The award-winning author of A Small Death in Lisbon brings an exciting richness to the long shadow of evil in this crackling novel of spycraft and international intrigue. Lisbon, 1944: Andrea Aspinall, plucked out of academia by British intelligence so that her mathematical knowledge might help in the hunt for atomic secrets, disappears under a new identity in Lisbon, where such secrets are easily bought and sold. Karl Voss, already experienced in the illusions of intrigue when he arrives in Lisbon, is an attache at the German Legation, though he is secretly working against the Nazis to rescue Germany from annihilation. After a night of terrible violence, Andrea creates a family for herself from Voss's memory and the clandestine world they knew. In Portugal, in England, and in the chilly world of Cold War Berlin, she discovers that the deepest secrets aren't held by governments-and that death is a relative term. In The Company of Strangers, Robert Wilson takes the chilling irony of "secret intelligence" to a new and more poignant human level, as he shows that the heart is both more knowing and more secretive than the mind.
|Publisher:||Houghton Mifflin Harcourt|
|Edition description:||First Edition|
|Product dimensions:||5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x (d)|
About the Author
ROBERT WILSON is the author of numerous novels, including The Company of Strangers and A Small Death in Lisbon, which won the Gold Dagger Award as Best Crime Novel of the Year from Britain’s Crime Writers’ Association. A graduate of Oxford University, he has worked in shipping, advertising, and trading in Africa, and has lived in Greece, Portugal, and West Africa.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Quirky book which keeps you reading. Sometimes the scenes seem too real and then it changes on the next page.Characters veer in and out of reality but there is an overall atmosphere that makes a world for itself in the imagination. It is a book to take on holiday and just wallow in. Voss and Andrea are two characters on the run from the same thing, history is just an incidental matter. These two would be fugitives anyway.
During World War II, British intelligence hires Andrea Aspinall, a mathematical wizard who thinks numbers are perfect. Andrea is to use her numerical skills to learn German atomic weaponry secrets. In Lisbon, Andrea vanishes under a new identity. She also meets German attaché Karl Voss, who believes the Nazis are losing the war and destroying Germany in their efforts to keep fighting. Karl and Andrea share a delightful night of lovemaking while violence flares everywhere. However, by morning¿s light Andrea has a secret to hide and an addict¿s thirst for more clandestine operations even if espionage is such an imperfect realm to this numerical expert. As the war ends and the Cold War heats up in places like divided Berlin, Andrea remains a prime player, whose past will soon catch up to her. Andrea is the numero uno of this exciting espionage thriller. From the beginning readers understand her as she joyfully explains the world in terms of the perfection of mathematical systems even if she fails to include the number six as a divisor into itself. The story line spans several decades, but though interesting and insightful also acts like a suspense thinner. Still readers will enjoy this action packed tale mindful of The Third Man because the novel contains people, including those individuals still out in the cold, that seem real. Readers will enjoy THE COMPANY OF STRANGERS and seek other works from Robert Wilson (see A SMALL DEATH IN LISBON). Harriet Klausner
A complex story set across several periods from WWII Lisbon, where Andrea Aspinall is sent by SIS as a young spy to periods 20 or more years later. The relationships she forged in the hot-bed of spies which was WWII Lisbon inform and control her life until the end. Interesting characters seamlessly interwoven with real historical action raises this above the crowd. Recommended.
i'm reading Tinker, Tailor right now for my next book club meeting and really enjoying it. I'll start The Company of Strangers soon (at the suggestion of another library thing member).
Disappointing, this adjective best critiques "The Company of Strangers" by Robert Wilson. In his first novel "A Small Death in Lisbon", Mr. Wilson truly stole-the-show with poetic ambiance and titillating thrills but with this foray, his style and cadence fall flat. I was truly bored through the first two-fifths of the book so much so that I gave up on it, which is something I am loathe to do with any novel. Will I try another of Mr. Wilson's novels? Probably, simply because "A Small Death in Lisbon" was such a great work I feel he has more than one solid story in which to thrill readers.