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    Available in PDF Format | Defectors.pdf | English
    Joseph Kanon(Author)


Some secrets should never be told.

Moscow, 1961: With the launch of Sputnik, the Soviet Union's international prestige is at an all-time high. And the most notorious of the defectors to the Soviet Union, former CIA agent Frank Weeks, is about to publish his memoirs. What he reveals will send shock waves through the West. Weeks' defection in the early 1950s shook Washington to its core – and forced the resignation of his brother, Simon, from the State Department.

Simon, now a publisher in New York, is given the opportunity to read and publish his brother’s memoir. He knows the US government will never approve the publication of what is clearly intended as KGB propaganda. Yet the offer is irresistible: it will finally give him the chance to learn why his brother chose to betray his country.

But what he discovers in Moscow is far more shocking than he ever imagined …

***Readers and reviewers love Defectors and Joseph Kanon***

'Joseph Kanon continues to demonstrate that he is up there with the very best of the current crop of spy thriller writers...he is the master of the shadows of the era... a frightening, convincing portrait of the state's capacity to control every aspect of the lives of its subjects and even its visitors. Kanon writes beautifully, superbly conveying human sadness and regret' The Times on Defectors

'The critical stock of Joseph Kanon will add further lustre to his reputation...  There are pleasing echoes here of the 'entertainments' of Graham Greene' Guardian on Defectors

'Defectors [is] as readable and suspenseful as the fine espionage novels of Eric Ambler, Graham Greene, Charles McCarry, Robert Littell, Alan Furst and John Le Carré — and its roller-coaster plot will keep you guessing until the final page' Washington Post

'An excellent tale about secrets, loyalty and betrayal’ Sun

'One of the most exciting books I've read in years' Alexander McCall Smith on Leaving Berlin

'Spectacular in every way' Lee Child on Stardust

'Tense and atmospheric, with sinister intrigue' Wall Street Journal on Istanbul Passage

‘Kanon is fast approaching the complexity and relevance not just of le Carré and Greene but even of Orwell’ (New York Times)‘Clever, devious and morally complex’ (Sunday Times)‘The perfect combination of intrigue and accurate history brought to life’  (Alan Furst)'Sensational! No one writes period fiction with the same style and suspense – not to mention substance – as Joseph Kanon' (Scott Turow)‘Joseph Kanon owns this corner of the literary landscape and it’s a joy to see him reassert his title with such emphatic authority’  (Lee Child)

2.2 (10966)
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Book details

  • PDF | 304 pages
  • Joseph Kanon(Author)
  • Simon & Schuster UK (1 Jun. 2017)
  • English
  • 6
  • Crime, Thrillers & Mystery
Read online or download a free book: Defectors

Review Text

  • By Chirpy on 3 September 2017

    A very disappointing book. Just couldn't get into it and to be honest I cannot agree with some of the reviews I have read which claimed it was an engrossing book. A shame.

  • By Justhavingfun on 11 July 2017

    Moscow 1961: Frank Weeks, former CIA agent and a notorious defector from the USA to the Soviet Union is about to publish his memoirs. His revelations will send shock waves through the West. Weeks' previous defection caused major ripples in Washington and meant his brother Simon had to resign from the State Department. Simon is now a publisher and is given the opportunity to read and publish his brother's memoir. He knows the US government will never approve the publication of what is clearly intended as KGB propaganda. Yet the offer is irresistible: it will finally give him the chance to learn why his brother chose to betray his country.This was not for me. I thoroughly enjoyed the last 50 pages where things happen, secrets are revealed and we learn who really defected but the rest of the novel? I just did not enjoy. If you enjoy a spy thriller then you will probably enjoy this but this lacked any kind of pace. Kanon did capture the atmosphere of Russia in 1961 spectacularly well. There was a sense of claustrophobia and fear in every page. The idea of defecting is used a lot and is the flesh of the majority of the plot, who out of everyone involved has really defected and who is just pretending and are there are any double defections? At times 'Defectors' is a little confusing, regarding what is going on so keep your wits about you and an open mind. I liked Kanon revolving this around two brothers, separated through their life choices. It makes the issue of defecting a lot more personal and means we get more of an idea of the consequences. This is a very atmospheric spy thriller that just was not for me.

  • By scarletsbookreviews on 27 June 2017

    It is usually a difficult task to find a well written spy thriller these days - don't get me wrong, there's a plethora of great mystery/thriller writers around creating masterpieces every which way you turn but a mystery/thriller with a large aspect of the plot surrounding politics & espionage, is sometimes an impossible task. Fear not! Joseph Kanon is here with exactly what you desire. Due to the majority of books that class themselves as 'spy thrillers' being pretty abysmal, I go into reading these novels with a degree of resignation, though now, thanks to Mr Kanon my faith has been somewhat restored. His previous bestselling novel Leaving Berlin falls into the same genre and was done excellently, I really needn't have worried about Defectors as he has already proven his worth as a technically brilliant master of the epic espionage adventure!Defectors is set in 1960's Moscow, when the Soviet Union is gaining international recognition & admiration from the launch of Sputnik. CIA agent Frank Weeks, a notorious defector to the Soviet Union, is to publish his memoirs - shocking his brother Simon. Simon, a publisher in The Big Apple is looking to try and publish his brother's memoirs but knows that the US government will never allow it, thinking of it as KGB propaganda. However, this doesn't deter Simon from trying to publish as he views it as finally giving him the chance to learn why Frank chose to betray his country and his family. What he discovers in Moscow is far more shocking than he ever imagined...In a genre where the books tend to be either awful or magnificent, with absolutely no middle ground, Kanon is a breathe of fresh air and someone you can trust to fill out a novel with superb detail, after all he is a bestselling author for a reason!Defectors is enthralling and captivating from the first page and through his vivid descriptions, I felt as though I was right there. The relationship between the two brothers and what they go through together is a common thread throughout the whole book. A truly thrilling tale of espionage and betrayal against a historical backdrop.If you are a fan of political spy thrillers please read both Defectors & Leaving Berlin, I cannot praise his writing enough. It is true intelligent literary fiction with lots of pleasant historical detail and family relationships - how they evolve along with the circumstances. I will certainly be awaiting his next book with anticipation. It's rare that an author can make this kind of impact on me having read just one of their novels.A KILLER IN THE ESPIONAGE GENRE - THIS WILL KNOCK YOUR SOCKS OFF! TRUST ME ON THIS ONE.I would like to thank Joseph Kanon, Simon & Schuster UK Fiction & NetGalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest & impartial review.

  • By Mr. Edward R. Addison on 30 August 2017

    The world of cold war defectors in Moscow is well drawn: their paranoia and fears; their belief in having done the right thing; their self-justification. I found it absorbing and exciting.

  • By Nick Keighley on 9 July 2017

    I found it difficult to read. The dialogue was hard to follow. I found much of it implausible.I didn't find Moscow 1961 very believable.But nevertheless I found it strangely compelling.

  • By E. A. Duns on 11 July 2017

    Another elegant, beautifully written book by Joseph Kanon, a writer who never disappoints. I've enjoyed everything he's published.'Defectors' succeeds in every way, except leaving the reader feeling sorry that it's over too soon...

  • By colinr on 16 June 2017

    I was vacillating between giving 'Defectors' four or five stars: on the one hand, Kanon is one of my favourite authors, whose works are always atmospheric, character-driven, and cleverly plotted; and this book certainly lives up to those expectations. My only misgiving was there is a section (and I obviously won't say where) that asks much of the reader's suspended disbelief. But then I thought: isn't that the point of all fiction, really? The high standard of writing and those little moments of admiration for Kanon's plot devices (where I smiled to myself as parts of the jigsaw came together), though, could only mean the full five stars. Enjoy.

  • By Mr M I Summerfield on 31 July 2017

    Another great page turner from Kanon. His standards never seem to slip. This one builds to a nail-biting finale as you will discover.

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