The bookworm A novel

Mitch Silver, 1946-

Book - 2018

"Europe, 1940: Posing as a friar, a British operative talks his way into the monastery at Villers-devant-Orval just before Nazi art thieves plan to sweep through the area and whisk everything of value back to Berlin. But the ersatz man of the cloth is no thief. Instead, that night he adds an old leather Bible to the monastery's library and then escapes. London, 2018: A construction worker makes a grisly discovery--a skeletal arm bone with a rusty handcuff attached to the wrist. Was this the site of a long-forgotten prison, uncharted on any map? One observer knows better: it's all that remains of a courier who died in a V-2 rocket attack. The woman who will put these two disparate events together--and understand the looming tr...agedy she must hurry to prevent--is Russian historian and former Soviet chess champion Larissa Mendelova Klimt, 'Lara the Bookworm' to her friends." -- From dust jacket.

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FICTION/Silver Mitch
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Thrillers (Fiction)
New York, NY : Pegasus Books 2018.
Main Author
Mitch Silver, 1946- (author)
First Pegasus Books edition
Physical Description
xi, 292 pages ; 24 cm
Contents unavailable.
Review by Booklist Review

A Russian professor of geopolitical history, Lara Klimt, known to friends as the bookworm for her obsession with research, becomes the focus of deadly attention after acquiring six Dictaphone cylinders containing WWII secrets recorded by Noel Coward, who did espionage work for Winston Churchill during the war. Lara's small world of archives and classes changes abruptly as she realizes that Coward's revelations extend into today's world and a plot hatched by the presidents of the U.S. and Russia. Although the modern-day story is a bit far-fetched, the historical frame, including an alternate view of why Germany turned its wartime focus from England to the USSR, proves fascinating; the pace is agreeably fast; and the intelligent, capable Klimt makes an engaging lead character. Readers might also like Lucy Ribchester's The Amber Shadows and William Christie's A Single Spy, both 2017.--Baker, Jen Copyright 2017 Booklist

From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

Silver follows his well-received debut, 2007's In Secret Service, with a disappointing conspiracy thriller. In Moscow, Russian scholar Larissa Klimt (the bookworm of the title) is researching documents seized by the Soviets from Hitler's bunker-which makes her the perfect person to analyze six Dictaphone recordings "of testimony by one of the men who started the Great Patriotic War": playwright and composer Noel Coward. Coward did spy for the British in real life, but in Silver's telling he was also part of a disinformation campaign designed to persuade Hitler to focus on Russia and leave the Allies alone. Meanwhile, in London, an odd discovery on the site of a 1944 V-2 rocket strike presents another part of the puzzle for Larissa: the wrist bone of a person who was likely a spy courier, based on the rusty handcuff attached. Anthony Blunt, Ian Fleming, and John F. Kennedy also make cameo appearances, but the use of actual people doesn't make this misguided rewrite of the history of WWII any more convincing, and it takes a snarky, light tone that doesn't serve the material well. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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