Cover image for Stealing thunder
Stealing thunder
Millar, Peter.
Personal Author:
First US edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Bloomsbury, [1999]

Physical Description:
ix, 307 pages ; 24 cm
General Note:
Cataloged from uncorrected proof.
Format :


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Item Holds
X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Stealing Thunder presents a thrillingly suspenseful alternative history. Set against the backdrop of the actual events that took place at Los Alamos during the development of the atomic bomb, Stealing Thunder gives voice to real characters such as Robert Oppenheimer, Nils Bohr, and the convicted traitor, Klaus Fuchs. The action moves from 1944 to present day and from the New Mexico desert to Boston, London, Berlin, Moscow and a remote farm in Iceland where horses are dying from a mysterious disease.

Cynical, twice-divorced journalist John Burke is led by a young, attractive German counterpart, Sabine Kotschke, to investigate what could be the big story he has been seeking all his professional life. Amid plot and counterplot, with the White House and the Kremlin hurrying to impede their progress, Burke and Kotschke negotiate a maze of conflicting information and sinister threats that leads back to Los Alamos and the men who made the atom bomb. In a gripping finale, Burke finds himself reassessing those legendary nuclear physicists-which, if any, were really traitors? And the beautiful, self-confident Sabine to whom he has grown so close-is she really just a journalist after a good story, or does she have other intentions?

Author Notes

Peter Millar is the author of the novel Tomorrow Belongs to Me . He lives in London.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Millar is a veteran English journalist, and his first novel, a highly complicated political thriller spanning 50 years, has the virtues and faults common to journalists' fiction: lots of authentic details, a gripping "what if" thesis, but a certain woodenness of characterization, and dialogue that is no more than basically serviceable. Eamonn Burke is a cynical, hard-drinking London journalist whose interest is piqued when Sabine, a beautiful young German magazine writer, seeks his experienced help on what looks like a fascinating assignment: was the atom spy Klaus Fuchs really murdered in his exile in East Germany, and if so, why? What exactly were the secrets he purloined from Los Alamos? And what happened to an American bomber reported missing long after WWII hostilities had ceased? Millar has created out of these elements a tale of monumental duplicity that involves the highest levels of the British and U.S. governments, elements of the SS and even Albert Einstein, in the closing days of the war and during the uneasy peace that followed. The action zips around in a variety of exotic and well-rendered locations, including Iceland, as it becomes apparent that someone dangerous is out to prevent Eamonn and Sabine from getting at the truth. There is too much confusing movement back and forth in time and, toward the breakneck finish at a Munich monastery, too many bombshells exploding too close together for the reader to hang on to more than the general gist of the plot. The novel isn't dull, but a more experienced author might have given the story more variety of pace, more moments of relaxation‘and a more credible windup. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved