Last Night of the World
We do, however, have Canada’s role in the real life theft of atomic secrets in 1946. In Last Night of the World, Joyce Wayne mines this excellent plotline…We know that Freda didn’t succeed, but she came close, and that makes this story, drenched in true Canadian history, a real page-turner.
– Margaret Cannon, The Globe & Mail
“[A] highly readable outing …A spy story well timed for the news’ current preoccupation with both the Kremlin and the nuclear arms race.”
– Tara Henley, Toronto Star
“It hooked me from the beginning”
– Vince Houghton, SpyCast / Spy Museum Historian
On a hot Ottawa night in August 1945, Soviet agent Freda Linton’s world is about to fall apart. She’s spent the war infiltrating the highest levels of the Canadian government as an undercover operative for the fledging Canadian Communist Party and for Moscow’s military police. As the global conflict nears its conclusion, her Soviet embassy handler and darling of the diplomatic scene Nikolai Zabotin sends her to retrieve atomic secrets from the Chalk River Nuclear Laboratories. When Freda discovers that Soviet cipher clerk Igor Gouzenko plans to turn over top secret files to the RCMP that will expose Freda and the others in her spy ring, she is faced with an impossible decision and must determine who is on her side. Should she risk everything to smuggle out nuclear secrets that will kick off the Cold War? Joyce Wayne’s Last Night of the World brings a high-energy creativeness and emotional tension to a story that is rooted in a generation’s defining incident.
Joyce Wayne is an award-winning literary journalist, a former editor at Quill & Quire and the author of the historical novel The Cook’s Temptation (Mosaic Press, 2013). She was a winner of the Diaspora Dialogues contest for fiction and has been awarded the Fiona Mee Award for literary journalism. She lives in Oakville, Ontario where she teaches writing.