An Affair of Spies
by Ronald H. Balson
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Pub Date 13 Sep 2022 | Archive Date 27 Sep 2022
From the winner of the National Jewish Book Award—Ronald H. Balson's An Affair of Spies tells of a spy mission to rescue a defector from Germany and prevent the Nazis from creating an atomic bomb.
Nathan Silverman grew up in Berlin in the 1920s, the son of a homemaker and a theoretical physicist. His idyllic childhood was soon marred by increasing levels of bigotry against his family and the rest of the Jewish community, and after his uncle is arrested on Kristallnacht, he leaves Germany for New York City with only his mother’s wedding ring to sell for survival.
While attending an evening course at Columbia in 1942, Nathan notices a recruitment poster on a university wall and decides to enlist in the military and help fight the Nazi regime. To his surprise, he is quickly selected for a special assignment; he is trained as a spy, and ordered to report to the Manhattan Project. There he learns that the Allies are racing to develop a nuclear weapon before the Nazis, and a German theoretical physicist is hoping to defect. The physicist was a friend of his father's, and Nathan's mission is to return to Berlin via France and smuggle him out of Europe.
Nathan will be accompanied by Dr. Allison Fisher, a brilliant young scientist who can speak French; he travels to her lab at the University of Chicago for a crash course in nuclear physics, then they embark on their adventure. Nathan and Allison soon develop feelings for one another, but as their relationship deepens they move ever closer to their dangerous goal. Will they be able to escape Europe with the defector and start a new life together, or will they fail their mission and become two more casualties of war?
An Affair of Spies is an action-packed tale of heroism and love in the face of unspeakable evil. Author Ronald H. Balson has applied his unmatched talent for evocative and painstakingly authentic storytelling to the high-stakes world of espionage and created his most thrilling novel yet.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 119 members
I was delighted to have the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book thanks to the publisher and Netgalley. I loved the book and could hardly put it down. It was a departure from Balson's usual legal thrillers (which I also like), but this one was an intense and unique spy thriller. The premise of a Jewish refugee from Germany, now in the US Army, and an American female physicist entering Germany during the war to extract a German physicist and learn about Germany's progress with nuclear bombs was very exciting. The author did a great job explaining the fundamentals of nuclear power in an understandable way. I could imagine this book transforming into a great movie. I highly recommend this book and look forward to Balson's next one.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the early read. This was a fantastic read. As a chemistry teacher, I loved all the references to the real scientists and the Manhattan Project. It was a suspenseful, unputdownable read!
I am only about one-third through this new work by Balson. And I love it as I have all of his works. I was only introduced to his books a few short years ago. I not only enjoy how he spins the tale, but that I learn some history I did not know along the way. This should get a broad read. It is great and relevant in light of the times in which are living.
I so thoroughly enjoyed this book. Nathan and Allison were such great characters. At times I wanted to smack Nathan, but he was such a good person! I really enjoyed Fred Glunk as well. What a great person to have on your side.
This book started out quickly and never let me go. I had such a hard time putting this book down.
I love this story!
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