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  • 3 person found this review helpful

    3 people found this review helpful

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    A great immediate post war spy thriller.

    I am a great fan of what some call “Berlin Noir” and in this book you can almost taste the grit and smell the grime of post war Berlin. Alex Meier’s politics have put him at the forefront of the US communist witch-hunts. In order to stay in the US he makes a deal with the CIA to be their agent in his native Berlin. The book dives straight into the action and doesn’t really pause for breath throughout. Kanon evocatively describes a Berlin where the sector borders are still porous, abduction is commonplace and the inhabitants are still trying to put their lives back together after the war. He also details the claustrophobic life of those living in what was then called the Soviet Zone (later East Germany/GDR) and the Faustian pacts they make to just live and stay on the right side of the eastern authorities. Kanon weaves actual historical figures into the story such as playwright Berthold Brecht and his wife the actress Helene Weigel and from his descriptions you can really tell he’s done his research. This is the first Joseph Kanon book I’ve read and his writing style took me a little bit of getting used to. Conversations can be particularly staccato, but this style works really well. If you are a fan of Alan Furst, David Downing , Rebecca Cantrell or Jonathan Rabb then this is definitely for you.

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