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Publisher's Summary

The New York Times best-selling author of Dark Invasion and The Last Goodnight once again illuminates the lives of little-known individuals who played a significant role in America's history as he chronicles the incredible true story of a critical, recently declassified counterintelligence mission and two remarkable agents whose story has been called "the greatest secret of the Cold War".

In 1946, genius linguist and codebreaker Meredith Gardner discovered that the KGB was running an extensive network of strategically placed spies inside the United States, whose goal was to infiltrate American intelligence and steal the nation's military and atomic secrets. Over the course of the next decade, he and young FBI supervisor Bob Lamphere worked together on Venona, a top-secret mission to uncover the Soviet agents and protect the Holy Grail of Cold War espionage - the atomic bomb.

Opposites in nearly every way, Lamphere and Gardner relentlessly followed a trail of clues that helped them identify and take down these Soviet agents one by one, including Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. But at the center of this spy ring, seemingly beyond the American agents' grasp, was the mysterious master spy who pulled the strings of the KGB's extensive campaign, dubbed Operation Enormoz by Russian Intelligence headquarters. Lamphere and Gardner began to suspect that a mole buried deep in the American intelligence community was feeding Moscow Center information on Venona. They raced to unmask the traitor and prevent the Soviets from fulfilling Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev's threat: "We shall bury you!"

A breathtaking chapter of American history and a head-turning mystery that plays out against the tense, life-and-death gamesmanship of the Cold War, this twisting thriller begins at the end of World War II and leads all the way to the execution of the Rosenbergs - a result that haunted both Gardner and Lamphere to the end of their lives.

©2018 Howard Blum (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

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  • Overall
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Compelling Saga of Cold War History

This is one of the few audio books you don't want to end. Mr. Blum has skillfully assembled historical material only recently made available into a gripping narrative. It's a fascinating look back to a time in our history which was in many ways more frightening and dangerous than the world we live in today. This is history at its very best and David Colacci's splendid reading makes this a rewarding listening experience.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Amazing book

Just an amazing book. It really makes you empathize with the individuals who act on the belief that what they are doing is right, but are only seen by governments a pons in a vast chess game. The fact the the FBI agents that caught this ring could never reflect on their work with anything but shame is a truly shocking and devastating indictment of the governments of the time

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A thrilling nonfiction title

Blum has written yet another totally absorbing nonfiction title ... Colacci does the book proud with his narration ... great storytelling

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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You can't beat non-fiction

You can't beat non-fiction to tell the tale of the spies and those that catch them!

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Pretty darn good

This was fascinating story and an interesting glimpse into a very intriguing part of our history. I enjoyed the story as a whole but since I listen to books while I am doing something else - I had to "rewind" several times as the story jumps around occasionally and I would get a little lost. This is no fault of the writing - just my listening.
I guess what I am trying to say is that the details matter in this story, hence the rewinding.

I initially thought I would have liked a little more detail and/or clarity on some of the "spies", but after reflecting on the book I believe further detail on the spies would have been misplaced. This book is about the two guys and their path not about the spies.
It really is a fascinating story but not quite compelling.