The Lady of the Mine

The mystical laundress at the center of this novel is obsessed with purity. Her task is formidable as she stands guard over a sealed shaft at a Ukrainian coal mine that hides terrible truths. The bodies of dead Jews lying in its depths seem to attract still more present-day crimes. Acclaimed Russian author Sergei Lebedev portrays a ghostly realm riven by lust and fear just as the Kremlin invades the same part of Ukraine occupied by the Wehrmacht in World War Two. Then corpses rain from the sky when a jetliner is shot down overhead, scattering luxury goods along with the mortal remains. Eerie coincidences and gruesome discoveries fill this riveting exploration of an uncanny place where the geography exudes violence, and where the sins of the past are never all that in the past. Lebedev, who has won international praise for his soul-searching prose and unflinching examination of history’s evils, shines light on the fault line where Nazism met Soviet communism, evolving into the new fascism of today’s Russia.

Excerpt from The Lady of the Mine