This highly original novel charting the rise of the intelligence services in pre-war Eastern Europe first established Alan Furst's remarkable reputation. Now it is to be reissued in B-format, in a new cover style, alongside his new paperback, The World at Night. In Bulgaria in 1934 nineteen-year-old Khristo Stoianev sees his brother kicked to death by a gang of strutting thugs. Realising the growing menace of Fascism, he takes a risk on the promise of Communism and flees to Moscow, where he is trained as an agent of the NKVD, precursor of the KGB, and forms a close bond with a group of fellow students. His first mission is to Catalonia, where he is soon caught up in the bloody horrors of the Spanish Civil War. Then he learns he is to be the victim of one of Stalin's purges, and is forced to flee once again, this time to Paris!