December 1930, Western Ukraine. Luka is a war veteran who now wants a quiet life with his family. His village has, so far, remained hidden from the advancing Soviet brutality, but everything changes the day the stranger arrives, pulling a sled bearing a terrible cargo.
The villager's fear turns deadly and they think they can save themselves, but their anger has cursed them: when calm is restored, a little girl has vanished. Luka is the only man with the skills to find who could have stolen a child in these frozen lands - and besides, the missing girl is best friend to Lukas daughter, and he swears he will find her.
Together with his sons, Luka sets out in pursuit across lands ravaged by war and gripped by treachery. Soon they realise that the man they are tracking is no ordinary criminal, but a skilful hunter with the child as the bait in his twisted game. It will take all of Luka's strength to battle the harshest of conditions, and all of his wit to stay a step ahead of Soviet authorities. And though his toughest enemy is the man he tracks, his strongest bond is a promise to his family back at home.
From the arresting opening to the tense finale, Smith doesn't hit a false note in this captivating tale.
This is a pursuit thriller of the highest quality
The Irish Independent