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Robert Littell has been elevated to the highest ranks by connoisseurs of the literary spy novel. He is the author of 13 novels, which have been published in 12 languages around the world. His most recent, The Company, received three-starred trade reviews, even before its publication. A former Newsweek journalist, Littell is an American living in France.
‘I thought ‘The Company’ was a hard act to follow, but how will Littell top this diamond of a tale’ Shots Magazine
‘Littell’s book is audacious, vivacious, original, and thrilling ... Reading it in the small hours was like gulping a slug of Stolichnaya straight from the freezer’ Philip Oakes Literary Review
Who is Martin Odum? A retired spy or a ‘legend’ — a false identity, created by the CIA? The answer is in Legends, the new novel of unrivalled psychological complexity and gripping action, by the author of The Company. Legends tells the story of Martin Odum, a one-time CIA field agent, now a discharged spy turned private detective in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, struggling his way through a labyrinth of memories of past identities—‘legends’ in CIA parlance.
Is he really Martin Odum? Or is he Dante Pippen, an IRA explosives maven turned CIA agent? Or Lincoln Dittmann, college professor and Civil War expert? Or yet another legend? These men like different foods, speak different languages, are attracted to different women, have different skill sets. Is he suffering from multiple personality disorder, brainwashing, or simply battle fatigue? Is he who he thinks he is, or is he a creation of the Legend Committee at the CIA’s Langley headquarters? Can Odum trust the Company psychiatrist assigned to his case? Or the CIA Deputy Director of Operations who is solicitously curious about his condition? Or Stella Kastner, a young Russian woman who engages him to find her brother-in-law so he can give her sister, an Orthodox Jew, a get, a divorce, which under religious law requires the husband’s presence? And who is controlling The Oligarkh, a powerful Russian insider with a talent for money and murder?
As Martin Odum redeploys his dormant tradecraft skills to solve Stella’s case and untangle one true identity from the false ones, he is drawn back into the world he left not remembering quite why, travelling from Hebron to Moscow to London to Prague, under the strains of mortal danger and psychological disorientation. Part Three Faces of Eve, part The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, and pure Robert Littell, Legends, from its unforgettable opening to its astonishing ending, once again proves Littell’s unparalleled prowess for seductive storytelling, as he explores the human and clandestine world of secret agents.