By: Thomas H. Cook
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication Date: June 2011
Reviewed by: Mary Lignor
Review Date: June 5, 2011
In 1939, on the cusp of World War II, there was a plan between nations to assassinate a world leader. This plan went wrong and a very rich American goes on a quest that covers many years and countries before a new century (the 21st) begins, when another catastrophe of huge proportions hits the United States.
Thomas Danforth has been a fortunate man who lived, as everyone thought, a perfect life. His father is a rich importer and Thomas has traveled the world with his father in his younger years and is now, at 20 years of age, running the family business in New York. In 1939, when Europe is on the brink of war, a friend of Thomas' asks if he might use the Danforth house in Connecticut to teach a very brilliant woman how to be a spy and learn how to shoot and make bombs to increase the chances of spoiling all the plans of Adolf Hitler to take over the world. This is to be the beginning of the aforementioned plan. The woman of mystery, Anna Klein, is to carry out this plan with the assistance of other so-called spies. Danforth agrees to lend his house to these people but, he falls for Anna and wants to accompany her to Europe and take part in the plan. Unfortunately, the plan goes horribly wrong. Anna disappears and Danforth's quest begins. He comes home to America and joins the Army when America enters the War. His quest for Anna takes him through many war-torn countries and he meets many people in search of answers about Anna's disappearance.
This story is told after the planes have hit the Twin Towers and the world is thrown into a different kind of war. Thomas is now in his 90's and is telling his story to Paul, who is working in Washington, DC at a think tank that is trying to find ways to understand the horror of September 11, 2011. Paul is sometimes bored with Thomas but, listens to him and is finally fascinated by the story of Thomas's search for Anna. The story goes back and forth from 2001 to 1939 and through the war years. It is a spy story but, not a spy story in many ways. Many people have double-crossed and triple crossed others in this tale. There are lies and deceptions galore and very many struggles to bear. This reviewer is a big fan of Thomas H. Cook and so, looked forward to reading The Quest for Anna Klein. It is a great read and will keep readers interested to the end.
Quill Says: Even though this is advertised as a spy novel, most of the time it is not. It's a tale of humanity and love in some of the most difficult times in the history of the world.