Williams again blends historical fiction and romance in this engaging tale of Cold War espionage ... The setup reeks of melodrama, but Williams, effectively juggling the narrative between the points of view of Ruth, Iris, and a Russian KGB agent, moves back and forth in time to build all the principals into full-bodied characters while delivering detail-rich portraits of wartime Italy, glittery fifties Manhattan, and grayed-out Moscow.
Twin sisters find themselves caught up in a Russian spy ring at the height of the Cold War ... Iris is the most fully developed and sympathetic character here. Ruth is another iteration of the wisecracking dame who has appeared in so many Williams novels, and Lyudmila seems patterned after Greta Garbo in Ninotchka, except that this doctrinaire minion of Stalin wouldn’t be caught dead in a rom-com. A cumbersome plot weighs down this would-be spy thriller.
Williams captivates with the story of an American woman’s effort to reunite with her twin sister after her defection to the Soviet Union ... Williams sharply observes the inequities women faced at the end of WWII and the simmering suspense of the Cold War. Historical fiction fans will be riveted by the complex family relationships and the intriguing portrayal of espionage.