A gripping alternative history thriller set in the Second World War, from the internationally acclaimed and bestselling author of the Bernie Gunther novels.
Autumn 1943. Hitler knows he cannot win the war: now he must find a way to make peace. FDR and Stalin are willing to negotiate; only Churchill refuses to listen. The upcoming Allied Tehran conference will be where the next steps - whatever they are - will be decided.
Into this nest of double- and triple-dealing steps Willard Mayer, OSS agent and FDR's envoy to the conference. His job is to secure the peace that the USA and Hitler now crave. The stakes couldn't be higher.
With his sure hand for pacing, his firm grasp of historical detail, and his explosively creative imagination about what might have been, Philip Kerr has fashioned a totally convincing thinking man's thriller in the great tradition of Eric Ambler and Graham Greene.
Fans of Kerr's Berlin Noir trilogy will prize this briskly paced WWII-era spy thriller, which boasts plot twists that will keep readers' heads spinning even after they've put it down. For Willard Mayer, a 35-year-old Harvard-educated empirical philosopher, the roots of pro-Communist realpolitiking run deep. A former Princeton professor who was also a member of the Abwehr, Germany's military intelligence service, and an informer for Russia's notorious Internal Affairs Commissariat, the NKVD, Mayer during the war works as an intelligence analyst for the Office of Strategic Services in Washington which remains unaware of his past. En route to Tehran, at Roosevelt's insistence, for the Big Three conference in November 1943 aboard the USS Iowa, Mayer believes he's uncovered a plot to assassinate Joseph Stalin. Meanwhile, Hitler and Himmler, eager to avoid engaging the U.S. in a second European front, are trying to figure out how to get around Roosevelt's demand for an unconditional surrender. The ethically compromised Mayer finds himself in the thick of the negotiations even as larger plots are afoot, including one by an SS general to bomb Roosevelt, Stalin and Churchill in Tehran. Kerr is as interested in backdoor diplomatic efforts as he is in espionage and assassination, and this highly entertaining spy fiction also explores the moral quandaries of war and realpolitik.