City of Thieves Chapters 15-16 Summary & Analysis

David Benioff

City of Thieves

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City of Thieves Chapters 15-16 Summary & Analysis

Chapter 15 Summary

The girls tell Lev and Kolya that the German officers usually arrive around midnight. Lev wants to escape before then and head back to the city, but Kolya is determined that they should lie in wait and attack the enemy. Lev is terrified, but reluctantly goes along with Kolya’s plan. While they wait, Kolya once again displays his usual cheerfulness and preoccupation with sex, and Lev wonders if he is brave or simply stupid.

Six German officers arrive earlier than expected but, before Lev and Kolya can attack, another surprise is in store when the sound of rifles is heard outside. The Germans try to escape but all six are shot dead. The rifles belong to a group of Russian partisans, whose leader is named Korsakov, and Kolya has to prove that he and Lev are not German by shooting each of the officers in the head. One is still partially alive, and Kolya proves his status as a Russian by finishing him off. Nonetheless, there is still tension between him and Korsakov.

As the partisans come closer, Lev and Kolya realize that one of them is a girl, whom Korsakov introduces as Vika. They are taken aback to discover that it is Vika who shot the Germans from 400 meters. Kolya notices that Lev is attracted to Vika; his good-humored comments on it break the tension, as Korsakov jokes: “Best of luck to you boy. Just remember, she can shoot your eyes out from half a kilometer” (Chapter 15, p.222).

Chapter 16 Summary

Lev and Kolya and the partisans go back inside for food and rest. Lev is besotted with Vika, though he admits “She was no man’s idea of a pin-up girl” (Chapter 16, p.224). He berates himself for his lack of sexual experience, but overcomes his shyness enough to make conversation with her. She is interested in his German knife, but shows no signs of being interested in Lev.

The temporary respite comes to an end when Kolya announces that they will be leaving soon. Together with Vika and the other partisans, they will journey to the Einsatz headquarters…

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