Defectors (Paperback)Joseph Kanon (author)
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Waterstones Thriller of the Month for February 2018The author of Leaving Berlin and The Good German turns his considerable abilities to the era of 1960s defection and the Cold War at its most heated.
“The question isn’t what’s right, his father would say, the question is what’s the right thing to do? They’re not always the same.”
It is 1961. Over a decade earlier, and exposed as a Communist Spy, former CIA golden boy Frank Weeks skipped the Iron Curtain, leaving a trail of deception and ruin. Caught in the slipstream is his brother Simon, now a publisher in New York after being forced to resign from his position in the State Department.
Frank, however, has re-emerged, summoning his brother to Moscow to help edit the memoir he has been working on since his arrival. Despite all the treachery and damage, for Simon, Frank still has his allure: the dangerous, ideological charmer, the spy still holding tight the reasons behind his shocking betrayal. As Simon accepts the challenge, the long game Frank has been playing all his life edges toward its deadly, duplicitous conclusion. All, however, is rarely what it seems, not least for Simon, who shields secrets of his own...
Joseph Kanon – a former New York publisher himself – brings all of his insider knowledge and urbane observation to deliver an exceptional, le Carré-class thriller. In Frank Weeks we discover shades of Graham Greene’s Harry Lime, a man who has made the half-world of defection in a foreign state his own. In Moscow, we discover a brittle playground of those who have risked everything for communism but now find themselves disillusioned and under the constant observation of the state.
American author Joseph Kanon is internationally recognised as one of the finest contemporary writers of espionage fiction, earning him comparison with Graham Greene and John le Carré. His novels include: Los Alamos, The Prodigal Spy, The Good German, Alibi, Stardust, Istanbul Passage, Leaving Berlin and Defectors.
Read an exclusive article for Waterstones in which Joseph Kanon discusses location scouting in the past and how he got under the skin of Cold War Moscow.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd
Number of pages: 320
Dimensions: 198 x 130 x 23 mm
'Kanon writes beautifully, superbly conveying human sadness and regret.' - The Telegraph
‘(Kanon) has helped reinvent espionage fiction for 21st century readers...Clever, devious and morally complex’ - The Sunday Times
"The perfect combination of intrigue and accurate history brought to life." - Alan Furst
"Sensational! No one writes period fiction with the same style and suspense - not to mention substance - as Joseph Kanon." - Scott Turow
"Joseph Kanon owns this corner of the literary landscape and it's a joy to see him reassert his title with such emphatic authority." - Lee Child
"Kanon is fast approaching the complexity and relevance not just of le Carre and Greene but even of Orwell" - New York Times
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1961 and it is the height of the Cold War. Simon, now a book publisher, is approached to publish the memoirs of his brother whose defection a decade before the Soviets caused shock waves in the CIA and forced the... More
A friend told me to read this recently, I'll be honest its the cover that convinced me to read it, I know I know, but I thought by the title I knew what type of book this would be, but I'm so glad I sat down... More
Frank Weeks defected to the USSR shortly after the end of WW2, betraying his country, the CIA and his family in the process. In the early 1960s his brother Simon is invited to Moscow to help Frank edit his memoirs for... More
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