Simon Sebag Montefiore – ‘One Night in Winter’ book review

0

Comments

Add +

Time Out Ratings

<strong>Rating: </strong>4/5


Simon Sebag Montefiore – the historian behind the acclaimed ‘Jerusalem: The Biography’ – has set his latest historical novel in Moscow during the last days of World War II, where the increasingly despotic Stalin has the country locked in a finger trap of suspicion and fear.

Children of the Communist Party elite attending Moscow’s most privileged school take refuge in idly re-enacting romantic duels pulled from the pages of Russian literature. But when one of these foppish jollies goes horribly wrong, the authorities investigating the case begin to believe a cover-up is somehow afoot. Sweaty conjecture leads to intense scrutiny and soon the children’s parents and teachers find their secret lives out in the open and dragging them slowly toward the Gulag.

Delicately plotted and buried within a layered, elliptical narrative ‘One Night in Winter’ is also a fidgety page-turner that adroitly weaves a huge cast of characters into an arcane world. It might jolt a little when changing gears for the third act, but by then it has built up enough steam to see you through to the strange and affecting climax.

Simon Sebag Montefiore's new novel 'One Night in Winter' is published on September 5 by Century priced £16.99. Click here to buy a copy.

Read more book reviews

Alexa Chung – 'It'

  • Rated as: 2/5

Humdrum musings from a scatter-brained socialite

Simon Sebag Montefiore – ‘One Night in Winter’

  • Rated as: 4/5

This is an adroit, historical page-turner

Sendhil Mullainathan and Eldar Shafir – ‘Scarcity’

  • Rated as: 4/5

The Ivy League duo explore the human mindset

Joe Moran – ‘Armchair Nation’

  • Rated as: 4/5

A warm and witty cultural history of television


Users say

0 comments

Read more book features

My life in (food) books: Alex James

The Blur bassist and author reveals the books that inspired his love of food and divulges a taste for royal cuisine

A recipe for rivalry

Whether you defer to Delia or prefer more contemporary culinary instruction, Time Out has the cookbook for you

Joe Hill

The famous-fathered horror novelist on un-sexifying vampires, Hannibal Lecter and latest book ‘NOS4R2’

A killer’s guide to London

Ben Aaronovitch delves into his fictional danger zones in the capital

Spotify

Subscribe to Time Out London on Spotify for daily playlists and recommendations from our Music team.

 

 

Pinterest

We feature London's most spectacular sights and coolest locations.