Los Alamos: A Novel

Los Alamos: A Novel

by Joseph Kanon


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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “The suspense novel for all others to beat . . . [a] must read.”—The Denver Post


It is the spring of 1945, and in a dusty, remote community, the world’s most brilliant minds have come together in secret. Their mission: to split an atom and end a war. But among those who have come to Robert Oppenheimer ’s “enchanted campus” of foreign-born scientists, baffled guards, and restless wives is a simple man in search of a killer. Michael Connolly has been sent to the middle of nowhere to investigate the murder of a security officer on the Manhattan Project. But amid the glimmering cocktail parties and the staggering genius, Connolly will find more than he bargained for. Sleeping in a dead man’s bed and making love to another man’s wife, Connolly has entered the moral no-man’s-land of Los Alamos. For in this place of brilliance and discovery, hope and horror, Connolly is plunged into a shadowy war with a killer—as the world is about to be changed forever.

Praise for Los Alamos

“A magnificent work of fiction . . . a love story inside a murder mystery inside perhaps the most significant story of the twentieth century: the making of the atomic bomb.”The Boston Globe

“Compelling . . . [Joseph Kanon] pulls the reader into a historical drama of excitement and high moral seriousness.” The New York Times 

“Thrilling . . . Kanon writes with the sure hand of a veteran and does a marvelous job.”The Washington Post Book World 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780525621607
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/04/2018
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 480
Sales rank: 175,143
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Joseph Kanon is the internationally bestselling author of eight novels, which have been published in twenty-four languages, including: Los Alamos, which won the Edgar Award for best first novel, The Good German, which was made into a film starring George Clooney and Cate Blanchett, The Prodigal Spy, Alibi, which earned Kanon the Hammett Award of the International Association of Crime Writers, Istanbul Passage, and Leaving Berlin. He is also a recipient of the Anne Frank Human Writers Award for his writings on the aftermath of the Holocaust. He lives in New York City with his wife, literary agent Robin Straus. They have two sons.

Read an Excerpt

A Mrs. Rosa Ortiz  found the body.  She was used to getting up with the sun, but this morning she was early, too early even for mass, so she took the long way, cutting through the park along the Alameda, where mist was still rising from the old riverbed.   If she had been hurrying she might have missed it, but as it happened she was walking slowly, enjoying the first light.  She had not heard it rain during the night, so the moisture on the trees surprised her, and she stopped once to look at the shine on the leaves.  The sky was already a sharp cloudless blue, promising heat.  It was when she glanced down from the sky, temporarily blinded, that she saw the shoes.

Excerpted from "Los Alamos"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Joseph Kanon.
Excerpted by permission of Random House Publishing Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Customer Reviews

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Los Alamos 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 19 reviews.
KenCady More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this fictionalized version of life at the Los Alamos as The Manhattan project came to fore. The author created interesting characters and put them in a fascinating setting. I came to to the book after reading his alter novels. There were moments where things slowed down a bit much, but that seemed in keeping with the pace of events at Los Alamos. I can't say that the womanizing investigator appealed to me all that much. One thing Kanon did was include a homosexual subplot where he kept the spirit of the bigotry of the day without pandering to it, and indicated that he certainly didn't agree with it. Nicely done that.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Fact+Fiction = one of the best novels that I have read in a long time. This is truly one of those stories that draw you in right from the start and holds you to the very last page. Kanon could write a series of novels on this main character--Mike Connolly. Go out and buy this book. You will LOVE it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Kanon took one of the most interesting and fascinating event in modern american history and put a mystery in it, and then put a love story in that (which was probably the weakest sub-plot of the book). but i'd say it was more of an espionage story. kanon did an excellent job.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Very Slow. Story dragged on forever. Couldn't wait for it to end. The hero didn't solve anything. Everything just fell into his lap.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this fictional accounting of one of the spying undercurrents at Los AL during the Manhattan Project. Having read the biography of J Robert Oppenheimer - An American Prometheus and The Haunted Wood about spying in Cold War, many of the story lines rang very close to actual events at the New Mexico facilities and post war treatment of Oppenheimer. In the end, it is an improbable love story with lots of local color. A good read all in all.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This murder mystery draws in larger ethical questions about good and evil.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A very human drama plays out against the backdrop of the one of the most important projects in human history. The lives of a small group of people affect millions across the globe.
techeditor on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Kanon's research into the history of the team who produced the atomic bomb is accurate. This is a character-driven thriller that is also historical fiction.Readers who love the ordinary formulaic thrillers are in for a new treat because this is not formulaic. Rather, LOS ALAMOS intelligently depicts that time and place, with fictional characters who drive the story. Formulaic thrillers are plot-driven and inferior to this. Kanon doesn't regurgitate the same type of thriller over and over with every book he writes.
iphigenie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Perhaps it is because I studied physics, but I truly enjoyed this book. I thought the characters, the story and politics were very believable, so I went with the story hook line and sinker.The World War 2 top secret science adds a nice flavor to a good story
whitewavedarling on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Kanon's become one of my favorites for the plot and the history that he weaves together. This is a well-written book with fascinating characters, and it draws you in from the beginning. This might be something you would have picked up at the grocerystore when it first came out, but I'd argue it's strong literary suspense with history and enjoyment in the bargain.
corgidog2 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the story of the development of the atom bomb at Los Alamos, New Mexico. It is readable, but not compelling.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Because I lived in Los Alamos several years I enjoyed the author's detailed descriptions of the area. Stories about real events and places are most enjoyable.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The mystery part of the story is well designed and written but the love interest is nothing but boring interference like T v commercials.
KaneH More than 1 year ago
I confess that a fair number of modern mysteries are all too similar, and thus boring- but not this one. The mystery is set against the final days of the Manhattan Project, before they detonated the atomic bomb that changed the world. Actual people make appearances as characters in the story, a technique done rather well here- they're not just backdrop, but real human beings. The background research is evident, but is not overbearing, serving to advance the story instead of clogging it up with too much detail. We get a very clear view of the paranoia and security involved in the project. Imagine if there had been a real murder, and what a nightmare that would have been, since no one was even admitting there was a secret government facility operating there. The mystery goes along at a good clip, and only loses a point or two for a car chase the book could have done without. A well-told tale, showing a slice of history that fascinates and educates as it entertains. Top marks.
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Rules: dont attack bloodclan, our allies, or freinds............ map: 1 rules and map 2 main camp 3 bios 4 meeting place