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Los Alamos | [Joseph Kanon]

Los Alamos

Spring 1945. As work on the first atomic bomb nears completion on a remote mesa in New Mexico, Karl Bruner, a Manhattan Project security officer, is found murdered in nearby Santa Fe. Is Bruner the victim of a violent sexual encounter, as the local police believe, or is his death a crime that threatens to jeopardize the secret of the Project itself?
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Publisher's Summary

Spring 1945. As work on the first atomic bomb nears completion on a remote mesa in New Mexico, Karl Bruner, a Manhattan Project security officer, is found murdered in nearby Santa Fe. Is Bruner the victim of a violent sexual encounter, as the local police believe, or is his death a crime that threatens to jeopardize the secret of the Project itself? 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. In a town so secret it does not officially exist, he must thread his way through a makeshift community of displaced émigrés, soldiers, and idealistic scientists for whom murder is, at best, an unwelcome intrusion as they race to end a brutal war. Only when Connolly falls in love and begins an affair with Emma, the enigmatic wife of one of the scientists, does he truly begin to unravel the past associations, tangled sex lives, and conflicting morality at the dark heart of the Project.

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. Like the invention at its core, Los Alamos is about fusion - of loyalty and betrayal, idealism and guilt - and its deadly aftermath. Elegantly written and deftly constructed, Los Alamos marks the emergence of a major new storytelling talent.

©1997 Joseph Kanon; (P)1997 Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, Bantam Doubleday Dell Audio Publishing, A Division of Random House, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"The atmospherics are exactly right: Los Alamos brings back an era when a secret was really a secret and a lie wasn't necessarily a sin." (Entertainment Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.2 (53 )
5 star
 (12)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.3 (16 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
3.2 (16 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Gena bloomington, IN, United States 01-16-12
    Gena bloomington, IN, United States 01-16-12 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Poor sound quality"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    The sound quality is quite poor. This is the first time I've had such an issue with Audible downloads, but I didn't listen to the entire book because of that.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    tamar921 USA 04-19-09
    tamar921 USA 04-19-09 Member Since 2007

    tamar921

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    192
    2
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    Overall
    "Los Alamos"

    Annoying sound effects.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    P Stuart 08-11-06
    P Stuart 08-11-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good, but..."

    I agree that the plot is well done and interesting, but lets lose the annoying background "music" that obscures the words at chapter breaks. Otherwise well read.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JOSEPH Fort Wayne, IN, United States 12-14-12
    JOSEPH Fort Wayne, IN, United States 12-14-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Performance
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    "Terrible sound quality"
    What would have made Los Alamos better?

    The enhanced audio was poorly executed


    Any additional comments?

    This recording sounds like it was mastered from cassette tape

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Martin BROOKLYN, NY, USA 01-07-10
    Martin BROOKLYN, NY, USA 01-07-10 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Los Alamos with distracting annoying music"

    Good story about interesting historical period. However, the music is both distracting and annoying as it sounds off tune most of the time and adds little to the "atmosphere".

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patrick Rhode 05-18-03 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Los Alamos"

    Decent book. Suspenseful and historically interesting.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan S. San Francisco, CA United States 03-29-13
    Susan S. San Francisco, CA United States 03-29-13 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
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    "Horrible recording sound, but story is interesting"

    This audiobook was most likely recorded on tape many years ago, so the sound is like being in a tunnel or submarine. Story similar to Kanon's other books, and because I have head other books--I could guess the ending. Still, all in all, for a murder mystery it did keep me interested.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    07-19-09
    07-19-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    5
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    "Great period piece, first rate narrator"

    Complex and believable WWII era story with the development of the atomic bomb as a backdrop. The two main characters are engaging and adequately life-like that you care what happens to them. Lots of twists, and I could find no internal contradictions. I am surprised at the low ratings given by others - I suspect they were looking for something else. From my point of view, narrator Edward Herman simply reading a random newspaper story would get a score to at least 3 stars.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christina 02-01-09
    Christina 02-01-09
    HELPFUL VOTES
    59
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    20
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    Overall
    "worth a listen"

    i found the story and characters interesting and well written. it evoked a history that is fading from our consciousness, but no less current in its implications. the production quality, however, was not good. the sound was muddy and i thought the musical bridges were unnecessary and distracting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rosemarie 04-16-07
    Rosemarie 04-16-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    "Medium"

    Entertaining, but not enthralling.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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