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The Diamond Eye: A Novel (Paperback)
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 Kiev (now known as 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.
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.
“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 transformation from student to sniper measures the unimaginable toll of pulling the trigger, portraying with power and compassion Mila’s urge not to kill, but to protect. Unputdownable!" — Bryn Turnbull, author of The Last Grand Duchess
“A sparkling gem of a story about a fabulous and fascinating woman. Lyudmila Pavlichenko’s journey from history student and mother to sniper and national hero is beautifully rendered by Kate Quinn in this utterly absorbing novel.”
— Natasha Lester, New York Times bestselling author of The Riviera House
“The brilliant Kate Quinn is at the top of her game with an unexpected historical heroine to root for. The young Russian mother and war hero will steal your heart by stealth--just as she stole the heart of Eleanor Roosevelt, America's most celebrated First Lady. You'll be wowed by this unlikely tale of love and lasting friendship that transcends ideology. It kept me reading late into the night!”
— Stephanie Dray, New York Times bestselling author of The Women of Chateau Lafayette
“From blood-soaked Russian battlefields to the White House Rose Garden, Kate Quinn takes expert aim at one of history’s forgotten heroines to bring us a story that will pull you in from the very first sentence. The Diamond Eye is her best yet!”
— Alix Rickloff, author of The Way to London
"The Diamond Eye is another winner from Kate Quinn. A historian-turned-sniper who falls in love in wartorn Russia and then befriends Eleanor Roosevelt – what’s not to love? The thrilling showdown at the end is not to be missed!"
— Kaia Alderson, author of Sisters in Arms
"An epic journey with history's deadliest female sniper from the trenches of the Russian front to the halls of American power, The Diamond Eye is an enthralling page-turner brimming with emotion and excitement. Kate Quinn writes with a diamond eye for detail." — Taylor Adams, author of No Exit and Hairpin Bridge
“In The Diamond Eye, Kate Quinn introduces us to her fiercest heroine yet, Mila Pavlichenko, a celebrated female sniper for the Red Army who displays death-defying courage, skill, and wisdom. As readers follow her into the trenches of WWII, they will feel the adrenaline rush each time she pulls the trigger. Be forewarned: once you start reading, you’ll not be able to stop turning the pages. Exquisitely told, this is what makes Kate Quinn such a powerhouse in historical fiction.” — Renee Rosen, author of Park Avenue Summer
"Few authors are able to craft stories as immersive and compulsively readable as Kate Quinn, and her latest is not exception. The Diamond Eye is a sparkling new gem in Quinn’s already impressive bibliography. Quinn recaptures the Russian intrigue—the utter magic—of The Huntress in Mila’s story. The characters and setting are vibrant and compelling, and the reader can’t help but root for Quinn’s heroine from start to finish. A brilliant tale by a master storyteller." — Aimie K. Runyan, bestselling author of The School for German Brides
“Crack-shot novelist Kate Quinn’s aim is dead on in The Diamond Eye. Based on the true story of a Soviet female sniper who killed more than three hundred German soldiers and then befriended Eleanor Roosevelt, Quinn’s suspenseful narrative rings with deep understanding of long-range riflery, U.S. politics early in WWII, and the heartache of a woman on the front lines of combat.” — Mark Sullivan, bestselling author of The Last Green Valley and Beneath a Scarlet Sky
"A stunning, immersive tour de force by one of the best historical fiction writers working today. Meticulously researched, deftly plotted, and executed with a thrilling blend of action and heart, The Diamond Eye is a masterpiece." — Kristin Harmel, New York Times bestselling author of The Forest of Vanishing Stars
“Based on an amazing true story, The Diamond Eye is an explosive novel whose unforgettable librarian-sniper heroine and pulse-pounding plot will have readers staring down the barrel of a gun until the final page. Kate Quinn has hit the mark once again!” — Stephanie Marie Thornton, USA Today bestselling author of A Most Clever Girl
“[A] gripping historical thriller.” — The Big Thrill