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A beautiful woman lost. A love greater than war. A mystery unsolved … until now.

Day by day Lily turns up for her job in the marketing department of a boutique Moscow hotel, unable to shake the cloud of melancholy that has enveloped her since the death of her fiance. It takes a senseless subway bombing for Lily to be jolted back into feeling.

Meanwhile, Moscow authorities announce the discovery of the wreckage of a WWII plane of the great fighter pilot Natalya Azarova. Was she shot down or was she a German spy who faked her death, as the Kremlin claims? When Lily meets an elderly woman who claims to know the truth, she is drawn deep into the mystery.

Moving between the turbulent rebirth of Moscow in 2000, the horrors of World War II and the pomp and purges of Stalin’s Russia, this sweeping saga is a story of secrets and lies, enduring love and terrible betrayal, sacrifice and redemption.

‘Belinda Alexandra has unveiled another literary gem’ Courier-Mail


Author Notes
In the 1930s flying was considered a glamorous activity and in the Soviet Union, Stalin encouraged it because vast tracks of the country couldn’t be reached any other way. One of these dazzling aviators was a woman named Marina Raskova, who had initially intended to become an opera singer but ended up a celebrated aviator.

When the Second World War broke out Stalin gave Raskova permission to train women for regiments with the plan that all the personnel from the pilots to the mechanics and other ground crew, as well as the catering and office staff, would be female.

It was too good a story not to explore further and to use as the setting for a novel with a love story and a mystery.