Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Quest for Anna Klein” as Want to Read:
The Quest for Anna Klein
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Quest for Anna Klein

3.5  ·  Rating details ·  353 Ratings  ·  82 Reviews
“Nobody tells a story better than Thomas H. Cook.” —Michael Connelly


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 i
Paperback, 352 pages
Published June 26th 2012 by Mariner Books (first published January 1st 2011)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Quest for Anna Klein, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Quest for Anna Klein

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Apr 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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
Jun 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, spy-novel
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
Jul 08, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wwii
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
Jul 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 19, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thrillers
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
Dec 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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?
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.
Sep 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Bruce DeSilva
Aug 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 18, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Thomas Bruso
Oct 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“If the crimes of a people go on through time, then why shouldn’t our revenge?”

Those are the words of a wounded man that distinguishes Thomas H. Cook’s 23rd moving novel, “The Quest for Anna Klein.”

In the throes of post-9/11, 91-year-old Thomas Danforth, a wealthy, New York businessman-turned-educator, turned spy, retells his frightful experience when his socialite friend Robert Clayton recruited him for a “project” in WWII Germany. The shady operation involved finding a beautiful, mysterious wo
Stan Usher
Again the library bought me another Thomas H Cook book....

Well this one is better than the previous one I read of this author, but still. in my opinion,s incredibly verbose and pretentious. The main character keeps spouting various literary references, which have not a thing to do with the plot as far as I can see, and seem to be his way of appearing clever, which he obviously is as you can tell from him having worked in the circles he worked in (sorry, no spoilers in my reviews :)).

The book it
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
Jul 27, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  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
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
Liz Wilson
At times the plot seemed to lose its focus and it definitely took commitment to finish, but well worth it in the end. It was a terribly sad tale, developed over decades of European history, and the reader is still left guessing about who Anna Klein actually was. I am mulling over all the events and it certainly kept me guessing right until the end, but I'm not sure if enjoyable would be the word to describe reading it. If you want a thought-provoking mystery read then give it a try, but the jury ...more
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.
Jul 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suspense
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.

Jun 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Mar 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This historical spy novel is different from Cook's usual subject matter, but written with his classic intelligent prose. The sections about war are disturbing (isn't all war disturbing?) but THC doesn't dwell on it, as some authors do, but moves the story along in different directions. What is so rewarding about Cook is, along with being entertained, I always learn something new from his books, an added bonus to be sure.
Mar 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Billie Raven
Not usually an international-spy fan but who can pass up a book by Cook?
Nov 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stopped-reading
Not my favorite book but I still love his writing.
Max Read
Jul 25, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Aug 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jan 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another solid story from the greatest writer of all time(imo). A tale of doomed love like many Cook's books but with a WWII aspect. It involves a couple of spies and their plans to stop Hitler, but in addition, deals with life changing decisions, betrayal, and revenge that occurs among the main characters involved. The setting took place in the States as well as in Europe. What Cook does better than anyone is write memorable characters and paints the setting in a way to make you feel like you we ...more
Sep 23, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found the structure annoying -- in the present a researcher comes to a fancy New York club to interview a veteran intelligence operative about his experiences in World War II, allegedly to inform the present moment post 9/11. The senior figure tells the story in the past-present flashback mode. The reader is whipped back and forth between these two sets of 'present' narrative modes, sometime for no apparent reason other than to underline that a story is being told,and perhaps to raise doubts a ...more
Dec 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Reading and Writi...: Episode 54 - Thomas H. Cook interview 1 8 Dec 30, 2011 10:15AM  
  • Start Shooting
  • Ruins of War (Mason Collins, #1)
  • Thirteen Million Dollar Pop (Frank Behr, #3)
  • The Unquiet Heart (Danny McRae, #2)
  • Fatal Harbor (Lewis Cole, #8)
  • Asylum City
  • The Ninth Day (Emma Caldridge, #3)
  • King Pawn
  • Rodin's Debutante
  • Lisbon: War in the Shadows of the City of Light, 1939-1945
  • Minute Zero (Judd Ryker, #2)
  • The Hot Country (Christopher Marlowe Cobb Thriller #1)
  • Spectrum (Karen Vail, #6)
  • Dead Money Run (Lou Malloy Crime, #1)
  • Hard Knocks
  • At All Costs: How a Crippled Ship and Two American Merchant Mariners Turned the Tide of World War II
  • No End Save Victory: Perspectives on World War II
  • The Second World War: Milestones to Disaster
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
More about Thomas H. Cook...

Mystery & Thrillers Deals

  • Fractured
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Never Smile at Strangers
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Furious (Faith McMann Trilogy #1)
    $3.99 $2
  • Where Eagles Dare
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Alone
    $17.99 $2.99
  • Moriarty (Sherlock Holmes, #2)
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Period 8
    $6.74 $0.99
  • The Guns of Navarone
    $5.99 $2.99
  • Idaho
    $12.99 $1.99
  • Dead Letters
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Phantom (Alexander Hawke, #7)
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Working Fire
    $3.99 $2.00
  • The Barkeep
    $4.49 $1.99
  • Blur  (Blur Trilogy #1)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Her Last Day (Jessie Cole, #1)
    $3.99 $2.00
  • Moving Day
    $4.99 $1.99
  • Man-Eater: The Life and Legend of an American Cannibal
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Smoke
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Unrivaled (Beautiful Idols #1)
    $2.99 $0.99
  • Secrets of Southern Girls: A Novel
    $15.99 $1.99
  • Dorchester Terrace (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt, #27)
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Paragon Walk (Charlotte & Thomas Pitt, #3)
    $8.99 $1.99
  • Flower Net (Red Princess, #1)
    $7.99 $1.99
  • The Grave Tender
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Ugly Young Thing (Strangers #2)
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Before I Go to Sleep
    $8.24 $2.99
  • When You Reach Me
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Pretty Little Things
    $4.49 $1.99
“Perspective gets lost in moral certainties. Which only means that no one was ever burned at the stake by a doubter.” 1 likes
More quotes…