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The Diamond Eye
Cover of The Diamond Eye
The Diamond Eye
A Novel
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New York Times Bestseller

The bestselling author of The Rose Code returns with an unforgettable World War II tale of a quiet bookworm who becomes history's deadliest female sniper. Based on a true story.

In 1937 in the snowbound city of Kyiv, wry and bookish history student Mila Pavlichenko organizes her life around her library job and her young son—but Hitler's invasion of Ukraine and Russia sends her on a different path. Given a rifle and sent to join the fight, Mila must forge herself from studious girl to deadly sniper—a lethal hunter of Nazis known as Lady Death. When news of her three hundredth kill makes her a national heroine, Mila finds herself torn from the bloody battlefields of the eastern front and sent to America on a goodwill tour.

Still reeling from war wounds and devastated by loss, Mila finds herself isolated and lonely in the glittering world of Washington, DC—until an unexpected friendship with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and an even more unexpected connection with a silent fellow sniper offer the possibility of happiness. But when an old enemy from Mila's past joins forces with a deadly new foe lurking in the shadows, Lady Death finds herself battling her own demons and enemy bullets in the deadliest duel of her life.

Based on a true story, The Diamond Eye is a haunting novel of heroism born of desperation, of a mother who became a soldier, of a woman who found her place in the world and changed the course of history forever.

New York Times Bestseller

The bestselling author of The Rose Code returns with an unforgettable World War II tale of a quiet bookworm who becomes history's deadliest female sniper. Based on a true story.

In 1937 in the snowbound city of Kyiv, wry and bookish history student Mila Pavlichenko organizes her life around her library job and her young son—but Hitler's invasion of Ukraine and Russia sends her on a different path. Given a rifle and sent to join the fight, Mila must forge herself from studious girl to deadly sniper—a lethal hunter of Nazis known as Lady Death. When news of her three hundredth kill makes her a national heroine, Mila finds herself torn from the bloody battlefields of the eastern front and sent to America on a goodwill tour.

Still reeling from war wounds and devastated by loss, Mila finds herself isolated and lonely in the glittering world of Washington, DC—until an unexpected friendship with First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and an even more unexpected connection with a silent fellow sniper offer the possibility of happiness. But when an old enemy from Mila's past joins forces with a deadly new foe lurking in the shadows, Lady Death finds herself battling her own demons and enemy bullets in the deadliest duel of her life.

Based on a true story, The Diamond Eye is a haunting novel of heroism born of desperation, of a mother who became a soldier, of a woman who found her place in the world and changed the course of history forever.

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About the Author-
  • Kate Quinn is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of historical fiction. A native of Southern California, she attended Boston University, where she earned bachelor's and master's degrees in classical voice. A lifelong history buff, she has written four novels in the Empress of Rome Saga and two books set in the Italian Renaissance before turning to the 20th century with The Alice Network, The Huntress, and The Rose Code. All have been translated into multiple languages. She and her husband now live in California with three black rescue dogs.

Reviews-
  • Library Journal

    October 1, 2021

    A librarian tending a young son in often snow-blanketed Kiev, Mila Pavlichenko finds her life upended when Hitler's forces invade the Soviet Union and she is sent to join the fighting. She soon becomes a crack sniper, dubbed Lady Death by the Nazis, and after her 300th kill she is sent to the United States on a goodwill tour. There she befriends First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and draws closer to a fellow sniper, but an enemy from her past is lurking. The author of the New York Times best-selling Rose Code bases her latest on a true story; with a 200,000-copy first printing.

    Copyright 2021 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Publisher's Weekly

    January 17, 2022
    Quinn (The Rose Code) draws on a historical female sharpshooter from WWII in her exciting latest. In 1937, Mila Pavlichenko studies history at Kiev University and raises her five-year-old son, Slavka. She’s estranged from her husband, Alexei, a surgeon whom she met when she was 15. When the Germans invade Russia, Mila, who’s already trained at a marksmanship school, enlists in the army, is assigned sniper duty, and earns the nickname “Lady Death” for her high number of kills. In battle, Mila is steadfast about completing her missions with her partner, Kostia, and also finds time to write letters to Slavka. In 1942, Soviet leaders send Mila with a delegation to Washington, D.C., to meet with President Roosevelt in a bid to seek American support. The trip has its highs and lows, as Mila unexpectedly develops a friendship with Eleanor Roosevelt, but faces a threat from a misogynistic male marksman who sends her threatening notes. Quinn humanizes Mila by showing how she and Kostia use humor—along with a healthy amount of vodka—to cope with their risk-taking, and she convinces with her description of Eleanor’s political savvy and influence on the president. Historical fiction fans will be riveted. Agent: Kevan Lyon, Marsal Lyon Literary.

  • Booklist

    February 15, 2022
    Quinn (The Rose Code, 2021) incorporates the life of Lyudmila Pavlichenko, history's most successful female sniper, into this thrilling novel. In 1941, after the Nazis invade her Soviet homeland, Mila, a library researcher and single mother with an arrogant, estranged husband, leaves her family and university studies to join the Red Army, intent on utilizing her marksmanship training. The on-the-ground action is propulsive as Mila forms bonds with other soldiers while battling sexism and waiting patiently in trenches for her targets to appear. Quinn alternates these immersively realistic scenes with a narrative set in 1942, as danger stalks Mila and President Roosevelt during her overseas goodwill tour to persuade America to open a second front in Europe. From the killer opening line to the suspenseful denouement, Quinn's novel is a winner. Set aside any preconceptions about a sniper's typical personality. Mila is a brave, witty woman of steely resolve--"don't miss" is her modus operandi--who falls passionately in love, totes her history dissertation around on missions, and collects leaf samples to mail home to her son. Her unusual friendship with Eleanor Roosevelt is another highlight. Novels about WWII heroines are having a moment, and this is a stellar example. Recommend it to fans of Ariel Lawhon's Code Name H�l�ne (2020) and all lovers of smart historical fiction.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Best-selling Quinn herself is a sure draw, but her inspiration for the hero of this powerful WWII tale, a librarian-turned-military-sniper, will appeal to an even greater audience.

    COPYRIGHT(2022) Booklist, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • Christine Wells, author of Sisters of the Resistance

    "Remarkable...Kate Quinn is a master at crafting an intoxicating, well-balanced blend of immersive period details and deft character work. ...The Diamond Eye is a remarkable combination of immersive wartime storytelling, rich detailing and wonderful pacing. What really makes The Diamond Eye land, though, goes beyond Quinn's mastery of her chosen genre. This is, first and foremost, an exceptional character piece, a study of a woman who is a killer, a mother, a lover and, above all else, a survivor." — BookPage (starred review)

    "Quinn (The Rose Code) specializes in centering strong women; each of her books exceeds expectations set by the previous title... Readers looking for a new and unique viewpoint of World War II with a mystery to solve and a light touch of romance will dive deep into this story." — Library Journal (starred review)

    "Kate Quinn amazes me. With each new book she reaches new heights in her craft as a writer of page-turning plots and prose. The Diamond Eye is a remarkable story filled with heart, intrigue, breathtaking drama and, perhaps best of all, meticulously researched details that prove that history provides the absolute best raw material for storytelling. Like her sniper subject Lyudmila Pavlichenko, Kate Quinn has brilliantly hit her mark—this is a stunning novel about a singular historical heroine." — Allison Pataki, New York Times bestselling author of The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post

    "Kate Quinn has excelled in previous novels at transforming real-life historical biography into page-turning fiction. The Diamond Eye—combat novel, wartime love story, assassination thriller—in prose that shifts from lyrical to melodramatic as events demand, sets up and pulls off a double-barreled surprise-ending worthy of its larger-than-life inspiration."

    Wall Street Journal

    "[A] thrilling novel. WWII heroines are having a moment, and this is a stellar example. Recommend it to all lovers of smart historical fiction [and] her inspiration for the hero of this powerful WWII tale, a librarian-turned-military-sniper, will appeal to an even greater audience." — Booklist (starred review)

    "Exciting...Historical fiction fans will be riveted." — Publishers Weekly

    "Kate Quinn is an excellent storyteller, and she perfectly captures Mila's spirit and personality both on and off the battlefield... Don't miss this timely story about the immense power, strength and resilience of a Ukranian woman!" — BookReporter.com

    "The Diamond Eye is sharply observed, multi-faceted and brilliantly alive—historical fiction at its best!" — Christine Wells, author of Sisters of the Resistance

    "A riveting, authentic story of a Soviet woman who becomes a sniper during WWII. In page-turning prose, Kate Quinn illuminates the tale of Mila Pavlichenko, who, after killing more than 300 of Hitler's most formidable officers, comes to the U.S. to promote America's entry into the war. With vivid characters, unforgettable battle scenes, and moments of intense humanity and love, The Diamond Eye is a master class in historical fiction. It will leave you breathless, choking on tears." — Elena Gorokhova, author of A Train to Moscow

    "Readers can all but smell the gunsmoke in The Diamond Eye, so thoroughly does Kate Quinn immerse you in the grim and grey world of the Russian Front — and in the psyche of her remarkable real-life heroine, Mila Pavlichenko. Quinn's page-turning account of Mila's...

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A Novel
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