World War I is in full swing. Germany has allied itself with the Ottoman empire, persuading the caliphs of Turkey to declare a jihad on the British empire, as President Woodrow Wilson hesitates to enter the fray. War correspondant and American spy Christopher Marlowe Cobb has been tasked to follow a man named Brauer, a German intellectual and possible covert SS agent, into perilous waters aboard the ship Lusitania, as the man is believed to hold information vital to the war effort. Aboard the Lusitania on its fateful voyage, Cobb becomes smitten with famed actress Selene Bourgani, who for some reason appears to be working with German Intelligence.
Soon Cobb realizes that this simple actress is anything but, as she harbors secrets that could pour gasoline on the already raging conflict. Following the night of the infamous German U-Boat attack on the Lusitania, Cobb must follow Selene and Brauer into the darkest alleyways of London, then on to the powder keg that is Istanbul. He must use all the cunning he possesses to uncover Selene’s true motives, only to realize her hidden agenda could bring down some of the world's most powerful leaders. On his own across the war-torn stages of Europe and the Middle East, Cobb must venture deep behind enemy lines, cut off from his only allies, knowing full well he may not return.
A classic tale of adventure, romance and war, THE STAR OF ISTANBUL firmly cements Robert Olen Butler's place as one of the great historical thriller writers today.
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