“City of Thieves”
by Daniel Benioff
Viking Adult, 2008, 272 pages, $24.95
Set during the Siege of Leningrad during World War II, 17-year-old Jewish youngster Lev Beniov spends his nights working as a volunteer firefighter. When he discovers a dead German paratrooper who has landed in their street, Lev loots the body. He is caught and sent to jail. He shares his cell with Koyla, a charismatic and handsome soldier, arrested on desertion charges. Together they are offered a reprieve. They can save their lives by securing eggs for a powerful colonel to use in his daughter’s wedding cake.
In this historical adventure, Benioff has written what Publisher’s Weekly calls a “hard-to-put-down novel” and a “bittersweet coming-of-age narrative,” giving it a starred review.