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The Unlikely Spy


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About the Author

Daniel Silva is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Unlikely Spy, The Mark of the Assassin, The Marching Season, and the Gabriel Allon series, including The Kill Artist, The English Assassin, The Confessor, A Death in Vienna, Prince of Fire, The Messenger, The Secret Servant, Moscow Rules, The Defector, The Rembrandt Affair, Portrait of a Spy, The Fallen Angel, The English Girl, The Heist, The English Spy, The Black Widow, and House of Spies. His books are published in more than thirty countries and are bestsellers around the world.


This first novel comes from an unlikely source: a newspaper and TV journalist widely known as executive producer of CNN's Washington programs. Unlikely because this novel is the assured, magisterial work of a seasoned spy and suspense writer. There are no cheap gimmicks here, no deus ex machina, just a totally engrossing account of spying at its worst in a time of war at its worst. Based on prodigious research and filled with tellingly accurate detail, Silva's saga pits a beautiful German Mata Hari against a collegial Mr. Chips. Both are unknowingly caught in an intrigue to hoodwink the German forces. This novel will be heavily advertised in all media, so expectations will be high. Don't buy just one copy.‘Barbara Conaty, Library of Congress

Will Nazi spies escape from Britain with Allied plans for the imminent invasion of Normandy? As history tells us, obviously not‘so the challenge for veteran journalist and CNN producer Silva in his first novel is to brew up enough intrigue and tension to make readers forget the obvious. While Silva employs multiple characters and settings, his key players are an English counterintelligence officer and a beautiful Nazi spy. Alfred Vicary is an academic recruited to work for MI5. The intelligence reports he fabricates and sends to Germany are designed to persuade the Nazis that their utterly compromised spy network, the Abwehr, is still fully operational. MI5 learns, however, that the Abwehr has been keeping a few sleeper operatives under deep cover throughout the war. Now they pose a serious threat to the invasion plans. One of these operatives is Catherine Blake, a ruthless assassin and spy. Her assignment is to become romantically involved with Peter Jordan, an American engineer working on a top-secret D-Day project. Will Vicary be able to stop her? Silva's characters are strong; but, despite occasional bursts of high suspense and a body count to remember, his overall pacing is uneven, and most readers won't forget that D-Day succeeded. The final plot twist, moreover, while unpredictable, seems more logical than shocking. Silva's debut will find an audience among devoted readers of WWII thrillers, and deservedly so, but he's not yet on a par with such masters of the genre as Ken Follett, Robert Harris and Jack Higgins. 150,000 first printing; $150,000 ad/promo; BOMC alternate selection; Reader's Digest Condensed Book selection; simultaneous BDD audio; foreign rights to 16 countries; author tour. (Jan.)

"Evocative...memorable...a classic World War II espionage tale."--The Washington Post

"Briskly suspenseful."--The New York Times "A satisfying and fast-paced World War II espionage thriller."--San Francisco Examiner "Bodies pile up, and Silva keeps the suspense keen as he advantage shifts back and forth between the good guys and the Nazis."--Los Angeles Times "[Silva] has clearly done his homework, mixing fact and fiction to delicious effect and building tension--with breathtaking double and triple turns of plot--like a seasoned pro."--People "Layers of depth and intrigue...Silva succeeds with panache."--USA Today "[A] tautly drawn thriller...Plenty of nail-biting scenes."--The New York Post

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