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The Quest for Anna Klein

3.48 of 5 stars 3.48  ·  rating details  ·  261 ratings  ·  69 reviews
“Nobody tells a story better than Thomas H. Cook.” —Michael Connelly

ON THE EVE OF WORLD WAR II, A HIGH STAKES INTERNATIONAL PLOT LEADS TO A DEADLY OBSESSION

Thomas Danforth has lived a fortunate life. The son of a wealthy importer, he wandered the globe in his youth, and now, in his twenties, he lives in New York City and runs the family business. It is 1939 and the world
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Paperback, 352 pages
Published June 26th 2012 by Mariner Books (first published January 1st 2011)
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Carol
A couple of reasons I picked up The Quest for Anna Klein

I have read Thomas H. Cook before and have liked what I've read.
I heard an interview with Thomas H. Cook and he thinks this book is one of his best including history, sweep, characterization and atmosphere.
I love the cover with its Union Cases, picture of Hitler on the left and perhaps, Anna Klein on the right.

If you are strictly a mystery fan, I'd say don't read The Quest for Anna Klein.
If you are a thriller fan I'd say skip The Quest
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Trunatrschild
I really liked this book. It had it's slow moments and ones where the author shouldn't have used his conversation change technique, but it left me changed and I admire books that do that. This book is more than a spy novel, it's a novel about love and the decisions one makes and the consequences and life path changes that one has to live with. There was one (to me) glaring mistake, but I guess it could be understood... on the very first page, the narrator stated that he was a part of a Soviet Th ...more
Michael
This story is told by a man in his nineties remembering the days when he was in his twenties and recruited to help in what was becoming the struggle against Germany in the days leading up to WWII.

Thomas Danforth lived a pampered life. On a wintry night, his friend persuades him to provide a place and cover for a young woman, Anna Klein. She was to be trained for a secret operation inside Germany; her training involved firearms and explosives.

The action is presented in alternating chapters of Dan
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Corny
An extremely convoluted tale that takes quite a while to develop. If you are used to action thrillers, this will not be your cup of tea. At times the narrative is maddeningly slow, reflecting the rambling nature of the ninety-one year old protagonist. However, the plot is well constructed, if not very believable, and the story gets more interesting in the final third of the book. Set mostly in 1939 in Europe and the US prior to the outbreak of WWII, the book does a fair job of reproducing the at ...more
Sibyl
I stumbled upon this by accident on the best seller shelves at the library. It sat at the bottom of my to-read stack, a book and author of which I had no previous knowledge. It turns out to be one of my favorite summer reads so far. Set in two main time periods, 1939 and 2001, each year is important to the plot. Much research into historical events and locations is evident, occasionally daunting the reader to keep them straight. But the weaving of all the elements to end in surprising but very s ...more
Christine Stevens
This book has a few twists and I found it intriguing...I wanted to know who Anna Klein was and it kept me captivated the whole way through. It ends in a way that makes you think about people's heritage and life experiences in ways you might not otherwise. You have to suspend a little disbelief but it's worth it for this great, quick read.
AnnieBebop
This book was so good, it really reminded me of why I love to read. Gripping story, well-told. Surprise tears in my eyes at the end. WWII tale of espionage, with all the complexities of conflicting loyalties and confusion over who to trust, mixed in with a love story at its core. What's not to like?
Sally
A most unusual book, which gave me so much to think about and so many references to research. The line between fiction and non-fiction often seemed to be blurred. I strongly recommend it for anyone who is interested in that period of history.
Jenny
This book is very different to most of the previous books I've read by Thomas H Cook and at times I had to remind myself I was reading Cook and not something by Robert Goodard, another of my favourite authors. The story is far reaching in both time and space with the main story taking place in New York in 2001 with flashback that begin in 1939 and cover decades and continents.

Whilst Cook peppers his work with many interesting and individual recollections and stories concerning various atrocities
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Bruce DeSilva
A cataract, and the surgery to remove it, stopped my reading cold for a couple of months this summer; so I didn’t get around to reading the latest novel by Thomas H. Cook, one of my favorite writers, until this week.
“The Quest for Anna Klein,” which was published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in July, is Cook’s first foray into the spy novel genre. However, the structure of the book will be familiar to fans of the author’s finest crime novels including “The Fate of Katherine Carr” and The “Last T
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Qingxun
Start was really boring.

Writing style was very irritating - very forced? I felt like I could spot all the writing techniques we used to learn about in class -foreshadowing, suspense yada yada- which is awkward and unpleasant. Too many analogies (bad and irrelevant ones) and too many 'this is something I will think about for the next fifty years of my life'. I get it, all you have ever done in your life is think about Anna Klein and every single conversation you have had with her. Enough.

Author a
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Martha
My first book by T Cook. More than a thriller- really good character development. What are you willing to risk, and do, to protect eh world from a mad man? Or the person you love? Intricate plot twists. More emotionally complex than a typical thriller.
Katz Nancy from NJ
Although I have read every Thomas H. Cook book and loved them all, The Quest for Anna Klein is the first title I hardly enjoyed and won't recommend to other readers. I found the book slowgoing and while it steamed along it never really got up to full speed. I even read the last few pages twice to see if I could understand this better. While I did get most of the ideas about the bookthe betryals and allegiances were too many too often. And who was Anna Klein? Seems to me as if she had little back ...more
maryanne
Oct 11, 2011 maryanne rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: adults
THis book was a great read with a twisting plot and mysterious characters. I generally like this genre but lately have been disappointed in how few plots continue to weave in and out of history. Most take an occurence and linger. This follows various events in various locations all the while going back and forth between different time periods.
The author's ability to place characters in situations was really good. As I read, I saw what the protaganist saw but then my view differed upon more inf
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Max Read
The "Quest for Anna Klein" was written by Thomas H. Cook. The book is an espionage mystery novel with a historical setting.

This is one of several books written by Cook. He received the best novel Edgar for The Chatham School Affair as well as the Martin Beck Award, the Herodotus Prize for best historical short story, and the Barry for best novel for Red Leaves.

The writing style is conversational; questions, answers and a tale are woven into alternating time periods - present and past. The prose
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Kelly
This was a book that held my attention, with twists that were unexpected. The only thing that distracted and annoyed me was that the author kept alluding to the fact that something Anne Klein did or said may have been done or said to throw off the main character, Danforth. Readers can figure that out on their own. By telling the reader this it just takes some of the mystery out of it.

Kathleen Resendes
I enjoy most of what Cook does HOWEVER this one was not one of his best. Character development
for even the main people was poorly done. I had no point of reference for actions taken by even the top characters in the story. The plot line was interesting and I loved wandering around foreign cities.
Kandice
Fans of Alan Furst and Daniel Silva will enjoy this book. Set during WWII, the story traces the life of one spy, Anna Klein, who may be an agent, a double agent, or a triple agent. Whatever else she is, she's a mystery and during the course of the book radically changes the life of the main character, Thomas Danforth. Danforth leaves his privileged life to follow Anna on her assignment, only to seemingly be betrayed. He lives the rest of his life seeking love at times, revenge at others. Only in ...more
Susan
The book is not a traditional mystery but layers of intricacy as a character grows old and learns that his quest for love and one woman was built on a series of faulty assumptions and bad choices. A great book that should be read over a short period (like the recent power outage in Michigan!) because one must pay close attention to historical references and details throughout on the Armenian genocide and ideologies associated with World War II that make the individual, as one character points ou ...more
Laura
4.5 stars... and I'll tell you why at the end.

If you are going to read Thomas H cook, bring your A-game. These are not books you can bluff your way through, skimming over some descriptive paragraphs, looking for "the action." Every word counts. You might have gotten away with that with some of his earlier works, sure. But those days are gone; Cook gets tighter and tighter with each tale.

If you pick up this book, settle in: this story is best read with no other distractions, in a couple short sti
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Cheryl A
Remember the old saying "Don't judge a book by its cover"? This is a perfect example. The cover pictures of Hilter along with the jacket blurb lead me to believe I would be reading a WWII thriller. I was, but at the same time, I wasn't.

Thomas Danforth is a ninety year old man who has contacted Washington after the 9/11 attacks, wanting to meet with Paul Crane, a novice member of a think tank, as he has experiences that he feels would be useful. A reluctant Paul meets with Danforth in the Century
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Steve Anderson
Thomas Danforth has spent much of his ninety-plus years seeking his own brand of vengeance. His tale begins in 1939, when he's recruited to provide cover for a fledgling American intelligence operation that will lead to the attempted assassination of a menacing tyrant named Adolf Hitler.

The younger Danforth figures to stand squarely with the good guys, but the real world of espionage seems beyond him until he meets a secretive and beautiful young spy-in-training, Anna Klein. The mystery of Anna
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Bev Hall stevens
WWII has long fascinated me because of the immense courage of the people of the era. It affected every walk of life and every nationality. This story breaks down into little pieces the history of nations who all played a part in the destruction that was WWII. Anna is by far my favorite character with all the mystery she evokes and all the secrets she carries. The spy atsmosphere is truly an amazing look into the various points of Germany, Soviet, American triangle with the present references to ...more
Thomas Bruso
You can never go wrong with a Thomas H Cook book. THE QUEST FOR ANNA KLEIN is a fine example of Cook's brilliant storytelling. Gripping from beginning to end. Realistic plots; sharp, fierce dialogue; and characterizations of people. Strongly recommended.
Jim Smith
Thomas H Cook is moving up my list of favorite
authors. The Quest for Anna Klein is my third
book by Cook and it is a four star plus read.
Cook keeps you involved with the characters and
also "taught" me quite a bit about World War II.
I would surely recommend this (as well as his other
books) to anyone looking for a read that will keep
you wanted more.
Emily
Best spying on a spy who's a double spy who isn't actually a spy book I've read in a long time. Seriously epic. I didn't start out being that over joyed with it, as it jumps around between the present and the past a lot and it's a format that almost doesn't work at all in the beginning 50 pages or so. But once it starts to build it gets really good, evolving and twisting and the end was pretty spectacular and one I actually didn't guess. The writing was also incredibly beautiful. A very good rea ...more
Debbie
A rather slow paced novel, on the talky side. This is one of those novels in which everything that has gone before makes more sense when you get to the very end. An elderly man, Thomas, asks to have a conversation with Paul, a rather self satisfied young man. Thomas became involved in a plot in the very late 30s to stymy the Germans. He met a mysterious woman named Anna Klein and his life becomes one long obsessive quest to find out what happend to Anna and to find out who she really was.
Katie Boggs
I kept thinking it was going to be a profound and memorable read--ultimately, I was disappointed. The protagonist spouted pithy epigrams that sounded impressive but didn't mean anything. The plot twisted and turned, but by the resolution, I had given up caring about what happened. I never connected with any of the characters enough to emotionally invest myself in what was going on. It felt like it was going to be a meaningful book, but for me, it completely missed the mark.
Stephen Coleman
I really enjoyed reading this book and reached the point where I had to get to the end. It is written in the style of an interview where one minute you are in the USA in the interview and then another subheading takes you back to various locations in Europe. I found this style very good.

Its all about spies and is an excellent story that I recommend you read to find the twists and turn for yourself. Its going back to Kendal Library this week. ;-)
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Reading and Writi...: Episode 54 - Thomas H. Cook interview 1 6 Dec 30, 2011 10:15AM  
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There is more than one author with this name on Goodreads.

Thomas H. Cook has been praised by critics for his attention to psychology and the lyrical nature of his prose. He is the author of more than 30 critically-acclaimed fiction books, including works of true crime. Cook published his first novel, Blood Innocents, in 1980. Cook published steadily through the 1980s, penning such works as the Fra
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More about Thomas H. Cook...
The Chatham School Affair Red Leaves Breakheart Hill Sandrine's Case Master of the Delta

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“Perspective gets lost in moral certainties. Which only means that no one was ever burned at the stake by a doubter.” 2 likes
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