The Gordian Knot

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A classic noir thriller about love and deception from the bestselling author of The Reader.
Georg Polger ekes out a lonely living as a freelance translator in the south of France, until he is approached by a certain Mr. Bulnakov, who has a intriguing proposition: Georg is to take over a local translation agency and finish a project left by the previous owner, who died in a mysterious accident. The money is right and then there is the matter of Bulnakov’s secretary, Francoise, with whom Georg has fallen hopelessly in love. Late one night, however, Georg discovers Francoise secretly photographing a sensitive military project. He is shocked and heartbroken. Then, her eventual disappearance leaves him not only bereft, but suspicious of the motivations behind Mr. Bulnakov’s offer. To make matters worse, Georg’s every move is being watched. Determined to find out who Francoise really is, and to foil who ever is tracking him, Georg sets out on an mission that will take him to New York City, where with each step he is dragged deeper and deeper into a deadly whirlpool in which friend and foe are indistinguishable.

From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Additional Information

Vintage Crime/Black Lizard
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Published on
Dec 7, 2010
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Fiction / Thrillers / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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From Bernhard Schlink, the internationally best-selling author of The Reader, come seven provocative and masterfully calibrated stories. A keen dissection of the ways in which we play with truth and less-than-truth in our lives. Summer Lies brims with the delusions, the passions, the outbursts, and the sometimes irrational justifications people make within a mélange of beautifully rendered relationships. In ”After the Season,” a man falls quickly in love with a woman he meets on the beach but wrestles with his incongruous feelings of betrayal after he learns she’s rich. In “Johann Sebastian Bach on Ruegen,” a son tries to put his resentment toward his emotionally distant father behind him by proposing a trip to a Back festival but soon realizes, during his efforts to reconnect, that it wasn’t his father who was the distant one. A philandering playwright is accused to infidelity by his wife in “The Night in Baden-Baden,” but he sees her accusations as nothing more than a means to exculpate himself of his guilt as he carries on with his ways. And in “Stranger in the Night,” an obliging professor becomes an accomplice—not entirely unwittingly—to the temporary escape of a charismatic fugitive on a delayed flight from New York to Frankfurt.
The truth, as once character puts it, is “passionate, beautiful sometimes, and sometimes hideous, it can make you happy and it can torture you, and it always sets you free.” Tantalizingly, so is the act of telling a lie—to others and to ourselves.
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