Near the end of World War II, high on a mesa overlooking the shimmering New Mexico desert, an international team of scientists has gathered together to build the world's most dangerous weapon. Night and day, month after month, the labs and living quarters of this makeshift community buzz with activity as the top-secret operation draws closer to its goal: the building of the deadliest bomb in human history. A few more weeks, and the bomb will be completed; a week or two past that, and the war will be instantly and irrevocably ended.This, of course, is t fiction. Led by Robert Oppenheimer, a team of brilliant scientists in Los Alamos, New Mexico did indeed work together on the Manhattan Project, the secret operation to build the world's first atomic bomb. Against this backdrop--and using Oppenheimer as one of the major characters--Joe Kan has constructed an ingenious and utterly absorbing thriller.It begins with a murder. In April, 1945, the Project is moving smoothly forward until one evening, a body is discovered in nearby Santa Fe. Local police treat the case with routine suspicion, but when the victim is identified as a scientist from the Hill, the army launches a covert internal investigation to find the killer. Has the secrecy of the Project been compromised? Is it possible that the slain man, an enigmatic scientist named Bruner, was revealing classified information to the enemy, or were the bizarre circumstances of his death merely evidence of a lovers' quarrel gone horribly wrong?Michael Conlly, the intelligence officer brought in to crack the case--and then use his PR skills to make it disappear--soon discovers that thing about Bruner's murder is routine. Butin Los Alamos, a place dedicated to keeping secrets, uncovering the truth proves harder than expected. It is only when he falls in love and begins an affair with Emma Pawlowski, the spirited wife of one of the scientists, that Conlly truly begins to weave together the hidden lives and dangerous associations of those at the dark heart of the Project.In this deft and gripping thriller, Joseph Kan has created an utterly convincing tale of espionage and love, set against the mist important undercover military operation of our time. Elegantly written and crackling with suspense, Los Alamos marks the emergence of a major new talent. They tell me Joseph Kan is a publishing executive, but I don't believeit. I think he is a veteran of the 1945 atom bomb program. No one could writea first vel so convincing as Los Alamos without having been there. Noone could conjure the wartime background with such subtle restraint. If I'mwrong, Joseph Kan is an outstanding new writer, and Los Alamos is atriumph of historical re-creation and my sort of story-telling. --Len Deighton Joseph Kan's Los Alamos is a thoroughly absorbing vel set in themidst of what we w kw as both the most exciting scientific saga of ourcentury and the invention with the greatest potential for tragedy that ourcivilization has yet produced. What begins as the pursuit of a murdererthrough the landscape of a wartime Southwest quickly descends into a deepermystery involving eminent scientists, Robert Oppenheimer among them, and thecold calculations of military intelligence. Kwing the aftermath of whathappened at Los Alamos, as we do, only deepens the experience of this finelycraftedbook. --Stuart Woods, author of Dead in the Water and Dirt There really were heroes, spies, and lovers at Los Alamos in the days whenthey built the first atomic bombs, and in this compelling vel Joe Kan hasimagined those soaring, harrowing days back to life. It's written with verveand intelligence, it's authentic from beginning to end, and I couldn't put itdown. --Richard Rhodes, author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb Intricately plotted, highly atmospheric, and stunningly authentic...This is athinking person's thriller that makes wonderful use of, but never cheapens, oneof history's more e
After a distinguished career in book publishing, Joseph Kanon turned to writing fiction. He is the author of Los Alamos, a New York Times bestseller that won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel in 1997. He lives in New York City.
Date of Publication
Paperback / softback
Crime, Thriller & Adventure
Country of Publication
Mass market (rack) paperback,Unsewn / adhesive bound