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Publisher's Summary

Early one morning in West Berlin, a nervous courier delivers the handwritten manuscript of a dissident Russian novel to Paul Christopher. Minutes after the handoff, the courier's spine is neatly snapped by an impact with a passing black sedan. Meanwhile, in Rome, Christopher's wife, Cathy, takes a famous film director as a lover to stir her husband out of the stoicism that defines his personality.

These two seemingly discrete events set in motion a spiral of operational and personal intrigue, leading Christopher from the cafés of old Europe to the front lines of the Cold War in the Congo. As he secretly arranges the publication of a novel that could bring the Soviet system to its knees, he races to identify the leak that compromised his messenger and possibly the entire mission.

Spy guy: don't miss more from Charles McCarry.
©1977 Charles McCarry; (P)2006 Blackstone Audio Inc.

Critic Reviews

"The absolute best thriller writer alive." (P.J. O'Rourke)
"Mr. McCarry's spy novels...are as much a part of our national literature as the works of Mark Twain, Raymond Chandler, and Ernest Hemingway and...belong on the shelves of anyone who thinks good books matter." (Otto Penzler)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall
  • W.Denis
  • Savannah, GA, United States
  • 06-22-09

The Best

This is without doubt the best love story/spy thriller I have encountered in many listens. The reader is great and it was surprising to me how well a male author captured female views. So many of these tales just want justify a womans roll in the ranks of spys and cops. This one was much more.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Joanne
  • Burlington, Ontario, Canada
  • 03-30-13

Thank you, Mom!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

My mother recommended this audiobook and I wholeheartedly agree with her recommendation. This book is elegantly written with an intricate, meticulously-drawn plot and multi-dimensional characters.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The writer, "Kamensky", was my favourite character because of his profound capacity to love.

Have you listened to any of Stefan Rudnicki’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No - but I thought this performance was wonderful.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?


Any additional comments?

The Secret Lovers is so much more than a spy thriller. It is a love story told with such elegant brilliance that it took my breath away.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • CINCINNATI, OH United States
  • 12-19-08


Winding sluggishly, the plot was improbable and often boring. A real disappointment since I loved all of McCarry's other books.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Michael
  • Montgomery, AL, United States
  • 03-16-07

Good Listen

Worth the time and very enjoyable.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful