This compelling thriller is both a touching love story and a masterful portrayal of the struggle for geopolitical control of postwar Germany. Network correspondent Jake Geismar, who covered Berlin before the war, has returned to the devastated city, ostensibly to cover the Potsdam Conference but actually to find the woman he loves. Miraculously, Lena Brandt, Jake's wartime mistress, has survived. However, her mathematician husband is missing, and both the American and Russian intelligence services are hunting him. When the bullet-ridden body of an American soldier washes up on the shores of Potsdam in front of Jake's eyes just as Truman, Churchill, and Stalin convene the first postwar conference, Jake is plunged into a maelstrom of intrigue, corruption, and betrayal.
A brilliantly evoked portrait of a unique moment in history (the end of one war and the beginning of another), The Good German amply fulfills the promise shown by Joseph Kanon in his two earlier novels, Los Alamos and The Prodigal Spy. --Jane Adams
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“Joesph Kanon…has woven his plot seamlessly into the historical background. As the hunt for the missing scientist gathers speed, the moral and emotional dimensions of the story become more complex. The mystery takes on the weight of the deepest questions of right and wrong as the novel’s action moves through a ravaged Berlin so exactly depicted that one feels Kanon must have traveled in time to witness this landscape himself…In its articulation of a personal experience of the war and its aftermath, and in the plain power of its prose, The Good German rivals Irwin Shaw’s novel The Young Lions, its history imaginatively accessible, its plot historically inevitable. A novel that brings to life the ambiguities at the heart of our country’s moral legacy. Provocative, fully realized fiction that explores, as only fiction can, the reality of history as it is lived by individual men and women.” –The New York Times
“Kanon is the heir apparent to Graham Greene and early-and mid-passage le Carre, for he writes of moral quandaries that are real and not created to drive a plot.”—Robin W. Winks, The Boston Globe