Joseph Kanon The Prodigal Spy

ISBN 13: 9780440225348

The Prodigal Spy

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9780440225348: The Prodigal Spy

In a time of accusations, treachery and lies, some secrets were heartbreaking....

Others were deadly.

Once, Nick Kotlar tried to save his father. From the angry questions. From the accusations. From a piece of evidence that only Nick knew about and that he destroyed—for his father. But in the Red Scare of 1950 Walter Kotlar could not be saved. Branded a spy, he fled the country, leaving behind a wife, a young son—and a key witness lying dead below her D.C. hotel room.

Now, twenty years later, Nick will get a second chance. Because a beautiful journalist has brought a message from his long-lost father, and Nick will follow her into Soviet-occupied Prague for a painful reunion. Confronting a father he barely remembers and a secret that could change everything, Nick knows he must return to the place where it all began: to unravel a lie, to penetrate a deadly conspiracy, and to expose the one person who knew the truth—and watched a family be destroyed.

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Review:

Joseph Kanon's debut thriller, Los Alamos, captivated readers and critics alike and was awarded the 1998 Edgar Award for Best First Novel. The Prodigal Spy, set in the aftermath of the Manhattan Project, offers a glimpse at cold war espionage and a very personal story about the effects of McCarthyism and the paranoia that it spawned. Once again, Kanon effortlessly weaves together history and fiction in prose that is thick with period details. The real achievement of the book, though, is the author's strong sense of his narrative center, Nick Kotlar.

The novel begins in 1950 in the Kotlar home in Washington, D.C., as young Nick tries to make sense of the masses of reporters who have gathered outside his house. Though his parents struggle to shield him from the truth, he inadvertently sees a newsreel that reveals his father's predicament: State Department undersecretary Walter Kotlar is under the intense scrutiny of Congressman Kenneth Welles of the House Un-American Activities Committee. Kanon perfectly captures the sensibilities of a child with a parent in peril; disbelieving Nick becomes a fledgling spy, trying to erase any clues in his home that might support Welles and his committee. But one night, after an explosive conversation with Nick's mother, his father disappears. That same night, the woman who had accused Walter Kotlar of spying commits suicide--or was she murdered? In 1953, Mr. Kotlar gives a press conference from Moscow announcing his defection. The book then moves to London in 1969, where Nick meets a young woman who tells him that not only is his father still alive but he has been keeping tabs on his son for the 19 years since he fled to the Soviet Union. This revelation draws Nick into a meeting with the seriously ill elder Kotlar and propels Nick into some intelligence gathering of his own--to uncover the man who caused Walter Kotlar's defection and who killed his father's accuser. With The Prodigal Spy, Kannon has once again breathed new life into spy fiction. --Patrick O'Kelley

Review:

Boyd Gaines ( The Heidi Chronicles, She Loves Me) reads The Prodigal Spy in a smooth, even baritone, spouting off sentences with the ease and charm of television game-show host. What's more, his renditions of a McCarthyesque congressman, a sassy young journalist, and a Czech American defector--to name a few--are a treat to hear; not to mention his female impersonations, which would make Terence Stamp from Priscilla, Queen of the Desert envious. A master storyteller and consummate ham, Gaines's award-winning acting shines through, making this edition highly entertaining. (Running time: 6 hours, 5 CDs) --Rebecca Warren

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Book Description Island, United States, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 173 x 107 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. In a time of accusations, treachery and lies, some secrets were heartbreaking. Others were deadly. Once, Nick Kotlar tried to save his father. From the angry questions. From the accusations. From a piece of evidence that only Nick knew about and that he destroyed--for his father. But in the Red Scare of 1950 Walter Kotlar could not be saved. Branded a spy, he fled the country, leaving behind a wife, a young son--and a key witness lying dead below her D.C. hotel room. Now, twenty years later, Nick will get a second chance. Because a beautiful journalist has brought a message from his long-lost father, and Nick will follow her into Soviet-occupied Prague for a painful reunion. Confronting a father he barely remembers and a secret that could change everything, Nick knows he must return to the place where it all began: to unravel a lie, to penetrate a deadly conspiracy, and to expose the one person who knew the truth--and watched a family be destroyed. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780440225348

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Book Description Island, United States, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reprint. 173 x 107 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. In a time of accusations, treachery and lies, some secrets were heartbreaking. Others were deadly. Once, Nick Kotlar tried to save his father. From the angry questions. From the accusations. From a piece of evidence that only Nick knew about and that he destroyed--for his father. But in the Red Scare of 1950 Walter Kotlar could not be saved. Branded a spy, he fled the country, leaving behind a wife, a young son--and a key witness lying dead below her D.C. hotel room. Now, twenty years later, Nick will get a second chance. Because a beautiful journalist has brought a message from his long-lost father, and Nick will follow her into Soviet-occupied Prague for a painful reunion. Confronting a father he barely remembers and a secret that could change everything, Nick knows he must return to the place where it all began: to unravel a lie, to penetrate a deadly conspiracy, and to expose the one person who knew the truth--and watched a family be destroyed. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780440225348

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