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The Unlikely Spy


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A tale of spies and betrayal in the Second World War.

About the Author

Daniel Silva is ex-CNN TV executive, whose first book The Unlikely Spy was sold in 14 countries. He is married with twins.


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.)

THE UNLIKELY SPY is a wartime thriller in the mould of Robert Harris's ENIGMA ... and every bit as good: a tense, well-crafted piece of storytelling centred on one of the war's greatest, often-overlooked secrets - Project Mulberry ...Silva brings to life a tale of suspense that spirals its way to an evocative climax * THE TIMES *
Evocative ... memorable ... A classic World War II espionage tale * WASHINGTON POST *
Briskly suspenseful, tightly constructed and full of well-rounded, believable characters ... reminiscent of John Le Carre's classic THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD * NEW YORK TIMES *
Breathtaking ... Compelling ... A roller-coast World War II adventure that conjures up memories of the best of Ken Follett and Frederick Forsyth * ORLANDO SENTINEL *
A classic World War II thriller -- Robert Harris
Layers of depth and intrigue ... Silva succeeds with panache * USA TODAY *
Silva has clearly done is homework, mixing fact and fiction to delicious effect and building tension-with breathtaking double and triple turns of plot-like a seasoned pro * PEOPLE *

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