Synopses & Reviews
With Christopher's Ghosts
, a novel whose cinematic scope and penetrating depth transcend the bounds of even the greats works in its genre, Charles McCarry has surpassed his own matchless reputation as an espionage novelist. The grand tale begins in Europe in the late thirties, where a young Christopher and his family are struggling against the rise of Nazi totalitarianism in Berlin, even as he wrestles with a doomed love affair and bears witness to an unspeakable atrocity committed by a remorseless S.S. officer. The action spans oceans and time to the height of the Cold War in Europe, when the S.S. man emerges out of the ruins of postwar Germany to destroy the last living witness to his crime. It's a case of tiger chasing tiger as Christopher is pursued by the only man alive who can match his tradecraft or his instincts. As he edges toward the final confrontation with this mortal enemy, Christopher is forced to operate in the one theater he had thought he had mastered his own past.
With ferocious suspense, masterful pacing, and a penetrating insight into the blood-soaked spectacle of twentieth century Europe, Charles McCarry delivers a haunting parable of a man confronted with the ghosts of an entire generation's brutal history.
"Veteran McCarry (The Tears of Autumn) remains a compelling storyteller, as shown in his latest spy thriller, which chronicles the early career of his series hero, Paul Christopher. In 1939 Berlin, 16-year-old Paul struggles, with his American novelist father and German aristocrat mother, against the Nazi rulers of Germany. The Christophers are refined intellectuals and known to be sympathetic to the persecuted Jews. A sadistic SS officer, Major Stutzer, takes pleasure in harassing Paul, who has fallen into an impassioned but forbidden love affair with a Jewish doctor's daughter. As war breaks out, Paul barely escapes, while his lover meets a horrible fate at Stutzer's hands. Flash forward to 1959: Paul, now one of the CIA's top operatives, undertakes a clandestine operation in East Berlin, where the Soviets have recruited a certain ex-Nazi officer to train their Arab allies. Can Paul finally face his old nemesis and put the ghosts of the past to rest? The book speeds toward a satisfying, inevitable conclusion." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"McCarry takes the story of his recurring master spy Paul Christopher back to its wildly romantic beginning....Former spook McCarry remains at the top of his game." Kirkus Reviews
"[A] high-caliber literary thriller with tension so thick and characters so twisted that you might consider reading it with a gun under your pillow....Many critics believe that Charles McCarry is the finest espionage writer working today. Count me in." San Antonio Express-News
"The book has much to recommend it: the prose is elegantly literate, the plot unfolds clearly, the characters are drawn in satisfying detail, the transitions are graceful, the sense of place and time is strong, and the 'tradecraft' is as authentic as circumstances permit..." Library Journal
"Unlike some of his counterparts who tend to write two-dimensional women, McCarry has created a full-blooded, devastating portrait of a doomed woman who has nowhere to turn. McCarry is also good at conveying the lazy, privileged insouciance of a certain breed of American." Los Angeles Times
With ferocious suspense, masterful pacing, and a penetrating insight into the blood-soaked spectacle of 20th century Europe, McCarry delivers a haunting parable of a man confronted with the ghosts of an entire generation's brutal history.
About the Author
Charles McCarry established an international reputation as a novelist in 1975. He is the former Editor at Large of National Geographic. During the 1950s and 1960s, McCarry served for a decade under deep cover as a CIA operations officer in Europe, Africa, and Asia.