Inspired by a true story, prizewinning historian and acclaimed novelist Simon Sebag Montefiore explores the consequences of forbidden love in this heartbreaking epic of marriage, childhood, danger, and betrayal that unfolds in Stalins Moscow during the bleak days after World War II.As Moscow celebrates the motherlands glorious victory over the Nazis, shots ring out on the crowded streets. On a nearby bridge, a teenage boy and girldressed in traditional nineteenthcentury costumeslie dead. But this is no ordinary tragedy, because these are no ordinary teenagers. As the son and daughter of highranking Soviet officials, they attend the most elite school in Moscow. Was it an accident, or murder? Is it a conspiracy against Stalin, or one of his own terrifying intrigues?On Stalins instructions, a ruthless investigation begins into what becomes known as the Childrens Case. Youth across the city are arrested and forced to testify against their friends and their parents. As families are ripped apart, all kinds of secrets come spilling out. Trapped at the center of this witchhunt are two pairs of illicit lovers, who learn that matters of the heart exact a terrible price. By turns a darkly sophisticated political thriller, a rich historical saga, and a deeply human love story, Montefiores masterful novel powerfully portrays the terror and drama of Stalins Russia.