Shake Off

Mischa Hiller, Author
Mischa Hiller. Little, Brown/Mulholland, $24.99 (288p) ISBN 978-0-316-20420-0
Reviewed on: 06/04/2012
Release date: 08/01/2012
Open Ebook - 288 pages - 978-0-316-20422-4
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-316-20421-7
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-61969-492-7
Open Ebook - 148 pages - 978-0-316-40162-3
Open Ebook - 1 pages - 978-1-306-76377-6
Ebook - 130 pages - 978-1-84659-097-9
Paperback - 328 pages - 978-1-84659-088-7
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Set at the end of the cold war, Hiller’s beautifully written second novel (after 2010’s Sabra Zoo) chronicles the education of a spy. PLO agent Michel Khoury, who lives in a modest London bedsit but spent his first 15 years in a refugee camp in Lebanon, works for spymaster Abu Leila, who uses him mainly as a courier to shuttle documents from London to East Berlin and back. Now Leila wants his protégé to set up a meeting that will “change the course of history.” Meanwhile, Michel falls for his next-door neighbor, a playful young Englishwoman named Helen, despite a lifetime of keeping strict control over his emotions. Their romance causes increasing difficulties for Michel as he struggles to implement Leila’s instructions and stay true to his cause. A closing twist puts an entirely new perspective on Michel’s life, beliefs, and loyalties. Literary fiction fans will appreciate the sensitive, realistic portrayal of Michel and Helen’s love affair. Agent: David Grossman, David Grossman Literary Agency. (Aug.)
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