Steeped in intrigue, sexuality, and a stark noir beauty, David Francis's Stray Dog Winter is at once an unconventional Cold War thriller and an original, unforgettable love story set in 1980s Moscow.
Darcy Bright, a hapless young Australian artist, receives a surprising birthday present from his elusive half-sister, Fin, ostensibly in Moscow on a prestigious fellowship to paint industrial landscapes. Fin sends Darcy a train ticket to the Soviet Union housed in a leather money belt, and an invitation to join her -- but only if he's willing to bring the money belt and its contents.
With Stray Dog Winter, David Francis has entered Graham Greene territory, placing a naïve hero in the center of political intrigue and betrayal at the end of the Cold War. Atmospheric and suspenseful, this novel is pure Soviet noir, a remarkable tale of love, passion, politics, identity, and espionage.