The Bookworm by Mitch Silver

The Bookworm Book Cover The Bookworm
Mitch Silver
Mystery, Thriller, Suspense, Historical
Pegasus Books
February 6, 2018
KIndle, Hardcover, Audio CD
352

Why did Hitler chose not to invade England when he had the chance?

Europe, 1940: It’s late summer and Belgium has been overrun by the German army. Posing as a friar, a British operative talks his way into the monastery at Villers-devant-Orval just before Nazi art thieves plan to sweep through the area and whisk everything of value back to Berlin. But the ersatz man of the cloth is no thief. Instead, that night he adds an old leather Bible to the monastery’s library and then escapes.

London, 2017: A construction worker operating a backhoe makes a grisly discovery―a skeletal arm-bone with a rusty handcuff attached to the wrist. Was this the site, as a BBC newsreader speculates, of “a long-forgotten prison, uncharted on any map?” One viewer knows better: it’s all that remains of a courier who died in a V-2 rocket attack. The woman who will put these two disparate events together―and understand the looming tragedy she must hurry to prevent―is Russian historian and former Soviet chess champion Larissa Mendelovg Klimt, “Lara the Bookworm,” to her friends. She’s also experiencing some woeful marital troubles.

In the course of this riveting thriller, Lara will learn the significance of six musty Dictaphone cylinders recorded after D-Day by Noel Coward―actor, playwright and, secretly, a British agent reporting directly to Winston Churchill. She will understand precisely why that leather Bible, scooped up by the Nazis and deposited on the desk of Adolf Hitler days before he planned to attack Britain, played such a pivotal role in turning his guns to the East. And she will discover the new secret pact negotiated by the nefarious Russian president and his newly elected American counterpart―maverick and dealmaker―and the evil it portends.

Oh, and she’ll reconcile with her husband.

Intrigue and espionage woven through present day conspiracies …

Mitch Silver does a fantastic job of blurring fiction and reality in his global espionage thriller, The Bookworm.  Centered around Larissa Klimt, a Russian archival academic better know to her friends as Книжный червь, the bookworm. Little does Lara know that her tightly regimented and ordered life will be thrown into chaos by events that were initiated because of Hitler himself.  When world events put her twin brother and herself in danger, Lara uses her keen intelligence to navigate a tangled web that spans years and implicates some of the world’s most powerful leaders.  I really liked how Mitch seamlessly uses actual events and people in his recreation of a series of events that led to the fall of the Nazis as well as the speculative relationship between the current US and Russian governments. Image result for usa and russia

This паутина , spider web, is very complex. Initially, there are so many actors and scenes that it can be confusing and difficult to follow along and remember all the characters.  Even well into the story it was hard to keep some of the ancillary people and their connections straight.  In addition to the main story is the relationship between Lara and her estranged husband.  While there is some valid interactions between the two, for the most part it just seems like an awkward addition, one that distracts from the substance of the story, which really is quite good.

Overall, The Bookworm is an intriguing tale that constantly has the reader wondering where the line between fiction and fact lies.  It will keep you engaged from cover to cover. If you are the type to enjoy a great “spy novel” you will find it especially hard to put down.

 

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