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wife was really willing to follow me out into the middle of nowhere.” She looked at him for another moment, clinically. He wondered if he had said something wrong. It was so hard to know how she would react these days. He never would have guessed that she would have any interest in following him to Los Alamos. She had become a stranger to him at some point.… Then she dropped into his lap and gave him a kiss. A real kiss, full on the lips. It was rare, lately, to get a real kiss from Catherine. He kissed back. God, but she was beautiful. In the last instant before his eyes drifted closed, he took a look at her forehead. The ridge was nowhere to be seen. They had chosen him—and his beautiful young wife was willing to accompany him to the middle of nowhere. There was no doubt in Richard Carter’s mind at that moment that he was the most fortunate man on the face of the earth.

HOLLAND PARK, LONDON Three weeks had passed since Winterbotham’s cryptic meeting with his old friend Andrew Taylor. During that time he had not gotten a single good night’s sleep—but there was nothing unusual about that. At some point in the nether hours of each morning, he would give up and seek refuge in his library. He would sit wearing his favorite faded bathrobe, poring over some dusty old tome or other, smoking pipe after pipe of orangeflavored tobacco, sometimes drinking a bit of the mediocre whiskey he had squirreled away. None of it helped put him back to sleep or even put his mind at ease. It was the worst insomnia he had suffered since the early days of the war, when Ruth first had been lost. He had slept better during the worst of the Luftwaffe’s bombing raids than he was sleeping now. We all make mistakes. That we do, Taylor had agreed. Perhaps that was one of mine. Perhaps it was. Of course it had been. Winterbotham knew it now. For the first few months following the outbreak of war, he had refused to admit that he had been

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