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In the Enemy's House

The Secret Saga of the FBI Agent and the Code Breaker Who Caught the Russian Spies

About the Book

The New York Times bestselling author of Dark Invasion and The Last Goodnight once again illuminates the lives of little-known individuals who played a significant role in America’s history as he chronicles the incredible true story of a critical, recently declassified counterintelligence mission and two remarkable agents whose story has been called "the greatest secret of the Cold War."

In 1946, genius linguist and codebreaker Meredith Gardner discovered that the KGB was running an extensive network of strategically placed spies inside the United States, whose goal was to infiltrate American intelligence and steal the nation’s military and atomic secrets. Over the course of the next decade, he and young FBI supervisor Bob Lamphere worked together on Venona, a top-secret mission to uncover the Soviet agents and protect the Holy Grail of Cold War espionage—the atomic bomb.

Opposites in nearly every way, Lamphere and Gardner relentlessly followed a trail of clues that helped them identify and take down these Soviet agents one by one, including Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. But at the center of this spy ring, seemingly beyond the American agents’ grasp, was the mysterious master spy who pulled the strings of the KGB’s extensive campaign, dubbed Operation Enormoz by Russian Intelligence headquarters. Lamphere and Gardner began to suspect that a mole buried deep in the American intelligence community was feeding Moscow Center information on Venona. They raced to unmask the traitor and prevent the Soviets from fulfilling Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev’s threat: "We shall bury you!"

A breathtaking chapter of American history and a page-turning mystery that plays out against the tense, life-and-death gamesmanship of the Cold War, this twisting thriller begins at the end of World War II and leads all the way to the execution of the Rosenbergs—a result that haunted both Gardner and Lamphere to the end of their lives.

Educator and Librarian Resources

Critical Praise

“A finely detailed study of crime and punishment in the days of the Manhattan project... [In the Enemy’s House] reinforces several points: how thoroughly Soviet agents were able to penetrate the government and scientific circles and the undeniable guilt of those who were eventually brought to justice—and, to boot, the ordinariness of some of the key players. Taut and well-crafted—of great interest to students of spydom and the early Cold War.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Blum presents both a historical and a character-driven study here; perhaps even more interesting than the accounts of the spy-breaking moves and countermoves is the way that Blum shows the personalities of both Gardner and Lamphere, with the narrative arc leading to their shared sense of guilt over the fates of convicted—and executed—spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg. There’s a lot of excitement throughout… Blum is a standout in the field of espionage history.” —Booklist (starred review)

“The spy hunt set off by the Venona decrypts is one of the great stories of the Cold War and Howard Blum tells it here with the drama and page-turning pace of a classic thriller.” —Joseph Kanon, bestselling author of Defectors, Leaving Berlin, and Los Alamos

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780062458247
  • ISBN 10: 0062458248
  • Imprint: Harper
  • On Sale: 02/20/2018
  • Pages: 336
  • List Price: 36.99 CAD
  • BISAC1: HISTORY / United States / 20th Century
  • BISAC2: POLITICAL SCIENCE / Intelligence & Espionage
  • BISAC3: HISTORY / Europe / Russia & the Former Soviet Union

In the Enemy's House by Howard Blum

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