A stunning and surprising new thriller, Mitch Silver’s latest novel takes readers from a secret operation during World War II—with appearances by Noel Coward and Winston Churchill—to present day London and Moscow, where Lara Klimt, “the Bookworm,” must employ all her skills to prevent an international conspiracy.Why did Hitler chose not to invade England when he had the chance?
Europe, 1940: It’s late summer and Belgium has been overrun by the German army. 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, 2017: A construction worker operating a backhoe makes a grisly discovery—a skeletal arm-bone with a rusty handcuff attached to the wrist. Was this the site, as a BBC newsreader speculates, of “a long-forgotten prison, uncharted on any map?” One viewer 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 tragedy she must hurry to prevent—is Russian historian and former Soviet chess champion Larissa Mendelovg Klimt, “Lara the Bookworm,” to her friends. She’s also experiencing some woeful marital troubles.
In the course of this riveting thriller, Lara will learn the significance of six musty Dictaphone cylinders recorded after D-Day by Noel Coward—actor, playwright and, secretly, a British agent reporting directly to Winston Churchill. She will understand precisely why that leather Bible, scooped up by the Nazis and deposited on the desk of Adolf Hitler days before he planned to attack Britain, played such a pivotal role in turning his guns to the East. And she will discover the new secret pact negotiated by the nefarious Russian president and his newly elected American counterpart—maverick and dealmaker—and the evil it portends.
Oh, and she’ll reconcile with her husband.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
There was a great premise here, which is why I read it. But the characters are thin, and the twists so numerous as to be boring. Chapters of 6 sentances are distractions. And at the end of the day, why anyone would care about the "McGuffin" remained a mystery but not a thriller
I received an ARC of this from NetGalley in return for an honest review. What a delightful suspense-filled historical thriller this was. My interest was captured from the very first page. Lara is a history professor in Russia who ends up with 6 Dictaphone cassettes to listen to and things just take off from there. Her twin brother, Lev, works in Alaska and that is another exciting thread. All the different threads were neatly tied in a perfect bow at the end of the book. What a great read!
This book was a multi-pronged story. You have the historical aspect of it and the “truth” of how Hitler chose his targets. How much truth is there to Coward’s testimony? Where’s the bible? Then you have the Russian side of things and the main character, Lara. She’s a history professor and she’s approached by shady looking guys with dictaphone cylinders and a handsome “reward” if she uncovers the whereabouts of the missing Bible. Then she’s given an even more handsome offer by another party. Who’s working for whom? Who are the bad guys here? Read more of my review at www.booknerdigan.com