Istanbul Passage (Hardcover)

By Joseph Kanon

Thorndike Press, 9781410448132, 626pp.

Publication Date: June 1, 2012

June 2012 Indie Next List

“Istanbul in 1945 -- a caldron of intrigue with layer upon layer of cultures, religions, security organizations, spies, police, foreign agents, and refugees -- is the backdrop for this tale of moral ambiguity featuring Leon Bauer, an American tobacco company representative. He has spent the war years in Istanbul doing 'favors' for someone from the American Consulate from time to time. Now he is asked for one last favor -- to arrange passage of a notorious Romanian Nazi collaborator on the run from the Russians. Istanbul Passage is atmospheric, believable, fast-paced, and elegantly written for a thoroughly absorbing read.”
— Darwin Ellis, Books On The Common, Ridgefield, CT
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Description

A neutral capital straddling Europe and Asia, Istanbul survived the Second World War as a magnet for refugees and spies, trafficking in secrets and lies rather than soldiers. Expatriate American businessman Leon Bauer was drawn into this shadow world, doing undercover odd jobs and courier runs in support of the Allied war effort.

Now, as the espionage community begins to pack up and an apprehensive city prepares for the grim realities of postwar life, Leon is given one last routine assignment. But when the job goes fatally wrong--an exchange of gunfire, a body left in the street, a potential war criminal on his hands--Leon is plunged into a tangle of intrigue, shifting loyalties, and moral uncertainty.

Played out against the bazaars and mosques and faded mansions of this knowing, ancient Ottoman city, Leon's conflicted attempt to save one life leads to a desperate manhunt that ultimately threatens his own survival. How do you do the right thing when there are only bad choices to be made?

Rich with atmosphere and period detail, "Istanbul Passage "is the haunting story of a man swept up in the dawn of the Cold War, of an unexpected love affair, and of a city as deceptive as the calm surface waters of the Bosphorus that divides it.

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