by Leon Uris


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Topaz by Leon Uris

On the eve of the Cuban Missile Crisis, American and French intelligence agents are plunged into a maze of Cold War intrigue
In Paris, 1962, French intelligence chief André Devereaux and NATO intelligence chief Michael Nordstrom have uncovered Soviet plans to ship nuclear arms to Cuba. But when Devereaux reports his findings and nobody acts—and he is targeted in an assassination attempt—he soon realizes he’s tangled in a plot far greater than he first understood. The two agents, along with a small band of Cuban exiles and Soviet defectors, chase leads around the globe in a quest to save NATO, themselves, and perhaps the world itself.
Topaz is a fast-paced but deeply informed thriller.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781453231647
Publisher: Open Road Integrated Media LLC
Publication date: 09/27/2011
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 402
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Leon Uris (1924–2003) was an author of fiction, nonfiction, and screenplays whose works include numerous best-selling novels. His epic Exodus (1958) has been translated into over fifty languages. Uris’s work is notable for its focus on dramatic moments in contemporary history, including World War II and its aftermath, the birth of modern Israel, and the Cold War. Through the massive success of his novels and his skill as a storyteller, Uris has had enormous influence on popular understanding of twentieth-century history.

Read an Excerpt


By Leon Uris


Copyright © 1967 Leon Uris
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4532-2581-3


Late Summer, 1961

The day was balmy. The certain magic of Copenhagen and the Tivoli Gardens had Michael Nordstrom all but tranquilized. From his table on the terrace of the Wivex Restaurant he could see the onion dome of the Nimb, saturated with a million light bulbs, and just across the path came a drift of laughter from the outdoor pantomime theater. The walks of the Tivoli were bordered with meticulous set-in flowers which gave out a riot of color.

Michael luxuriated in detailed observation of the strong, shapely legs of the Copenhagen girls, made so by the major source of transportation, in that flat city, bicycle riding.

He fiddled with the little American flag on the table as the waiters cleared away a few survivors of three dozen open-faced Danish sandwiches.

Per Nosdahl, who sat behind a Norwegian flag, passed out cigars and held a light under Nordstrom's. Michael puffed contentedly. "The boss would frown on us smoking Castro stogies. I miss Havana," he said to his deputy in Denmark, Sid Hendricks.

Per imposed a half-dozen cigars on Michael, who gave in then patted his filled breast pocket.

"So, we'll all meet again two weeks from today in Oslo," said H. P. Sorensen, speaking from behind a Danish flag.

The other three nodded. Michael took a last lovely swig of beer from his glass. "I keep telling Liz I'll bring her to Copenhagen some summer. You know, strictly on a vacation ... whatever the hell that is."

The headwaiter approached. "Is one of you gentlemen Mr. Nordstrom?"


"Telephone, sir."

"Excuse me," he said, folding his napkin and following the headwaiter from the terrace into the enormity and plushness of the Wivex. The orchestra played the "Colonel Bogie" march from The Bridge on the River Kwai, and the Danes kept jovial time by clapping in rhythm.

The waiter pointed to a phone booth in the lobby.

"Thank you." Michael closed the door behind him. "Nordstrom," he said.

"My name means nothing to you," a heavily accented Russian voice spoke, "but I know who you are."

"You've got the wrong party."

"You are Michael Nordstrom, the American Chief of ININ, Inter-NATO Intelligence Network. You sign your cables with the code name 'Oscar,' followed by the numerals, six, one, two."

"I said you've got the wrong party."

"I have some papers of extreme interest," the voice on the other end persisted. "NATO papers in the four-hundred series. Your contingency plans for a counterattack if the Soviet Union invades through Scandinavia. I have many other papers."

Nordstrom squelched a deep sigh by placing his hand quickly over the mouth piece. He caught his bearings immediately. "Where are you?"

"I am calling from a phone booth over the Raadhuspladsen."

Nordstrom glanced at his watch. One o'clock. It would take several hours to formulate a plan. "We can set up a meeting for this evening...."

"No," the voice answered sharply. "No. I will be missed. It must be done immediately."

"All right. Glyptoteket Museum in a half-hour. On the third floor there's an exhibit of Degas wire statuettes," Nordstrom instructed.

"I am familiar with it."

"How can you be identified?"

"Under my arm I carry two books, Laederhalsene in Danish and The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich in English."

"A man named Phil will contact you." Nordstrom hung up.

The first obvious thought that crossed his mind was a rendezvous trap in which the Russians could photograph him contacting a Soviet agent for future blackmail use. He would send his deputy in Denmark, Sid Hendricks, to make the contact, then lead the man to a place which he could cover against being followed or photographed. The pressing time factor annoyed him, but bait or not the Russian's opening gambit was taken.

Michael placed a coin in the phone box and dialed.

"American Embassy."

"Nordstrom. Get the ININ office."

"Mr. Hendricks' office, Miss Cooke speaking."

"Cookie, this is Mike Nordstrom. You're buddies with the manager of the Palace Hotel ... what's his name?"

"Jens Hansen."

"Get him on the horn and tell him we need a favor. Large suite at the end of a hallway.

Something we can block off and cover from all directions."

"How soon?"

"Now. Send four or five of the boys down, tape machine and cameras. I'll meet them there in twenty minutes."

"Got it."

Michael Nordstrom was a bit heftier than he would have liked but he still moved with deftness and grace. He wove his way back to the terrace quickly. A scream shrilled out from the roller coaster. "Sorry, fellows, office wants Sid and me back right away."

The Danish and Norwegian ININ chiefs stood and they all shook hands.

"Have a good trip back to the States," H. P. Sorensen said.

"See you in Oslo, Mike," Per Nosdahl said.

Sid Hendricks reminded Sorensen they had a meeting next day and the two Americans departed.

They got into Sid's car on H. C. Boulevard. "What's up, Mike?"

"Russian. Maybe a defector. Go right away to the Glyptoteket's Degas exhibition on the third floor. He'll be carrying two books, Laederhalsene—and, uh, Rise and Fall, the Shirer book, in English. Identify yourself as Phil, then have him follow you. Waltz him around the Tivoli a few times to make sure he isn't being tailed by his own people. End up at the Palace Hotel. One of the boys from your office will be waiting and tell you where to take him. If you don't show in an hour, we'll know it was a setup. Check him out carefully as you can."

Sid nodded and got out of the car. Nordstrom watched him cross the avenue. The curtain, a mass of bicycles, closed behind him. Nordstrom emerged from the other side of the car for the short walk to the Palace, then grumbled beneath his breath. This sudden turn of events would force him to cancel a date with a lovely Danish miss.


Fifteen minutes had elapsed when Sid Hendricks entered the block-long red brick building housing a conglomeration of art treasures, sponsored by a Danish brewery.

He paid a krone admission, bought a catalogue, then made directly up a long flight of stairs on the right side of the main lobby.

The room was empty. Hendricks studied it for unwanted guests but could spot none. He thumbed through the catalogue, then moved around the dozens of Degas wire studies of horses and ballet dancers, each an experiment to capture phases of motion. He stopped before a glass case and looked long at a particularly magnificent piece, a rearing horse.

"Unfortunately, we do not see much Degas in the Soviet Union."

Hendricks squinted to try to catch in the glass the reflection of the man who had slipped up behind him, but all he could make out was a transparent disfiguration.

"A few pieces in the Pushkin Museum in Moscow," the Russian accent labored, "and somewhat better in the Hermitage, but I do not get to Leningrad often."

Hendricks turned the page in the catalogue. "Never been there," he answered, keeping his eyes straight ahead.

"I have. I'd like to leave."

"I don't think we've met."

"Not formally. You are Sidney Hendricks, in charge of the American ININ Division in Denmark."

"Anyone can get that information out of the Embassy Directory."

"Then, how about this information? Your boss, Michael Nordstrom, is in Copenhagen to meet the Danish and Norwegian ININ counterparts, Nosdahl and Sorensen, to discuss expansion of an espionage ring of Scandinavian students studying in the Soviet Union."

With that, Sid Hendricks turned and faced his adversary.

The two stipulated books nestled tightly under the arm of a man of shorter than average height. Russians look like Russians, Hendricks thought. High forehead, suffering brown eyes of a tortured intellectual, uneven haircut, prominent cheekbones, knobby fingers. His suit showed Western styling but was sloppily worn.

"Follow me and keep a hundred-foot interval."

Hendricks passed from the room through a group of incoming art students and their instructor.

On the street he waited on the corner of Tietgensgade until the Russian emerged from the museum, then crossed to the Tivoli Gardens and paid an admission into the Dansetten.

Cha-cha-cha music favored the midafternoon dancers. Sid sighted in on a pair of unescorted girls sitting hopefully in a corner, and invited one to dance. His cha-cha-cha left much to be desired but it did give him a total vantage. The Russian entered, watched, did not appear to have followers.

Hendricks abruptly left the astonished girl and plunged into the maze of zigzag paths, hawkers, strollers, the labyrinth of glass buildings, the blaze of flowers, the multitude of restaurants, exhibits, fun and amusement booths, the fairyland that made up the wonderment of Tivoli.

Sid Hendricks led the Russian in circles. Along the artificial boat lake he doubled back so that he walked past his pursuer, then made up the steps of the multitiered Chinese pagoda. From here he could look down and study all the activity below. Only the single Russian clung to his trail.

He was now satisfied that the Russian was not being followed, and he passed from the Tivoli, crossing the teeming Raadhuspladsen filled with the usual complement of pigeons that inhabit city-hall squares throughout the world.

His deputy, Dick Stebner, waited in the lobby of the Palace Hotel. Without further word, the three walked the stairs to the third floor. The long corridor was covered by Hendricks' men. Stebner made down the carpeted hall to an end suite, opened the door and the three of them entered.

Harry Bartlett, another deputy, waited by the false fireplace. The Russian stood in the center of room. The lock clicked behind him.

"Who are you? What do you want?" Bartlett asked.

"I want to see Nordstrom," the Russian retorted. "You are not Nordstrom. You are one of the ININ men in Hendricks' office."

The bedroom door opened slowly. Michael Nordstrom entered. His bulk made the Russian seem even smaller. "Yes," the latter whispered, "you are the one I wish to see."



"Who are you? What do you want?"

The Russian studied Stebner and Hendricks at the door and the other one, Bartlett. "My compliments to you, Nordstrom. You are very good. You did this quickly and your Hendricks is clever. Do you have a cigarette?"

Michael cupped his hands to hold the flame and his eyes met the Russian's. The man was frightened despite his professional poise. He sucked deeply on the cigarette as though calling on a friend and he licked his lips in a gesture of fear.

"I am Boris Kuznetov," he said, "chief of a division of KGB. I wish to defect."


"I have reason to suspect I am going to be liquidated."

"What reasons?"

"Two close comrades in KGB who shared my views have been purged recently. I travel in the West often. This time surveillance on me is unusually heavy. And then," he sighed, "a close dear friend told me before I came to Copenhagen that if I have a chance to clear out, I had better make the break."

Kuznetov pulled hard again on the cigarette. He knew the men arrayed before him would naturally suspect he was a plant.

"This friend of yours," Hendricks said, "wasn't it dangerous for him to warn you?"

"It makes no difference if you are a Russian or an American, Mr. Hendricks. Our profession is cruel, yet ... they cannot take from us all that is human. Humans, in the end, are compassionate. Someday you may need a friend. Someday a friend will need you. Do you understand?"

"If you are under such tight watch," Nordstrom challenged, "how did you cut yourself loose just now?"

"I am in Copenhagen with my wife and daughter. I left them at the restaurant. As long as they have guards on my family they know I will return, so it is normal for me to be away for a few hours, perhaps to make an intelligence contact, perhaps to shop, perhaps even to visit a woman. But I am a devoted family man and I always come back."

"How did you know I would be at the Wivex Restaurant?"

"Because of your basic intelligence attitude. We Russians hide our intelligence people and never let it be known who they are. You Americans advertise who is CIA, who is ININ, on the theory that people will come to you with information. In this case, your theory works. It is not secret you are in Copenhagen. You always eat at Wivex or Langelinie near the Little Mermaid. You like Danish seafood. It is not hard to find out. Today I checked your reservation at Wivex and so I ate at Seven Nations just over the square."

"You said you carried documents."

"Yes. They are hidden in Copenhagen. I will tell you where they are when we make our agreement."

"All right, Kuznetov. I'm impressed. We'll get back to you in twenty-four hours."


"What do you mean?"

The Russian's breath quickened. Fright, real or played, was in him. "I am afraid now to return to my embassy. We must do it right away ... today, and my wife and daughter must come with me."

Kuznetov studied the skeptical American eyes. They all glowered in suspicion at the man who called himself Kuznetov, watched him fidget and breathe deeply over and over. The clock from the city hall tolled the hour, massively.

"How long can you stay out now?" Mike Nordstrom asked.

"A few more hours."

"Get back to your wife and daughter, then go shopping or do the Tivoli for a few hours. I'm going to make a try at putting it together. Do you know Den Permanente?"

"Yes. The building that houses the permanent exhibits of Danish arts and crafts."

"It closes at five-thirty. Be there at the counter at the silversmith, Hans Hansen. It's near the main door. Now, take a good look at these three gentlemen. One of them will be standing by to lead you to a waiting car."

"You must not fail!"

"There's a fifty-fifty chance we can do it."

"My guards ..."

"We'll handle them."

The Russian called Kuznetov walked slowly to Michael Nordstrom and held out his knobby hand. Nordstrom shook it, haltingly. And then Boris Kuznetov walked to a seat, sank into it, held his face in his hands and sobbed.


Nordstrom dispatched Stebner and another deputy to tail the Russian, then sped back to the embassy with the rest of his people, locking the ININ offices behind them.


Coats off, ties open, sleeves rolled, Michael Nordstrom and his men plunged into formulating a quick but foolproof plan. They set into motion the obtaining of cars without diplomatic plates, finding a hideaway on the northern coast, getting a light plane on standby and flying Nordstrom's own plane out of Denmark to a German airfield. Individual assignments were passed out and rehashed. The minutes ticked off too quickly, and as the hour neared five o'clock, ashtrays brimmed and the tension rose to fever pitch.

The phone rang.

"Mr. Hendricks' office. Miss Cooke speaking."

"Cookie, this is Stebner. Boss there?"

She handed the phone to Michael. "Nordstrom."

"Stebner. Do we go?"

"No word back from Washington yet. If I don't hear in ten minutes, we cancel. What's your picture?"

"He just entered Den Permanente with his wife and daughter. We've spotted four guards working in two pairs."

"Did the guards go inside the building?"

"They sure did."

"Beautiful. I'm sending a half-dozen of the fellows down now. Stake them out around the entrance. If we get a cable to go, watch for Bartlett driving a blue, 1960 four-door Ford sedan with German plates. You make the hookup with Kuznetov and get in with him."

"Got it."

Nordstrom set the phone down and sent the men off to cover the Den Permanente entrance. He and Miss Cooke waited alone in the office. They both lit cigarettes. He paced. She tapped her long-nailed fingers on the desk. All around Copenhagen, bells rang out the hour of five.

"I guess we're out of business," Nordstrom mumbled.

Sid Hendricks tore in from the code room and set the cable before his boss.


Den Permanente houses the works of Danish artisans from crystal and silver to modern teak furniture and wild patterns in fabrics. Like Denmark itself, the place was not large, but its wares were magnificent.

Near the building, Stebner and a half-dozen ININ agents waited for Bartlett and the blue Ford. Stebner took a position so that he could clearly see Boris Kuznetov with his wife and daughter. They came down from the second floor. Mrs. Kuznetov read the time from a lavaliere watch. Stebner wondered why her husband loved her so. She was a drab and dumpy woman. The daughter, he estimated, was about twenty. A fine figure, but it ended right there. Severe hairdo, no make-up, flat shoes.


Excerpted from Topaz by Leon Uris. Copyright © 1967 Leon Uris. Excerpted by permission of OPEN ROAD INTEGRATED MEDIA.
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.

Table of Contents


Part I ININ,
Prologue Summer, 1962,
Part II The Rico Parra Papers,
Part III Topaz,
Part IV Le Grand Pierre,
Part V Columbine,
A Biography Of Leon Uris,

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“A master at weaving historical fact and fiction.” —USA Today “Good Uris beats the best of John Grisham or Tom Clancy any time.” —Fort Worth Star-Telegram

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Topaz 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was assigned this book for a class, but it so happens it's turning into one of my favorites. It's incredibly thrilling, just like a spy movie right in your hands, and I cannot seem to put it down!
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Started good but then got tedious and boring. I skipped a lot.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tis is a darn good book. I loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
*enters staring at her. His di<_>ck hard*
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
At puppies res 4
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
She pads in