By Susan Zurenda
Author Katherine Reay will speak and sign books at a Books and Bites luncheon at the Lake Lure Inn sponsored by the Friends of Mountain Branch Library on June 14 at 11:00 am. Participants can register by calling 828-287-6393 or in person at 150 Bills Creek Rd., Lake Lure.
A Shadow in Moscow opens in 1955 as Austrian Ingrid Bauer hastily marries a gentle Soviet embassy worker and moves with him to Moscow. Living in the Soviet Union’s totalitarian regime, she soon suspects her husband works for the KGB. After their daughter’s birth, Ingrid reaches out to the country she understands and trusts—Britain, the country of her mother’s birth—and starts passing intelligence to MI6, navigating a world of secrets and lies.
The novel alternates between Ingrid, a long-time operative for MI6 by the 1980s, and young Anya Kadinova as she enters the “game.” As part of the Foreign Studies Initiative, Anya graduates from Georgetown University in June, 1980, and flies home to Moscow to her assigned job to work in a military research lab. She leaves behind Washington D.C., the man she loves, and a country she has grown to respect. After the KGB murders her best friend, Anya sides with America and passes Soviet military plans and schematics to the CIA in an effort to end the arms race. The past catches up to the present as Anya’s impetuous mistakes, along with Aldrich Ames’s unprecedented act of treachery in 1985, forces Ingrid and Anya in a final fight for their lives.
The best-selling author of The London House and other novels, Katherine’s novels emphasize the resilience of the human spirit. A book with powerful themes of hope, love, loss, sacrifice, and freedom, A Shadow in Moscow also grips the reader with thrilling spy craft and the ever-present tensions of the Cold War era.
A Shadow in Moscow is inspired by the conviction, determination, and dedication of women spies working during the Cold War — spies who often displayed more courage and creativity than their male counterparts.
Stephanie Rader specifically influenced A Shadow in Moscow’s protagonist Anya Kadinova. Working in Warsaw in early Cold War, Rader’s CIA handlers did not give her a military uniform, which could have afforded her some protection if caught, but a gun — which would have assured her death if captured. Yet, with remarkable ingenuity and gumption, Rader evaded many close calls and returned home to the US. She lived to be 100 years old and received the Legion of Merit posthumously.
A Shadow of Moscow is a tribute to the brave and inventive women who served as spies during the Cold War. It is a multi-generational female spy story, as well as a love story about family, thriving under the strictest conditions, and the human instinct to chase freedom.