Darsky’s Resistance

A debonair spy working for British Intelligence must decide whose side he’s really on in this captivating thriller exploring Poland’s role in WWII, inspired by the author’s own hitman grandfather.


Cunning, cultured and sharp as a blade, Ian Darsky – the son of a Polish Count and an English noblewoman — returns home to his family’s estate in Poland a week before the 1st September German invasion of 1939. German warplanes begin bombing Warsaw and the Red Army is approaching its boarder from the East. Darsky has come back to Poland for good reason. A serving British Secret Service agent, Darsky becomes liaison between the exiled Polish Government in London and the fledgling resistance working to restore it—a resistance Darsky is willing to support beyond his official duties. He will have to fight, cheat and kill in order to survive the war and save his beloved Poland, all the while conflicted as to who poses the greater threat: Nazi Germany, Communist Russia or his British employers.

Darsky’s war will be turbulent and bloody, but not without adventure and pleasure. As peace finally shines on the horizon, Darsky’s last campaign seems almost impossible, one that will push his loyalties and his abilities to the limit. A Polish-Jewish scientist — holding information that could decisively end the war — has been in captivity in a concentration camp and Darksy must help him finally escape. But it may yet be one mission too many for the enigmatic Mr. Darsky.

Darsky’s Resistance is a rampaging read and an excellent first novel. Our irrepressible anti-hero, Ian Darsky – a tongue-in-cheek reference to the legendary Darcy of Jane Austin’s Pride & Prejudice – is as ruthless, selfish and calculated as he is fearless, handsome and ingenious. Fans of the Flashman novels will be undoubtedly drawn to Darsky, a man who embodies the spirit of Poland whist providing an enlightening narrative on key moments of its twentieth century history: invasion, occupation by both Nazis and Communists, and finally, rebirth. Darsky’s Resistance is Poland’s wartime lived through the eyes of his greatest, most passionate – albeit, fictional — son.

When Michael Rudnicki uncovered the secret diaries of his grandfather, his family were rocked by the revelations within. Throughout the Second World War, the young man had served his country as an undercover agent for the resistance; his specialty was underground court order killing and executions. This extraordinary history of his grandfather inspired Rudnicki to research what might have motivated his grandfather’s actions and his journey during WWII, using his research as a canvas for “what might have been.” The result is a seductive blend of intrigue, romance and dark humor, combined with a rousing and unflinching depiction of the realities of life as a spy in the grip of war. Rudnicki’s first novel is an excellent tribute, not only to his idiosyncratic grandfather, but to the bravery, the resilience and the legacy of Poland and its people. Rudnicki is an ambassador for his beloved Poland,and,with Darsky’s Resistance, pays tribute to her complicated history and how it is relevant to the world today.

About the author: Michael Rudnicki was born in Poland and moved to the United Kingdom in the early 1990s to study. A real self-starter with a degree in Economics, he has specialized in helping corporates to bridge the gap between east and west. He lives in Warsaw, Poland with his wife and young son.
Darsky’s Resistance by Michael Rudnicki, published by Hoxton Books (RRP $9.99 paperback, RRP $2.99 eBook), is available online at retailers including amazon.com and can be ordered from all good bookstores.