The Cold War meets Mad Men in form of Karel Koechner, the most successful double agent who lived a life of shifting morals and blow-out hedonism from New York to Moscow.
In the mid-1970s, the CIA and KGB both suspected Karel Koecher was working for the enemy. They were both right. With his wife Hana, Koecher arrived in the US as a KGB agent, posing as an anti-communist defector, and he soon learned that performing well in academia was the fastest path to the CIA. After graduating from Columbia he swiftly entered the ranks of the CIA, becoming a double agent during the height of the cold war.
The Koechers eventually embraced the 1970s Manhattan high life — cocaine, swinging, parties. Hana made money as a diamond dealer, occasionally relaying messages to Karel’s handlers. The Koechers’ lifestyle reflected both the times and their risk-taking. It was the apex of Karel’s career, spy by day, swinger by night. The Koechers made it and even the once shy Hana got carried away with the euphoria. Life is good, and the Koechers felt unstoppable. But it was too good to last.
Using newly declassified documents, interrogation tapes and extraordinary first-hand accounts from the Koechers themselves, Cunningham reconstructs their double lives and the fading Cold War, where a strange moral fog made it hard to know what truth was being fought for, and to what end.