A Book Spy Review: ‘The Accomplice’ by Joseph Kanon


The AccompliceJoseph Kanon delivers another edge-of-your-seat spy thriller that, once it gets going, moves with urgency and purpose. 

Set in 1962, Otto Schramm, a vile man who made a living torturing—and finding new ways to kill—prisoners at Auschwitz, is believed to be dead. Normally, the world would rejoice in the passing of such an evil human being. However, not everyone is sold that Schramm is, indeed, dead.

Max Weill, a famous survivor of the Holocaust, has spent years hunting down Nazis and avenging the fallen. Naturally, he’s skeptical when the news of Schramm’s “passing” spreads, and he sets out to confirm things one way or another. His instincts eventually prove correct when he finally finds Schramm in Hamburg, but unfortunately, Max is no longer fit for tracking the notorious murderer. Instead, he passes the torch to his nephew, CIA analyst Aaron Wiley.

Though initially reluctant, Arron eventually steps in for his uncle and pursues Schramm, but things take a sudden turn when he meets Otto’s daughter, Hanna, who he’s instantly attracted to . . .

For my money, this is the best of many high-profile spy thrillers hitting stores this fall. Yes, that means even above John le Carre’s ho-hum new book, Agent Running in the Field. Where that book missed its mark and fell flat due to a severe lack of character development, Kanon breaths life into his cast and fleshes them out masterfully, and as always, he nails the locational details that help transport readers to the story’s setting. The moral conundrum Aaron faces, while not new by any stretch—writers have long used beautiful women to force their male heroes into making impossible decisions (hello every James Bond book ever written!)—Kanon displays a crafty touch and exceptional depth with how he approaches things.

From beginning to end, Joseph Kanon threads suspense and intrigue into his story, forcing readers to sit down and hang on his every word. The Accomplice is some of his best work so far, and a no-brainer for fans of old school espionage.

Book Details

Author: Joseph Kanon
Pages: 336 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 1501121421
Publisher: Atria Books
Release Date: November 5, 2019
Book Spy Rating: 8.0/10



Praised as “One of the hardest working, most thoughtful, and fairest reviewers out there” by #1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline, Ryan Steck has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). Steck also works full-time as a freelance editor and pens a monthly thriller column for CrimeReads. For more information, be sure to follow him on Twitter and Facebook. He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.

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