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At the height of World War II, the famous writer Ernest Hemingway sought permission from the U.S. government to operate a spy ring out of his house in the Cuban countryside. This much is true....
It is the summer of ’42 and FBI agent Joe Lucas has come to Cuba at the behest of J. Edgar Hoover to keep an eye on Hemingway. The great writer has assembled a ragtag spy ring that he calls the “Crook Factory” to play a dangerous game of amateur espionage. But then Lucas and Hemingway, against all the odds, uncover a critical piece of intelligence―and the game turns deadly.
In The Crook Factory, award-winning author Dan Simmons expands a little-known fact into a tour de force of gripping historical suspense set in the sensual Cuban landscape of the early 1940s.
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DAN SIMMONS is a recipient of numerous major international awards, including the Hugo Award, World Fantasy Award, Bram Stoker Award, and the Shirley Jackson Award. He is widely considered to be one of the premier multiple-genre fiction writers in the world. His most recent novels include the New York Times bestsellers The Terror and Drood, as well as Black Hills. He lives along the Front Range in Colorado and has never grown tired of the views.From Publishers Weekly:
In previous novels, Simmons has cast John Keats as an intergalactic emissary (Hyperion) and Mark Twain as an occult adventurer (Fires in Eden). His new excursion in fictional literary biography?and first nonfantasy since Phases of Gravity (1989)?is a gutsy speculation on Ernest Hemingway's exploits in wartime espionage, much of it apparently based on fact. In 1942, Hemingway petitioned the American embassy for help in establishing a counterintelligence outfit he called "The Crook Factory," designed to investigate Nazi activity in his adopted home of Cuba. Joe Lucas, a dedicated if unimaginative young FBI agent, thinks he has been assigned to humor the well-connected writer but soon discovers that Hemingway and his crew of colorful sycophants have stumbled on a Nazi spy nest abuzz with activity. Someone is channeling information through the island's intelligence underground, all of it implicating a host of historical celebrities. The more deeply Hemingway's team probes, the more Lucas is persuaded that the Crook Factory has been deliberately set up as an expendable military subterfuge. As vividly depicted by Simmons, pre-Communist Cuba is an exotic locale whose volatile wartime intrigues are comparable to those of the cinematic Casablanca. It's the perfect milieu for Hemingway, whose larger-than-life evocation must be accounted one of Simmons's sterling literary achievements. The macho figure he cuts here is the stuff of countless Life magazine photos, and his development as Joe's friend and mentor is handled with intelligence and dignity. No one will mistake the novel's immersions in the numbing, repetitive detail of secret service operations for Papa's own concise prose. But the web of conspiracy Simmons spins, the zesty characters it entangles and its intricate cross-weave of fact and fiction distinguish this celebration of the Hemingway centenary.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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