Carnival of Spies

Robert Moss, Author
Robert Moss, Author Villard Books $18.95 (498p) ISBN 978-0-394-54971-2
Reviewed on: 05/01/1987
Release date: 05/01/1987
Perceiving how cruelly workers are treated in the early years of the 20th century, poor Hamburg boy Johnny Lentz idealistically turns to communism. Trained in Moscow as an expert in promoting revolution, he is dispatched throughout Europe, then to China and later to Brazil to help local organizers. The purge of his best friend, however, leads him to realize that Soviet leader Stalin has become improbably enamored of and secretly helpful to Hitler, a man who should be the Soviet Union's enemy. Disillusioned, Johnny becomes a double agent for England and must choose between the love of two sisters who may betray him if his collaboration is revealed. Moss (Moscow Rules has done excellent research, using such historical incidents as a little-known communist uprising in Brazil during the '30s to great effect, and his gritty descriptions offer vivid glimpses of different cultures. Although the characters lack depth and Moss relies too often on formulaic thriller devices and dialogue, the novel is nonetheless an absorbing read. Literary Guild alternate. (June 15)
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