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By the author of the world-wide bestsellers, Jerusalem, and Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar, and based on a true story, a heart-breaking, addictively readable love story set in Stalin's Russia.

If your children were forced to testify against you, what terrible secrets would they reveal?

Moscow 1945. As Stalin and his courtiers celebrate victory over Hitler, shots ring out. On a nearby bridge, a teenage boy and girl lie dead.

But this is no ordinary tragedy and these are no ordinary teenagers, but the children of Russia’s most important leaders who attend the most exclusive school in Moscow.

Is it murder? A suicide pact? Or a conspiracy against the state?

Directed by Stalin himself, an investigation begins as children are arrested and forced to testify against their friends - and their parents. This terrifying witch-hunt soon unveils illicit love affairs and family secrets in a hidden world where the smallest mistakes will be punished with death.

Reviews

Gripping and cleverly plotted. Doomed love at the heart of a violent society is the heart of Montefiore's One Night in Winter... depicting the Kafkaesque labyrinth into which the victims stumble.

The Sunday Times

A nail-biting drama ... Montefiore writes brilliantly about love, timeless dilemmas, family devotion, teenage romance and the grand passion of adultery. Readers of Sebastian Faulks and Hilary Mantel will lap this up.

Mail on Sunday

A master storyteller when writing as a historian, Sebag Montefiore’s fiction is just as compelling in this thriller set in Stalin’s Moscow.

GQ

A thrilling work of fiction. Montefiore weaves a tight, satisfying plot, delivering surprises to the last page. Stalin's chilling charisma is brilliantly realised. The novel's theme is Love: family love, youthful romance, adulterous passion. One Night in Winter is full of redemptive love and inner freedom.

Evening Standard

There were several first-class novels of historical intrigue in 2014; this finely written chronicle of privileged adults and children afraid for their lives in the treacherous upper reaches of Stalin’s Russia in 1945 is in a league of its own.

Wall Street Journal

What happens when you cross Donna Tartt’s The Secret History with one of the scariest times in Russian history? You end up with Simon Sebag Montefiore’s One Night in Winter ... Based in truth, this novel will keep you biting your nails until the very end.

Books and What Not Blog

Snuggle up in front of the fire with a glass of red and this captivating story ... a dark enigmatic thriller ... the way he weaves fiction and history is a true gift.

Marie Claire

Compulsively involving. Our fear for the children keeps up turning the pages... We follow the passions with sympathy... The knot of events tugs at a wide range of emotions rarely experienced outside an intimate tyranny.

The Times

Not just a thumpingly good read, but also essentially a story of human fragility and passions, albeit taking place under the intimidating shadow of a massive Stalinist portico.

The National

This tightly written page-turner crackles with authenticity ... if you are wiping away a tear by the end it wont be the thanks to the chill of Soviet winter. Love and death swirl at the heart of One Night in Winter. A terrific storyteller.

Daily Express

Hopelessly romantic and hopelessly moving. A mix of lovestory thriller and historical fiction. Engrossing.

Observer

This tightly written page-turner crackles with authenticity ... if you are wiping away a tear by the end it wont be the thanks to the chill of Soviet winter. Love and death swirl at the heart of One Night in Winter. A terrific storyteller.

Daily Express

Hopelessly romantic and hopelessly moving. A mix of lovestory thriller and historical fiction. Engrossing.

Observer

Engrossing novel… based on similar real events and certainly his ease with the setting and historical characters is masterly…the invented characters are well-drawn too.

Scotland on Sunday

A nail-biting drama ... Montefiore writes brilliantly about love, timeless dilemmas, family devotion, teenage romance and the grand passion of adultery. Readers of Sebastian Faulks and Hilary Mantel will lap this up.

Mail on Sunday

One Night in Winter entertains and disturbs and seethes with moral complexities: how far would we go to preserve a secret or protect a loved one? All aspects of this “intensified life” are captured in this intricate, at times sobering, but always absorbing novel.

The Australian

A novel of passion, fear, bravery, suffering and survival ... novel mostly about love ... predictably terrifying — but the novel’s romantic soul tempers the terror and makes for a gripping read ... pitch-perfect.

The Spectator

Engrossing

The Scotsman

A novel of passion, fear, bravery, suffering and survival ... novel mostly about love ... predictably terrifying — but the novel’s romantic soul tempers the terror and makes for a gripping read ... pitch-perfect.

The Spectator

A gripping thriller about private life and poetic dreams in Stalin’s Russia… A gripping page-turner… Whether its subject is power or love, a darkly enjoyable read.

The Guardian

A compelling and uplifting story of love and endurance.

Country Life

A compelling read.

Independent

This is one of those rare and thrilling books that you devour hungrily but hope will never end.... If there is one book you must read this year, let it be this one. One Night In Winter is one of the most engaging, gripping and heartbreakingly tragic novels of 2013.

CultureFly Blog

A compelling, cleverly plotted novel.

BBC History Magazine

This moving novel from Simon Sebag Montefiore will have you gripped to the end.

Grazia

This bone-chilling story; with lashings of snow and sec, offers us a vividly engrossing portrait of Soviet Russia.

Tatler

Snuggle up in front of the fire with a glass of red and this captivating story ... a dark enigmatic thriller ... the way he weaves fiction and history is a true gift.

Marie Claire

A bleak and well-plotted thriller.

Irish Business Post

Mixing real figures with fictional creations is a challenge for any historical novelist, but the vivid cameos here, particularly of Stalin and his dissolute son, Vasily, give this page-turner the grim stamp of authenticity.

Independent

Simon Sebag Montefiore uses all his deep knowledge of Russia’s history to build a bleak and well- plotted thriller

Sunday Business Post

Mixing real figures with fictional creations is a challenge for any historical novelist, but the vivid cameos here, particularly of Stalin and his dissolute son, Vasily, give this page-turner the grim stamp of authenticity.

Independent

One Night in Winter is compulsively involving and readers do not need to bring much previous knowledge of Russian 20th-century history, or the ambience of the time. The author meticulously supplies both.

The Times

This is a gripping and cleverly plotted read

The Sunday Times

A seriously enjoyable romp

Seven magazine, Sunday Telegraph

This gripping novel – a combination of political thriller, love story and historical fiction – is a chilling reminder of how totalitarian regimes corrupt everything they touch, especially human relationships.

Daily Mail, You Magazine

It is an eminently readable tunic-ripper, and strangely affecting.

Daily Telegraph

A masterpiece of historic fiction

Sunday Mail

This is a tale of passion, power and politics that I simply couldn’t put down.

Sun

The author draws nuanced people about who the reader cares and villains who repel with their casual disregard for human life. He gives an insight into the machinations of the Stalinist state and provides little details that lift the book out of the ordinary

The Irish Times

There aren’t many writers as confident and competent in fiction as in non-fiction but Simon Sebag Montefiore is one of them. A gripping yarn and a good history at the same time.

Vince Cable

A political novel captures the nightmarish world of post-World War II Russia. As Stalin twists the Childrens Case to his own ends, the truly magnetic power of ONE NIGHT IN WINTER becomes clear. The stirring of our deepest fears and their unexpected resolution - at this, Montefiore is the master. In the hands of the right author, Stalin, endangered children and Moscow 1945 are enough to make a novel.

Washington Post

Enthralling.Mr Montefiore is masterly at sketching scenes (passionate, melancholy or menacing) and limning characters. Not until the book's epilogue are the ultimate secrets revealed: the calculated or heedless acts of young and old who cast their fates with love.

Wall Street Journal

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9780099580331

    May 1, 2014

    Arrow

    496 pages

    RRP $24.99

    Online retailers

    • Fishpond
    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • The Nile
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory

  • Trade Paperback

    9781780891378

    September 2, 2013

    Century

    480 pages

    RRP $37.99

    Online retailers

    • Fishpond
    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • The Nile
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory

  • EBook

    9781448150014

    September 5, 2013

    Cornerstone Digital

    496 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks NZ
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Google Play
    • Kobo
    • Booktopia NZ
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory

Also by Simon Sebag Montefiore

Red Sky at Noon
Sashenka

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