The Diamond Eye

HarperAudio. Mar. 2022. 12:51 hrs. ISBN 9780062943538. $29.99. F
Mila Pavlichenko is a single mother, a graduate student, and a library clerk. When Germany and Russia go to war in 1937, she enlists in the Red Army. She meets sharp resistance, but the enormous need for fighters allows her to slowly attain the position she wants. Her prowess as a sniper becomes legendary, earning her the name “Lady Death.” Her official tally of kills reaches 309 when she is ordered to be part of a goodwill tour of the United States. At the end of the tour, she upends a plot to assassinate President Roosevelt, adding some unofficial kills to her count. Quinn brings the characters to life, imagining conditions in the trenches while detailing the actual work of a military sniper at war. She also underlines issues of women’s rights and offers astute cultural comparisons. Narrator Saskia Maarleveld, who won an Earphones Award for her performance of Quinn’s The Rose Code, flawlessly provides the necessary Russian and American accents in both male and female voices.
VERDICT Highly recommended. Quinn explores a largely unknown piece of World War II history.
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