Monday, February 11, 2013

The Crook Factory-Dan Simmons

The Crook Factory

Dan Simmons

Mulholland Books/Little Brown, Feb 5 2013, $15.99

ISBN: 9780316213455

In the summer of '42, WW II is hot with spies seemingly everywhere at least according to Hoover. Of particular concern to the FBI chief is Ernest "Papa" Hemingway. To insure that the writer stays in line, Hoover sends Agent Joe Lucas to spy on the great author.

With the aid and approval of the American ambassador to Cuba, Hemingway leads an anti-submarine squad of misfits (at least in terms of soldiers) and old buddies from the Spanish Civil War. Lucas figures that all he has to do is relax amidst a bunch of drunken fishermen. However, to his amazement and chagrin, the amateur espionage group soon becomes embroiled in the real thing. Lucas wonders if a conspiracy leading back to his own government and perhaps his agency is behind the abruptly dangerous and deadly activities of The Crook Factory.

This reprint reminds readers that Dan Simmons has been a leading light of fictional biographical thrillers for years. The Crook Factory is a fabulous historical that takes real life happenings in the life of Hemingway and brings them to the reader in an engaging fictional account. Though no Islands In The Stream, this story makes the macho Hemingway seem alive as Mr. Simmons catches the literary legend's essence through a well-designed espionage thriller, packed with real people.

Harriet Klausner

No comments: