In the aftermath of
Unable to serve in the military, Leon had done his bit by taking unofficial courier jobs and trading in scarce metals for Tommy King, an American consulate employee working on war-related economic issues. When Leon agrees to help Tommy transport Alexei Jianu, a mysterious Romanian passenger, through Istanbul to waiting
A threat of another kind is also posed by Leon's sudden affair with an embassy official's wife visiting from Ankara. As the body count rises, so do the risks, making Leon wonder: "What do you do … when there's no right thing to do? Just the wrong thing. Either way." Watching Leon maneuver himself and Jianu to the surprising answer to that question — while dodging traps set by the Istanbul police, Turkish state security and Russian agents — is one of the chief pleasures of "Istanbul Passage."
Moreover, Kanon — best known for "The Good German" and the Edgar Award-winning "Los Alamos" — so thoroughly immerses the reader in the history, beauty and complexity of Istanbul that you can practically feel yourself moving through the tile-cooled mosques and twisted streets, smell the leather bags in the Bazaar, see "the open mouth of the Bosphorus, alive with boats."