A heart-pounding and intelligent espionage novel about a Nazi war criminal who was supposed to be dead, the rogue CIA agent on his trail, and the beautiful woman connected to them both.
Seventeen years after the fall of the Third Reich, Max Weill has never forgotten the atrocities he saw as a prisoner at Auschwitz-nor the face of Dr Otto Schramm, a camp doctor who worked with Mengele on appalling experiments and who sent Max's family to the gas chambers. As the war came to a close, Schramm was one of the many high-ranking former-Nazi officers who managed to escape Germany for new lives in South America. There, leaders like Argentina's Juan Peron gave them safe harbour and new identities.
With his life nearing its end, Max asks his nephew Aaron Wiley-an American CIA desk analyst-to complete the task Max never could: to track down Otto in Argentina, capture him and bring him back to Germany to stand trial.
Unable to deny Max, Aaron travels to Buenos Aires and discovers a city where Nazis thrive in plain sight, mingling with Argentine high society. He ingratiates himself with Otto's alluring but wounded daughter, whom he is convinced is hiding her father. Enlisting the help of a German newspaper reporter, an Israeli agent and the obliging CIA station chief in Buenos Aires, Aaron hunts for Otto-a complicated monster, unexpectedly human but still capable of murder if cornered.
Unable to distinguish allies from enemies, Aaron will ultimately have to discover not only Otto, but the boundaries of his own personal morality, how far he is prepared to go to render justice.
`Joseph Kanon owns this corner of the literary landscape and it's a joy to see him reassert his title with such emphatic authority' Lee Child
'Sensational! No one writes period fiction with the same style and suspense - not to mention substance - as Joseph Kanon' Scott Turow
`Kanon is fast approaching the complexity and relevance not just of le Carre and Greene but even of Orwell' New York Times
`Clever, devious and morally complex' Sunday Times
`The perfect combination of intrigue and accurate history brought to life' Alan Furst
`Joseph Kanon continues to demonstrate that he is up there with the very best...of spy thriller writers...Kanon writes beautifully, superbly...he is the master of the shadows of the era' The Times
`The critical stock of Joseph Kanon is high, and Defectors will add further lustre to his reputation...There are pleasing echoes here of the "entertainments" of Graham Greene' Guardian