Foreign Studies Initiative, Anya Kadinova finishes her degree at Georgetown University and boards her flight home to Moscow, leaving behind the man she loves and a country she’s grown to respect. Though raised by dedicated and loyal Soviet parents, Anya soon questions an increasingly oppressive and paranoid Soviet regime at the height of the Cold War. When the KGB murders her best friend, Anya picks sides and contacts the CIA. Working in a military research lab, Anya passes along Soviet military plans and schematics in an effort to end the 1980s arms race.

Alternating points of view keep readers on their toes as the past catches up to the present when an unprecedented act of treachery in 1985 threatens all undercover agents operating within the Soviet Union, and both Ingrid and Anya find themselves in a race for their lives against time and the KGB.


My Thoughts:

A Shadow of Moscow by Katherine Reay has a synopsis of a Cold War Spy Novel. I enjoy a good spy novel, especially during World War II. However, Reay’s novel does have those elements of a Russian spy with hints of the Nazi Regime that started during World War II. Actually the novel does have a timeline of 1944 with the Nazi’s in it. Some issues with the writing are a lot of telling, not showing. I feel like I was being told a lot of information in information dumps throughout the first 50 percent of the novel. There was a little bit of movement sprinkled in between, but nothing really that important to the idea of the plot. Ingrid, as a character, was really flat. She seemed to have no personality and just moved through the directions and a little bit of discussion. Anya, on the other hand, may be a little more developed, but she seems a little boring too. Both characters are worried about their heritage, but I do not sense a sense of urgency in both characters. If I had the KGB coming after me for something that mother had done in the past, I believe I would be a little more scared. Anya did not have that feeling. Since this a split-time story, I wanted to read more like a story. Overall, A Shadow of Moscow by Katherine Reay did not really capture my attention. With the synopsis, it could have been an interesting story, but I felt like Reay did not deliver what she promised.

I received a complimentary copy of The Shadow of Moscow by Katherine Reay from Harper Muse Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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