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Vienna, 1913. Lysander Rief, a young English actor in town seeking psychotherapy, is caught up in a feverish affair with a beautiful, enigmatic woman—until she goes to the police to press charges of rape. Only a frenzied getaway plotted by two mysterious British diplomats saves him from trial. But after Lysander returns to a London on the cusp of war, the traumatic ordeal haunts him at every turn. The men who coordinated his escape recruit him to carry out a brutal murder. His lover shows up at a party, ready to resume their liaison. Suddenly plunged into the dangerous theater of wartime intelligence—a murky world of sex, scandal, and spies—Lysander must unravel a secret that threatens Britain's safety.
Moving from Vienna to London's West End, from the battlefields of France to hotel rooms in Geneva, Waiting for Sunrise is a mesmerizing journey into the human psyche, a beautifully observed portrait of wartime Europe, a plot-twisting thriller, and a literary tour de force.
About the Author
William Boyd is the author of A Good Man in Africa, winner of the Whitbread Award and the Somerset Maugham Award; An Ice-Cream War, winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and short-listed for the Booker Prize; Brazzaville Beach, winner of the James Tait Black Memorial Prize; Restless, winner of the Costa Novel of the Year; and Ordinary Thunderstorms, among other books. He lives in London.
Praise for Waiting for Sunrise…
“It’s ages since I read a novel that offers such breathlessly readable narrative enjoyment, such page-by-page storytelling confidence and solidity. Boyd has a positive genius for pace and description.” -The Independent
“Always a smooth and expert storyteller, Boyd effortlessly combines historical detail with a sexy, galloping narrative that proves irresistible.” -People (4 stars)
“Boyd retrofits a genre full of familiar devices and character types with finer textures and deeper psychology than it typically boasts. . . . Waiting for Sunrise manages to conjure an atmosphere of genuine disorientation that most spy novels gesture toward and few, if any, attain.” -Laura Miller, Salon
“Boyd is a born story teller whose clear, taut prose never gets in the way of his characters and their unpredictable fates.” -The Wall Street Journal
“Thoroughly entertaining. . . . Waiting for Sunrise has the pace of a spy thriller, with code-cracking and double-crossing aplenty.” -The New Yorker
“Sex, psychiatry and Vienna on the eve of World War I - those are promising ingredients for a novel. And William Boyd makes the most of them. . . . Boyd’s narrative moves briskly, and his local color is deftly done.” -The Seattle Times
“As ever with Boyd there is an effortlessness to the prose and a piercing acuity to the period detail and evocation of place, along with thrilling set pieces. . . .[This book] proves that rarest of beasts: a tantalizingly experimental work that is also an immensely satisfying page-turner.” -The Telegraph
“This is the sort of novel you finish, then begin again to revisit your favourite bits. . . . More than anything Waiting for Sunrise is a gleeful celebration of storytelling -- sly, clever, frequently hilarious, always involving. . . . This is the literary event of the year.” -The Times (UK)
“Waiting for Sunrise retains a consistent intrigue and a splendidly intricate plot. . . . The denouement plays out with characteristic suspense and masterful design. . . . [Boyd has] a truly remarkable imagination.” -The Huffington Post
“A literary thriller that genuinely thrills, a plot-driven novel assembled by a master of plotting. The deftness with which Boyd knits together a complex cast of characters is immaculate. . . . It demonstrates yet again this writer’s unrivalled versatility and consistency.” -The Financial Times
“Superb. . . . To read a William Boyd novel is to open a bottle of wine, light a fire, sit back in your favourite armchair and trust that the master practitioner will take you on an intriguing and unpredictable journey. He’s done it again.” -The Spectator (UK)
“Fans of previous Boyd novels will find themselves on gratifyingly familiar ground in Waiting for Sunrise. . . . Few contemporary writers are able to evoke the ambiance and drama of our recent past as forcefully as Boyd. . . . Boyd’s prose is often radiant.” -The Washington Post Book World
“An evocative mix of sex, spies, and psychoanalysis. . . . Fans of the author will love and recognize all the hallmarks of Boyd’s best books.” -CNN.com
“A tantalizing, fast-paced spy novel. . . . As seductive as it is, Waiting for Sunrise is no bodice-ripper. It’s a brainteaser, charged with uncertainty and danger, electric with restraint.” -The New York Times Book Review
“Powerfully entertaining. . . . Boyd’s ability to evoke a sense of time and place is unmatched. . . . He has been perfecting the craft of globetrotting entertainment for the past three decades.” -The Richmond Times-Dispatch
“A thoughtfully plotted story, whose twists and turns reveal the price its characters pay in trust. . . . Boyd is a nimble and entertaining writer.” -The Philadelphia Inquirer
“Waiting for Sunrise does the neat trick of evolving from a historical romance into a seat-of-the-pants spy thriller. . . . This is Boyd’s stage, on which he is a virtuoso.” -The San Antonio Express-News
“The narrative in this novel is almost seamless. . . . This atmospheric novel is elegantly crafted by a London writer who serves up a rich portrayal of human psychology and a plot that is both engaging and imaginative.” -The Tucson Citizen