By Joseph Kanon
(Henry Holt and Co., Hardcover, 9780805078862, 416pp.)
Publication Date: March 24, 2005
List Price: $26.00*
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It is 1946, and a stunned Europe is beginning its slow recovery from the ravages of World War II. Adam Miller has come to Venice to visit his widowed mother and try to forget the horrors he has witnessed as a U.S. Army war crimes investigator in Germany. Nothing has changed in Venice-not the beautiful palazzi, not the violins at Florian's, not the shifting water that makes the city, untouched by bombs, still seem a dream.
But when Adam falls in love with Claudia, a Jewish woman scarred by her devastating experiences during the war, he is forced to confront another Venice, a city still at war with itself, haunted by atrocities it would rather forget. Everyone, he discovers, has been compromised by the Occupation-the international set drinking at Harry's, the police who kept order for the Germans, and most of all Gianni Maglione, the suave and enigmatic Venetian who happens to be his mother's new suitor. And when, finally, the troubled past erupts in violent murder, Adam finds himself at the center of a web of deception, intrigue, and unexpected moral dilemmas. When is murder acceptable? What are the limits of guilt? How much is someone willing to pay for a perfect alibi?
Using the piazzas and canals of Venice as an enthralling but sinister backdrop, Joseph Kanon has again written a gripping historical thriller. "Alibi" is at once a murder mystery, a love story, and a superbly crafted novel about the nature of moral responsibility.
Joseph Kanon is the author of three novels, The Good German, Los Alamos, and The Prodigal Spy. Before becoming a full-time writer, he was a book publishing executive. He lives in New York City.