City of Thieves by David Benioff is a compelling book. One of the few books in that I have read recently that just made me want keep turning the pages. What is a simple story of an adventure of two youths thrown together by circumstance, is enhanced by the setting. During the siege of Leningrad by the Nazis, during the second world war, 17 year old Lev is thrown in prison for looting a dead German parachutist, that night he meets 20 year old Kolya, allegedly a Red Army deserter. They escape nearly certain execution by being sent on a special mission behind Nazi lines – to find a dozen eggs. The story is wonderfully observed and written, I really felt the cold of the Russian winter, the hunger and fight in the besieged city and the brutality of the Nazis. Simple stories told well are always the best, in my opinion. The publisher boast that if you don’t enjoy the book they will give you two free – I doubt they have given many away.