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From Barnes & NobleThe Barnes & Noble Review
More than 20 years after its original publication, Warren Murphy and Molly Cochran's Edgar Allan Poe Award-winning novel Grandmaster -- a unique thriller that Cochran describes as "a twisted macramé of espionage, metaphysics, romance, fantasy and suspense" -- is finally back in print.
At the age of ten, Justin Gilead was an American chess prodigy. While competing in an international tournament in Paris, he fatefully met the adversary who would both shape and destroy his future. Born in Russia on the same day as Gilead, Alexander Zharkov is the American's exact opposite. But while both are chess masters and brilliant strategists, they are mere pawns in a much larger game controlled by international politics and meddlesome gods. Decades later, with Gilead as an unstoppable CIA operative and Zharkov as the ruthless head of a Russian secret service agency, the two are pitted against one another again in a real-life chess match where only one opponent can survive. And the future of the free world hangs in the balance.
While Grandmaster is categorized under mystery and suspense, it's so much more than a novel about the life-and-death battle between international spies. It's about mysticism, love, the eternal struggle between good and evil -- and chess. Cochran states in the novel's preface: "[I]t's about the spiritual core inside us all, some unknowable part of us that is eternal and perfect." Mystery fans looking for a truly singular read will certainly find that and more in Murphy and Cochran's classic spy thriller. Paul Goat Allen