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by Joseph Kanon

  • ISBN: 0316640018
  • Category: No category
  • Author: Joseph Kanon
  • Other formats: doc mbr txt azw
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Little Brown Company (July 1, 1997)
  • Pages: 416 pages
  • FB2 size: 1385 kb
  • EPUB size: 1789 kb
  • Rating: 4.5
  • Votes: 858
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Kanon, a former publishing executive, has penned an extraordinarily tight first novel set in Los Alamos during the waning months of World War II. When a Manhattan Project security officer is found murdered, civilian intelligence liaison Michael Connolly is called in to investigate.

Joseph Kanon's "Los Alamos" is a thoroughly absorbing novel set in themidst of what we now know as both the most exciting scientific saga of ourcentury and the invention with the greatest potential for tragedy that ourcivilization has yet produced

Joseph Kanon's "Los Alamos" is a thoroughly absorbing novel set in themidst of what we now know as both the most exciting scientific saga of ourcentury and the invention with the greatest potential for tragedy that ourcivilization has yet produced. What begins as the pursuit of a murdererthrough the landscape of a wartime Southwest quickly descends into a deepermystery involving eminent scientists, Robert Oppenheimer among them, and thecold calculations of military intelligence

Author: Joseph Kanon. Publisher: Island Books, 1998. In a dusty, remote community of secretly constructed buildings and awesome possibility, the world’s most brilliant minds have come together.

Author: Joseph Kanon. It is the spring of 1945.

Connolly had spent the afternoon at a motel on the Taos road, a motor court with faded cabins that had become their usual place, and had stayed late. Daniel had been spending most of his time at the. test site, but he was back again this week, so they had to steal what time they could, a few hours of afternoon on old sheets, the sun dimmed to evening by dusty Venetian blinds. At first Mills had been titillated by Connolly’s absences, but now, finally bored with someone else’s affair, he scarcely raised an eyebrow

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This is the mainspring of Joseph Kanon’s Los Alamos, a supremely original and romantic new thriller that re-creates .

This is the mainspring of Joseph Kanon’s Los Alamos, a supremely original and romantic new thriller that re-creates the most compelling real-life drama of this century. Michael Connolly, the intelligence officer brought in to crack Bruner’s case-and then make it disappear-soon discovers that investigating a murder in Los Alamos is anything but routine. Interweaving fact and fiction, Los Alamos is at once a powerful novel of historical intrigue and a vivid portrait of those involved in the Manhattan Project: Robert Oppenheimer, its charismatic scientific director; General Groves, its blunt Army commander; and the brilliant team of scientists whose work would change the world forever.

After the carnage of World War Two, a murder in the desert of New Mexico seems barely significant. The result of a drunken brawl, perhaps. Or a crime of passion. Even a simple robbery gone too far, not important in the year that will see the end of the devastating global conflIct. But for the people 'on the Hill' at Los Alamos, the unsolved killing of Karl Bruner is a catastrophe. For Karl shouldered some of the responsibility for the security of their 'project', was privy to information about the 'gadget'. so if his murder had anything to do with his work, then it could mean that the best-kept secret in history had been leaked. For the project is the Manhattan Project, and the gadget is the Atom Bomb. Michael Connolly is sent to Los Alamos to investigate the death. A civilian and an ex-reporter, he is renowned for sniffing out a story and for being discreet. But in a community that doesn't officially exist, discretion and secrecy are second nature to everyone. Secrets abound and the scientists, their wives and the soldiers are being watched-as are the watchers themselves. For Connolly, it means stepping into a twilight world where reality- and morality- has become distorted, when breaking the frontiers of science is more important than finding the truth. He knew the investigation would be dangerous, but he didn't know that the cold War had already started, and that he will develop a secret, passionate life with another man's wife. An espionage novel of unique sensibilities, Los Alamos is also, like the invention at its core, about fusion. fusing together fact and fiction, loyalty and betrayal, idealism and guilt, love and hate, it heralds the arrival of a remarkable new voice in fiction.
Reviews about Los Alamos (7):
Cherry The Countess
I read this book many years ago, but wanted to have it in my "library" so re-purchased it because I gave the original one away. This is an excellent historical novel about Los Alamos and Santa Fe, the Trinity Site, and the people who were a part of The Manhattan Project, creating the bombs that destroyed so much of Japan at the end of WWII. I lived in Albuquerque, NM for seven years, and visited these places several times. Also, my neighbor is a docent at the Atomic Museum (old and new) and I was able to confirm much of the information that's in this book with him. The information contained here enhanced my visits with a clearer sense of what life was like for the workers on the hill. It's the only novel I know of that covers this period of our history. Occasionally the Bradbury Science Museum in Los Alamos will have displays that relate to the characters in this story, giving you a greater depth of knowledge about the people who made it all happen.
Kanon's book brings us up close and personal with the Manhattan Project, particularly that aspect which took place in Los Alamos. Equally fascinating was Kanon's vivid description of the first nuclear detonation at the Trinity site. This all provides backdrop to a fairly mundane murder mystery featuring an improbable detective brought in specially to work on the murder. And, of course, there is a love affair. Toward the end, the book got a little crazy with the protagonist barking instructions to project heads Oppenheimer and General Groves but we can overlook such license because of Kanon's fine writing through the rest of the book. Very well-done book.
This book is well written, informative and interesting. It blends some important American history with a mystery tale.
My only criticism is that it might have been tightened up a bit as a few spots moved more slowly than I prefer.
As a resident of the Southwest who has visited Santa Fe and the surrounding area many times, it was especially
good to read about what was taking place there back in the 1940's.
Some of the main characters were real people, and others fictional. Merging the real and the fictional together worked
out very well. All in all a book that I enjoyed reading and can easily recommend to others.
Nicely atmospheric, but a little difficult to suspend disbelief. The atomic bomb project has a leak and a newspaper reporter is assigned to investigate it and -well what? The "love interest" is provided by lurid descriptions of sex which is not in period, particularly as the woman is wartime English, not our most liberated period. The local police seem happy to cooperate with the randy newspaperman-really?-and Oppenheimer and a General both agree to his made up plan to catch the servicer to the "leaker".

Its a long book and I found myself getting "belief fatigue" towards the finale.

It's readable, but there are better books, including those written by Mr. Kanon. It's not unknown for a writer to improve -read Ian Rankin's early books for an example, even Michael Connolly's later books are better. Some get worse, but we won't go there!
Excellent rendition of a little-examined part of WW II history which admirably depicts the political and patriotic ambivalence of many scientists, especially the brilliant emigres. The setting in wartime Santa Fe was an unexpected treat. I would reread this book.
A well written tale about a chapter in WWII history easily overlooked, the author's portrayal of the physicists involved is captivating. I had the honor of having met some of them in the 50s. They did not talk about Los Alamos, but they did talk about the movie 'On the Beach.' Kanon does an excellent job of presenting the moral dilemma facing those involved with the sheer zest for discovery that permeates the field of atomic physics and quantum mechanics. The murder mystery and the romance help keep the story interesting but the underlying beauty of the novel is the manner in which the reader is subtlety drawn into a drama that changed the Mid Twen- Cen world. It is an ambitious book.
A fictional murder mystery set in Los Alamos during the development of the A bomb, the novel mixes in real individuals with fictional villains, a mysterious killing and lots of conflict both historical and made-up. The real scientists question the morality of the device they are about to inflict on the world yet struggle to complete their task and end a terrible war. Head honcho Oppenheimer comes across as a gifted and complex character holding the diverse group together while battling a government suspicious of their creative individualism, especially that of their leader. There is a great sense of time and place.

Perhaps a bit weaker is the interwoven fictional story, nonetheless exciting as a romance unfolds between the detective and the wife of one of the scientists. The villains who "done it" get their comeuppance with suitable flare and danger to the hero and his lady love.
"Los Alamos" was an interesting read because of the context of the story - Los Alamos in 1945. But the writer sullied the story's telling with sex scenes that cover well-trodden ground and did not advance the story. Perhaps, he had read too much Grace Metalious, or was inspired by her. With a bit of restraint, Mr. Kanon could have delivered a more compelling historical novel.

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