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  • Published: 3 May 2013
  • ISBN: 9781448103232
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 192

The Innocent

A searing and gripping thriller set in Communist Russia from prize-winning novelist David Szalay.

It is 1948 and Aleksandr, a major in the MGB (the forerunner of the KGB) is sent to an isolated psychiatric clinic to investigate one of the patients there. The patient is a man long presumed dead - a now severely incapacitated veteran of the Second World War, who seems unable to remember any of his past. Twenty-four years later, Aleksandr is haunted by the case. With his Stalinist faith under threat as the Cold War recedes, he interrogates his memories and the effect the case had on himself and on those he loved most.

  • Published: 3 May 2013
  • ISBN: 9781448103232
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 192

About the author

David Szalay

David Szalay is the author of four previous works of fiction: Spring, The Innocent, London and the South-East, for which he was awarded the Betty Trask and Geoffrey Faber Memorial prizes, and All That Man Is, for which he was awarded the Gordon Burn prize and Plimpton Prize for Fiction, and shortlisted for the Man Booker prize. Born in Canada, he grew up in London, and now lives in Budapest.

Also by David Szalay

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Praise for The Innocent

A psychologically intricate, flawlessly researched tale of Stalin's legacy through the eyes of a disillusioned old communist. It felt as English as Le Carre with its elegant Cold War scene-setting and quiet but intense emotional range.

Melissa Katsoulis, Times

This is a double headed story that is both sad and compelling

Nina Caplan, Timeout

Szalay weaves a multilayered narrative ripe with period detail... A challenging thriller... Gripping


Impressive... Still in his mid-thirties, Szalay will surely soon be adding more prizes to his Betty Trask

The Sunday Times

Szalay moves skilfully across time and shows that history's end is not prophesied in books, but written in the wind

Steven Martin, The Big Issue

David Szalay... has created an extraordinary character, a KGB man you can imagine knowing or even being


This is an exciting and memorable read. Expertly researched, it feels authentic, but wears its learning reassuringly lightly. Anyone who appreciated Martin Amis's Koba the Dread and Orlando Figes's The Whisperers will love it

Viv Groskop, Observer

Very atmospheric

Ann Northfield, Historical Novels Review

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