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“I’ll never stop believing it: Robert Olen Butler is the best living American writer, period.”—Jeff Guinn, Fort Worth Star-Telegram
“Butler impresses with his exceptional attention to historical detail.”—Publishers Weekly
Having embedded in Mexico, London, and Berlin in the years leading up to the first World War, journalist-turned-spy Christopher Marlowe Cobb has already lived many lives by the time he returns to Paris in 1922. He’s traveled there to work on his novel, so it’s no surprise that he soon finds himself mixed up in the expatriate literary scene that famously convened at the Shakespeare & Company bookstore in post-war Paris, a crew that featured such authors as Ezra Pound, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and, of course, Ernest Hemingway, with whom Cobb quickly becomes friends. Like Cobb, Hemingway is working on a novel; unlike Cobb, however, Hemingway’s manuscript has just been stolen by foreign agents who suspect that it contains sensitive information. Never one to shy away from danger, Cobb volunteers to retrieve it—but he’ll need all of his spycraft skills to infiltrate the compound where it’s cached.
Robert Olen Butler is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of sixteen novels and six volumes of short fiction. Though best known for his extensive writings on Vietnam, Butler’s work spans a range of genres including four historical adventure novels featuring Christopher Marlowe Cobb. Originally from Illinois, Butler now lives in Tallahassee, where he teaches writing at Florida State University.