Brilliant and moving. (Simon Mawer, Man Booker-shortlisted author of The Glass Room)
A rare novel of beauty and scope and ambition ... without doubt Gainham's masterpiece (Kate Mosse, bestselling author of Labyrinth)
Vienna in 1938 is a place of high culture, gilded opera houses and intellectual salons. Beautiful actress Julia Homburg and her politician husband Franz Wedeker embody all the enlightened brilliance of their native city. But Wedeker is Jewish, and just across the border the tanks of the Nazi Reich are primed for the Anschluss.
When the SS invade, lists are drawn up and disappearances become routine, Franz must be concealed. With daring ingenuity, Julia conjures a hiding place. In the shadow of oppression the old certainties evaporate; the streets are full of spies and collaborators, allegiances shift and ancient hatreds resurface. A clear conscience is a luxury few can afford, and Julia finds she must strike a series of hateful bargains with the new order if she and her husband are to survive.
A highly acclaimed bestseller when first published in the 1960s, Night Falls on the City is a true lost classic, and an unforgettable portrait of wartime.