An exhilarating spy thriller inspired by a true story about the precious secrets up for grabs just after the fall of the Berlin Wall--from the acclaimed author of The Cover Wife - "Fesperman accurately depicts the corrosive effect of life under a surveillance society, debasing both the watchers and the watched.... Most Cold War spy novels focus on the Manichaean ideological struggle between East and West; this one successfully explores a grayer era." --The New York Times Book Review
On a chilly early morning walk on the wooded outskirts of Berlin, Emil Grimm finds the body of his neighbor, a fellow Stasi officer named Lothar, with a gunshot wound to the temple and a pistol in his right hand. Despite appearances, Emil suspects murder. A few months earlier he would have known just what to do, but now, as East Germany disintegrates, being a Stasi colonel is more of a liability than an asset. More troubling still is that Emil and Lothar were involved in a final clandestine mission, one that has clearly turned deadly. Now Emil must finish the job alone, on uncertain ground where old alliances seem to be shifting by the day.
Meanwhile, CIA agent Claire Saylor, sent to Berlin to assist an Agency mop-up action against their collapsing East German adversaries, has just received an upgrade to her assignment. She'll be the designated contact for a high-ranking foreign intelligence officer of the Stasi, although details are suspiciously sketchy. When her first rendezvous goes dangerously awry, she realizes the mission is far more delicate than she was led to believe.
With the rules of the game changing fast, and as their missions intersect, Emil and Claire find themselves on unlikely common ground, fighting for their lives against a powerful enemy hiding in the shadows.
About the Author
DAN FESPERMAN served as a foreign correspondent for the Baltimore Sun, based in Berlin. His coverage of the siege of Sarajevo led to his debut novel, Lie in the Dark, which won Britain's John Creasey Memorial Dagger Award for best first crime novel. Subsequent books have won the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award for best thriller, the Dashiell Hammett Prize from the International Association of Crime Writers, the Barry Award for best thriller, and selection by USA Today as the year's best mystery/thriller novel. He lives in Baltimore.