Document Z, by Andrew Croome

Evdokia knew that the crowd was here for her. Hunting her. She was certain these people would kill her before they’d let her through the terminal and onto the plane. This might be it, she realised. Defector’s Wife Dies in Airport Shootout.

In Canberra in 1951, two new arrivals at the Soviet embassy are party loyalists. But Australia has much to offer, and embassy manoeuvrings see the pair regularly on the outer. Vladimir and Evdokia Petrov find their life a constant balancing act. In the meantime, ASIO staff are working to determine which embassy staff might be working for MVD, Moscow intelligence. Within three years of their arrival, Vladimir has defected and Evdokia is to be sent home to Moscow to face punishment.

Document Z is a fictionalised exploration of the Petrov affair, combing history, bringing the characters at its heart to life, whilst offering an insight into some of the possible behind the scenes events and motivations.

By itself it is an absorbing work of literature, but when read with deference to its historical basis, it is intriguing. Winner of the 2008 Australian/Vogel Literary Award this is a wonderful debut novel.

Document Z: A Novel

Document Z: A Novel, by Andew Croome
Allen & Unwin, 2009

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